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Tony Plana

Tony Plana was educated at Loyola-Marymount University, where he earned a bachelor's degree through the Honors Program in Literature and Theatre Arts, graduating magna cum laude. He received professional training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Plana starred as Roberto Santiago in Showtime's groundbreaking series, Resurrection Boulevard, for which he received 2001 and 2002 ALMA Award nominations for Best Actor.

Having co-directed and co-produced the film A Million to Juan with Paul Rodriguez, Plana celebrated his solo directorial debut with The Princess and the Barrio Boy, the first Latino family film to be produced by Showtime. The film received two 2001 ALMA Award nominations and won the 2001 IMAGEN Award for Best Made for Television Movie. His episodic television directorial debut was the Resurrection Boulevard episode Saliendo, which received a GLAAD Award for Best Dramatic Episode of the Year. He has directed several episodes of Nickelodeon's hit series The Brothers Garcia, receiving a Humanitas Award nomination and winning the IMAGEN Award for its third season finale.

Plana is also the co-founder and executive artistic director of the East L.A. Classic Theatre, a group comprised primarily of Hispanic American theatre professionals. The East L.A. Classic Theatre has been dedicated to serving the Latino community through educational outreach programs to primary and secondary schools and through bilingual productions of traditional and contemporary classics. Through the East L.A. Classic Theatre, Plana has developed a unique and innovative literacy program called Beyond Borders: Literacy Through Performing Arts, designed to enable students to expand their educational horizons and academic achievements by moving beyond their personal, cultural and vocational borders. His distinct talent lies in his provocative adaptations of classic Shakespearean plays, specifically conceived for minority communities with little or no theatre going experience.

As an actor Plana has starred in more than 60 feature films, including JFK, Nixon, Salvador, An Officer and a Gentleman, Lone Star, Three Amigos, Born in East L.A., El Norte, 187, Primal Fear, Romero, One Good Cop, Havana, The Rookie, Silver Strand and Picking Up the Pieces (with Woody Allen). Most recently he appeared in Goal! The Dream Begins and in Half Past Dead. He will also be appearing in the soon to be released El Muerto, as well as American East and Towards Darkness, with Ugly Betty co-star America Ferrara.

On television Plana recently starred in a multi-episode arc on Commander In Chief, on 24 as the terrorist Omar in season four, as well as on The West Wing and John Doe. In addition he starred on the Showtime miniseries Fidel, as the notorious Cuban dictator, Batista, and in Showtime's Noriega: God's Favorite. He has portrayed leading roles in four critically acclaimed television series -- Veronica Claire, Bakersfield P.D., and in Steven Bochco's Total Security and City of Angels.

Plana has been very active in live theatre. On Broadway his credits include Zoot Suit and The Boys of Winter. He has performed in leads at the Mark Taper Forum in Zoot Suit, Richard III, Widows and The Reader. He has appeared in a wide variety of productions in many other venues, including Figaro Gets a Divorce at the La Jolla Playhouse; Rum and Coke, Cuba, His Teddy Bear and Bang Bang Blues at the New York Public Theatre; Rum and Coke and Charlie Bacon and His Family at the South Coast Repertory Theatre; The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (The Musical) at the Pasadena Playhouse; A Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet at the California Shakespearean Festival; Fugue at Syracuse Stage Company; in Ariel Dorfmann's Mascara at the Arizona Theatre Company; and most recently he received high critical acclaim for his portrayal of Santiago in Nilo Cruz' Anna in the Tropics at South Coast Repertory, the first Latino play to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

He is the recipient of two Nosotros Golden Eagle Awards for outstanding work in film and television, as well as five Los Angeles Dramalogue Awards for Theatre.

Plana is the proud father of Alejandro and Isabel and has been happily married for 16 years to actress Ada Maris, who starred in Nurses on NBC and currently stars on Nickelodeon's The Brothers Garcia.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Tony Plana Facts

BirthdayApril 19, 1954 (69)

Selected Filmography

Not available.