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      Rubén Blades

      Rubén Blades

      Highest Rated: 92% Do the Right Thing (1989)

      Lowest Rated: Not Available

      Birthday: Jul 16, 1948

      Birthplace: Panama City, Panama

      A self-styled renaissance man who has made a significant contribution to salsa with his socially conscious lyrics, Panamanian-born Ruben Blades has also enjoyed a successful career as a screen actor and, in his native country, founded the political party Papa Egora, running and placing third in the 1994 presidential election. After obtaining a law degree in Panama, he moved to the USA in 1974, staying temporarily with his exiled parents in Miami before moving to NYC where he was soon working with salseros Ray Barretto and Larry Harlow. A collaboration with trombonist and band leader Willie Colon followed, and their 1978 album "Siembra" became the best-selling salsa record in history. He branched into movies with the mediocre melodrama "The Last Fight" (1983), writing the title song as well as portraying a singer-turned-boxer vying for a championship. He also penned his first musical score for a film that year for "When Mountains Tremble." Blades gained widespread recognition in 1985 as co-writer and star of the independent "Crossover Dreams" (1985), exhibiting real screen presence as a New York salsa singer willing to do anything to break into the mainstream. He was also the subject of Robert Mugge's fascinating music documentary "The Return of Ruben Blades," which debuted at that year's Denver Film Festival. After finding himself in two 1987 stinkers, "Critical Condition" (with Richard Pryor) and "Fatal Beauty" (with Whoopi Goldberg), Blades rebounded nicely with Robert Redford's "The Milagro Beanfield War" (1988), playing the modern-day New Mexico sheriff of the charming, fanciful fable. He wrote the song "Tu y Yo" for Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989) and reteamed with Lee the following year as the hard-nosed bookie of "Mo' Better Blues." The banner year also saw him act in the "Chinatown" sequel "The Two Jakes" (directed by and starring Jack Nicholson), "The Lemmon Sisters" (starring Diane Keaton) and "Predator 2" (with Danny Glover and Gary Busey), in addition to scoring Sidney Lumet's "Q & A." On the small screen, Blades has delivered impressive performances in a number of cable movies beginning with his turn as a Death Row inmate in HBO's "Dead Man Out," his first collaboration with Glover. Though "One Man's War" (HBO, 1991) gave him the opportunity to act with the venerable Anthony Hopkins, the well-intentioned script about repression in Paraguay failed to rise to the level of more compelling, similarly-themed films. He fared better as Pepita Abatino, the Sicilian born gigolo who groomed Joseph Baker for stardom, in that year's "The Josephine Baker Story" (HBO), garnering an Emmy nomination for his efforts, and earned praise (and a second Emmy nod) as a Mexican janitor who romances Christine Lahti in "Crazy From the Heart" (TNT, 1991). He also starred as Pastor Beruman whose wife is on the freeway with their two young children in "Miracle on I-880" (NBC, 1993), a routine dramatization of the 1989 Oakland earthquake. "The Super" (1991) cast Blades opposite Joe Pesci as a crafty street hustler who gradually gets the slum landlord more attuned to the needs of his struggling tenants, and the erotic thriller "Color of Night" (1994), starring Bruce Willis, offered him as an abrasively funny police detective. Ever mindful of his onscreen image, he has stated that he tries to avoid stereotypical roles and looks for films that balance the Latino-as-bad-guy with a positive portrayal. He found such a role as Harrison Ford's partner in the muddled thriller "The Devil's Own" (1997), one of his first films after his unsuccessful 1994 bid to become Panama's president. His worldwide recognition as a champion of the Nueva Cancion (New Song) movement of salsa that brought substance to what was formerly viewed as simply dance music was not enough to sway the voters of his homeland, many unable to regard him as a serious candidate because his career required so much time outside the country. In 1997, Blades headed the cast of composer Paul Simon's first Broadway musical, "The Capeman," based on a true story about a murderous youth who becomes a poet in prison. In interviews, he has stated that he believes his biggest mistake was releasing an English-language album in 1988, just because everyone thought he should in the wake of his 1987 Grammy win for "Escenas"--a trap he sees younger singers like his "Capeman" co-star Marc Anthony falling into. Staying true to his musical vision and defying convention in nearly every way, he earned his fourth Grammy for "Tiempos" (1999), his first album with the 12-piece Costa Rican band Editus and one in marked contrast to the commercial trend of Latin music. For someone who has played his share of policemen, Blades relished his role as Mexican artist Diego Rivera in Tim Robbins' "Cradle Will Rock" (also 1999), which pitted his character's communist sensibilities against those of John Cusack's Nelson Rockefeller. He then made his first foray to regular series work with "Gideon's Crossing" (ABC, 2000-01), playing a medical colleague of star Andre Braugher in this new offering from writer-executive producer Paul Attanasio, and also appeared as a rancher in the long-awaited film version of "All the Pretty Horses" (2000), adapted from the novel by Cormac McCarthy.

