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Jimmy L. Smits (born July 9, 1955; age 64) is a Emmy Award-winning American actor who portrays U.S. Senator John Donovan in 24: Legacy.



Smits was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father was from Suriname, but of Dutch descent, and his mother was from Puerto Rico. Smits also has two sisters. He studied at Thomas Jefferson High School, where he was also an athlete, and then in 1980 received a Bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College. In 1982, Smits also completed a Master's degree from Cornell University.

In 1986 Smits appeared in L.A. Law, playing the character of Victor Sifuentes, which co-starred Carmen Argenziano, Tim Guinee, Gregg Henry, Jennifer Hetrick, Gregory Itzin, Bernard White, and Ray Wise.

Smits is best known for his starring roles in several long-running TV series. He played Detective Bobby Simone on NYPD Blue. Actors on the series during Smits' tenure included Andrea Thompson, Michael Reilly Burke, Brad Grunberg, Conor O'Farrell, Peter Onorati, and Tamara Tunie. After Smits's departure from NYPD Blue, he was replaced by Ricky Schroder. He also played Congressman Matt Santos of Houston, Texas, in The West Wing from 2004 to 2006, appearing opposite Ryan Cutrona, Tim Kelleher, J. Patrick McCormack, Dean Norris, Michael O'Neill and Stephen Root.

Smits appeared as Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), in which the character becomes Princess Leia's adoptive father. He reappeared as Bail Organa in the game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) and in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

In the third season of Dexter (2008), Smits played the murderous District Attorney Miguel Prado, one of the chief antagonists of the season along with Jesse Borrego's character. Smits was nominated for an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for the role.

In 2012, Smits joined the cast of FX's Sons of Anarchy as Nero Padilla, a high-level pimp who forms a personal and business relationship with the titular motorcycle club. Smits was promoted to a series regular for the final season, which aired in 2014. Other actors with whom Smits worked on the series include series star Tommy Flanagan, Kenneth Choi, Tony Curran, Rey Gallegos, Benito Martinez, Timothy V. Murphy, and Jorge-Luis Pallo.

24: Legacy is the second time that Smits is portraying a Presidential candidate. His character on The West Wing, Matt Santos, was elected President in the show's final season.

Personal life Edit

Smits was married to high school sweetheart, Barbara Smits, from 1981 until 1987. They have two children, Taina (born in 1973) and Joaquin (born in 1983). Since 1986, he has been in a long term relationship with actress Wanda De Jesus who appeared with him in Sons of Anarchy as his screen girlfriend.

Role on 24 Edit

Jimmy Smits BTS 3-21

Smits in costume while filming the 24: Legacy pilot

Smits played the role of John Donovan in 24: Legacy. The script describes Donovan as a U.S. Senator with higher political aspirations married to ex-CTU Director Rebecca Ingram. Smits' casting was announced on February 26, 2016. Smits was part of the main cast and appeared in all 12 episodes.

In interviews, Smits was quick to praise Miranda Otto's work saying she "did a great f***ing job on Homeland", while also praising her theater background. He also commented on how easy it was to work with her to create the relationship between their characters. Smits also praised the job of director and producer Stephen Hopkins saying that he was "going to bring the goods in a great way".[1]

24 creditsEdit

Selected filmography Edit

  • Who We Are Now (2017)
  • Rogue One (2016)
  • Backyard (2009)
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Price of Glory (2000)
  • My Family (1995)
  • The Believers (1987)

Television appearances

  • How to Get Away with Murder (2017-2018)
  • The Get Down (2016-2017)
  • Sons of Anarchy (2012-2014)
  • Outlaw (2010)
  • Dexter (2008)
  • Cane (2007)
  • The West Wing (2004-2006)
  • NYPD Blue (1994-2004)
  • L.A. Law (1986-1992)
  • Miami Vice (1984)

References Edit

External links Edit

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