Lou Diamond Phillips is an American actor and director; an Independent Spirit Award winner and a one time Golden Globe Award nominee. With this charming intro, you shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that he has had it all smooth in climbing up the ladder of success in the movie industry. Lou had a very humble beginning starting off his acting career playing minor roles before his major breakthrough came in 1987 when he appeared as a rock star – Ritchie Valens in the movie La Bamba.
Diamond Phillips has appeared in over 100 TV and feature films since then and has won several other awards as proof of his excellent performances in the industry. Below are all the other facts you should know about the Hollywood icon.
Bio Nationality and Ethnicity
The Hollywood actor was born at a US Subic bay Naval station in the Philippines on the 17th of February, 1962 to Gerald Amon Upchurch and Lucita Umayam Arañas. His dad – a Marine C-130 crew chief is of Irish-Scott descent and his mom is a Filipino.
He was named after a marine legend “Leland Lou diamond “. His last name “Phillips” he took from his stepdad’s after the death of his biological father. Lou grew up in Texas. and attended Flour Bluff High School, Corpus Christi, where he graduated from in 1980. After high school, he received a scholarship to study in the US Naval Academy and Yale University but he turned down the offer and chose to study at the University of Texas, Arlington, where he would later bag a BFA in Drama.
While at the university, Lou Diamond Phillips got heavily involved in theatre work which included production and scriptwriting. He also featured in several Texas independent films. As stated above, his breakthrough in the industry came in 1987 when he played Ritchie Valens in the drama LA Bamba. The movie brought him in the spotlight as one of the young promising actors in Hollywood at the time.
The fame he got from his performance in LA Bamba also earned him several other roles including his role as Angel David Guzman in Stand and Deliver, which earned him not just the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male but also a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Motion Picture. He starred in other hit movies which include the Arduous moon, Young Guns I & II, Renegades, Disorganized crime, a Show of Force, The Dark Wind, Sioux city, Shadow of The Wolf, Harley, Untold West. He also starred in Courage under fire starring alongside Denzel Washington.
Apart from screen acting, Lou Diamond Phillips is also into stage acting, he made his Broadway debut in Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers’ The King and I which earned him Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominations, as well as a Theatre World Award for portraying the King. His other stage performances include King Arthur in 2007. In 2014, he reprised his character as the King of Siam in Opera Australia’s Melbourne production of The King and I.
Lou Diamond Phillips has featured in a number of TV and radio series such as 24, Tales from the Crypt, The Twilight Zone and Numb3rs. He also played a minor role in the TV sitcom “George Lopez“.
Lou Diamond Phillips’ Net Worth
The actor’s net worth is currently estimated at $6 million, which are earnings from his career as both a screen and a stage actor and also from his other earnings. Lou Diamond Phillips has been a poker player since college and has participated in several competitions including Poker World Championship.
In 2009, he placed money at the $10,000 July World Series of Poker World Championship, although he was eliminated at the original field of 6,494, he finished 186th place and earned $36,626.
His Spouse, Children
Lou Diamond Phillips has been married to Yvonne Boismier since August 2007. Yvonne is a makeup artist and they are parents to an adorable daughter named Indigo. However, his marriage to Boismier is not his first. His first marriage was in 1987 to an assistant director named Julie Cypher, who he met at the set Trespasses. The couple announced their divorce three years later after Cypher came out as a lesbian and began dating Melissa Etheridge.
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Two years after his divorce, he met Canadian actress on the set of the movie Shadow of the Wolf, the duo began dating and later get engaged but never got married. Lou’s second marriage was to Penthouse model and TV personality Kelly Phillips, with whom he has three beautiful daughters – Grace and Isabella (twins) and Lili. The couple separated in 2004 and finalized their divorce in 2007.
- Apart from acting, Lou was also a singer with the Los Angeles based rock group “pipefitters” in the early 1990s.
- In 2006, he was arrested for domestic violence against his wife Yvonne Boismier and was sentenced to three years of probation and 200hrs of community service.