Best Known For
Lou Diamond Phillips is an actor best known for his his work in films such as La Bamba, Stand and Deliver, and Young Guns.
A preview featuring Lou Diamond Phillips, Brooke Burns, & Parker Stevenson.
Lou Diamond Phillips is dragged by a runaway horse through a Wild West movie set.
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This change in direction earned the actor a Tony Award nomination as well as a Theatre World Award. His surprising mid-career shift caused a bit of a stir, but Phillips saw it as emblematic of his reach as an actor, once saying, "Hollywood will put you in a box, so to speak. Some people will have seen you in La Bamba or another dramatic film and think, Okay, that's what Lou does. But they don't really have an idea of the range or diversity that I can bring to a project."
Having seen him travel from stage to Hollywood and back again, no one was surprised when Phillips made the crossover to television. In 2001, Phillips joined his old friend Kiefer Sutherland to guest star in two episodes of Sutherland's popular TV action drama, 24. Phillips recalls how that happened: "We got the call from the people at 24, saying, 'Listen, we don't have a script yet, but the episodes are going to revolve around Kiefer, Dennis Hopper, and a role that we'd like you to do.' That's really all I needed to hear. So I made one phone call—to Kiefer's cell phone on the set—and said: 'Listen man, they want me to come on the show. Is that cool with you?' And he said, 'Yeah, c'mon, let's go!'" Over the next nine years, Phillips would pop up on television shows like Numb3rs, Stargate Universe, and even I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Outta Here, a reality show contest that Phillips won in its second season.
When not auditioning for his next role, Phillips can be found playing a mean game of poker. Though he had been playing the game since college, the actor got serious in 2009 when he entered into the California State Poker Championship, ultimately placing 31st out of 403 entrants. After his successful first foray into competitive card playing, Phillips went on to enter the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, walking away with over $30,000 in earnings.
While he was making the movie Trespasses (1986), Phillips met his first wife Julie Cypher, who was an assistant director for the film. After they divorced in 1990, he was briefly engaged to actress Jennifer Tilly. In 1994, he married Kelly Preston (not the famous actress of the same name); the couple had three children, twins Isabella and Grace and younger sister Lili. Though the couple separated in 2004, they did not officially divorce until 2007, by which time Phillips had begun dating Yvonne Boismier. When his divorce went official, the two married and soon had a daughter, Indigo Sanara.
Throughout his career, Lou Diamond Phillips has played characters of many ethnicities and has often fought back against being pigeonholed in any one. His own diverse background (Hispanic, Scottish-Irish, Asian, Cherokee) has helped him avoid being typecast. While acknowledging that he has been lucky to get a shot at a variety of roles, he hasn't forgotten how much harder it used to be. One night in a Hollywood restaurant, Phillips ran into Sidney Poitier and thanked him for opening the door for leading men of color. He fondly recalls the famous actor's response: "Sidney Poitier, who is class personified, said: 'Lou, you're a leading man because you're a good actor.' Brought tears to my eyes."
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