Hector Elizondo Profile

An actor of boundless range, Hector Elizondo is perhaps best known for his Emmy-award winning portrayal of hospital administrator Dr. Philip Watters on CBS’s Chicago Hope. One of the few actors who can seamlessly shift between theater, television, and film, he is a powerful advocate for caregivers and family members of Alzheimer’s patients, child literacy, environmental stewardship, and the Latino community.

Elizondo has appeared in over 80 movies, including every film directed by Gary Marshall. Although his screen time in Pretty Woman was only 10 minutes, he stole the show as the high-class hotel manager who helps Julia Roberts’s character purchase clothing. Some of his other notable roles include Fisher in Runaway Bride, security head Joe in The Princess Diaries films, and Carlos Sanchez’s voice in the animated The Book of Life. Aside from his iconic creation of the ethical Dr. Watters for six seasons of Chicago Hope, television audiences also will remember him as a psychiatrist on Monk and Dr. Callie Torres’s father in Grey’s Anatomy.

Throughout his nearly five decade long career, Elizondo has chosen his parts carefully, refusing to accept any roles that he finds stereotypical or demeaning to Latinos. He has lent his voice talent to several documentaries that tell indispensable stories about underrepresented groups such as The Borinqueneers, the untold tale of the only exclusively Hispanic unit in U.S. military history.

Elizondo’s years spent as a caregiver for his mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s led him to share his experience with relevant charities throughout the country. He is also a popular guest speaker and supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and the LA Theater Works.

  • View Extended/Alternate Bio
      • Award-winning actor Hector Elizondo has a successful career spanning 40 years that includes film, television, theater and radio.

    In 1997, Elizondo won the prestigious Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of ‘Dr. Phillip Watters’ on CBS’ “Chicago Hope.”

    For six years on the show, Elizondo delivered a heartfelt and poignant performance that earned him four Emmy nominations, while creating a character that will be etched in television history for a long time to come.

    Elizondo recently starred in “Tortilla Soup,” an English-language film based on Ang Lee’s romantic comedy, “Eat Drink Man Woman” for Samuel Goldwyn Pictures. Elizondo’s character is ‘Martin,’ a Mexican-American master chef who is the father of three grown daughters, all of whom still live at home.

    Using food and elaborate meals as one method of keeping his daughters from moving out, regardless of their desires to get married, move to Spain and go to college, ‘Martin’ is the cornerstone of his family. Directed by Mafia Ripoll and produced by John Bard Manulis, the film garnered rave reviews. In addition, Elizondo was also be seen in theaters starring alongside Julie Andrews and newcomer Anne Hathaway in the Gary Marshall film, “The Princess Diaries” for Disney.

    Based on the children’s book, Diaries, Hathaway stars as ‘Mia,’ a Bay Area teen whose social life is turned upside-down when she discovers she’s the heir to the throne of a kingdom in Europe called Genovia. Julie Andrews portrays ‘Queen Clarice’ of Genovia while Elizondo is ‘Joseph,’ the Queen’s head of security and ‘Mia’s’ bodyguard.

    “Princess Diaries” also happens to be Elizondo’s thirteenth Garry Marshall film, among others which includes “Young Doctors in Love,” “The Flamingo Kid,” “Nothing in Common” with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason and “Runaway Bride,” which re-teamed Elizondo with “Pretty Woman’s” Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. “Pretty Woman” is one of Elizondo’s most renowned performances, winning him a Movie Award as well as nominations for both a Golden Globe and an American Comedy Award. Elizondo’s other film credits include: “Beverly Hills Cop III,” “Getting Even With Dad,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Final Approach,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Taking Care of Business,” “American Gigolo,” “The Fan,” “Leviathan,” “Report to the Commissioner” and “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3.”

    A native New Yorker, Elizondo first gained recognition on the New York stage for his portrayal of ‘God’ in “Steambath,” which earned him an Obie Award. High praise followed for his Broadway roles in Neil Simon’s “Prisoner of Second Avenue,” “The Great White Hope,” “Sly Fox,” for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” alongside Eli Wallach at the Roundabout Theatre.

    Elizondo’s numerous television appearances began with guest starring roles on now classic episodes of “Columbo,” “All in the Family” and “Kojak.” He quickly moved on to star opposite such leading ladies as Michelle Pffeifer, Sophia Loren, and Anne Bancroft. Hector received another Best Supporting Actor nomination for his riveting performance opposite Ms. Bancroft in the two-character drama “Mrs. Cage,” for PBS’s acclaimed series “American Playhouse.”

    Hector has also done many voice-overs, most recently in Ken Bum’s critically acclaimed PBS documentary series, “The West” and served as the host of the CBS special, “Mysterious Man of the Shroud.” Elizondo is especially proud of his involvement in the prestigious LA Theatre Works, a group of 40 top actors who are devoting their time and talent to reinstating classic radio drama as a contemporary art form for National Public Radio (N.P.R.).

Hector Elizondo Speaking Videos

Bring Hector Elizondo to Speak Live at Your Event


Check Speaker Availability

Hector Elizondo's Speech Descriptions

A champion of the performing arts, Latino affairs, child and youth development, and aging care, Hector Elizondo brings class and wisdom to any event. Elizondo has rarely disappointed in his fifty-year-plus acting career, a statement that can describe very few performers. Known for his kindness and fervent social activism, he is just as brilliant behind the podium as he is on screen or stage.

Have You Seen this Speaker? Leave a Star Rating.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Speakers


Need help filling the seats at your next meeting / event?

Call us / email us / check availability and fee for your favorite speaker.

Get in touch
Call us: (760) 656-8770
Toll free in the US: (877) 717-5327