      Highest rated movies

      92% Bad 25
      71% Mo' Better Blues
      66% Once Upon a Time in Mexico
      65% Cradle Will Rock
      64% Chinese Box
      63% The Two Jakes
      61% The Milagro Beanfield War
      60% Crossover Dreams

      Photos

      Rubén Blades PREDATOR 2, Danny Glover, Rubén Blades, 1990. TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.. ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, Ruben Blades, 2003, (c) Columbia THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, Ruben Blades, 1988. ©Universal HANDS OF STONE, from left: Edgar Ramirez, Robert De Niro, Ruben Blades, 2016. ph: Rico Torres/© The Weinstein Company THE DEVIL'S OWN, Harrison Ford, Reuben Blades, 1997, (c)Columbia Pictures PREDATOR 2, Maria Conchita Alonso, Danny Glover, Rubén Blades, 1990. TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.. COLOR OF NIGHT, from left: Ruben Blades, Bruce Willis, 1994, © Buena Vista CROSSOVER DREAMS, Ruben Blades, Elizabeth Pena, 1985. ©Miramax CROSSOVER DREAMS, Ruben Blades, 1985, (c)Miramax Films THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, Freddy Fender, Ruben Blades, 1988, (c)Universal HANDS OF STONE, sitting, from left: Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, top right: Ruben Blades, 2016. ph: Rico Torres/© The Weinstein Company ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, Ruben Blades, Mickey Rourke, 2003, (c) Columbia Fear The Walking Dead, Ruben Blades, 'The Good Man', Season 1, Ep. #6, 10/04/2015, ©AMC Fear The Walking Dead, Ruben Blades, 'The Good Man', Season 1, Ep. #6, 10/04/2015, ©AMC THE SUPER, Ruben Blades, Joe Pesci, 1991, TM and Copyright (c)20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. CRADLE WILL ROCK, Reuben Blades, 1999, artist and his mural THE DEVIL'S OWN, Ruben Blades, Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, 1997 PREDATOR 2, Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, Danny Glover, 1990, TM and Copyright (c)20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. FATAL BEAUTY, Ruben Blades, 1987, (c)MGM

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple Self - 2024
      20% 85% Red Pill Rocky (Character),
      Rocky (Character)
      - 2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Ruben Blades Is Not My Name Self,
      Music
      - 2018
      45% 52% Hands of Stone Carlos Eleta (Character) $4.7M 2016
      34% 24% The Counselor Jefe (Character) $16.9M 2013
      92% 88% Bad 25 Unknown (Character) - 2012
      20% 78% For Greater Glory President Calles (Character) $5.7M 2012
      53% 63% Safe House Carlos Villar (Character) $126.1M 2012
      46% 39% Spoken Word Senior (Character) $32.7K 2009
      52% 75% Kidnap Express Carla's Father (Character) $302.3K 2004
      No Score Yet 73% The Maldonado Miracle Cruz (Character) - 2003
      31% 71% Imagining Argentina Silvio Ayala (Character) - 2003
      43% 69% Spin Ernesto Bejarano (Character) $9.9K 2003
      66% 64% Once Upon a Time in Mexico Jorge FBI (Character) $55.8M 2003
      47% 33% Assassination Tango Miguel (Character) $970.2K 2002
      21% 62% Empire Original Music $17.5M 2002
      32% 42% All the Pretty Horses Hector de la Rocha (Character) $15.5M 2000
      65% 71% Cradle Will Rock Diego Rivera (Character) $2.9M 1999
      37% 41% The Devil's Own Edwin Diaz (Character) - 1997
      64% 54% Chinese Box Jim (Character) $2.2M 1997
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Scorpion Spring Sam Zaragosa (Character) - 1995
      No Score Yet 59% A Million to Juan Bartender (Character) $1.2M 1994
      22% 30% Color of Night Martinez (Character) $19.7M 1994
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Miracle on I-880 Pastor Beruman (Character) - 1993
      No Score Yet 82% Crazy From the Heart Ernesto Ontiveros (Character) - 1991
      No Score Yet 67% One Man's War Perrone (Character) - 1991
      0% 42% The Super Marlon (Character) $10.6M 1991
      No Score Yet 73% The Josephine Baker Story Count Giuseppe Pepito Abatino (Character) - 1991
      30% 44% Predator 2 Danny Archuleta (Character) $28.3M 1990
      88% 58% Q & A Original Music $10.5M 1990
      63% 39% The Two Jakes Michael 'Mickey Nice' Weisskopf (Character) $9.4M 1990
      71% 75% Mo' Better Blues Petey (Character) $15.9M 1990
      92% 89% Do the Right Thing Original Music $26.0M 1989
      43% 58% Disorganized Crime Carlos Barrios (Character) $7.4M 1989
      11% 19% The Lemon Sisters C.W (Character) $3.0M 1989
      No Score Yet 38% Dead Man Out Ben (Character) - 1989
      61% 74% The Milagro Beanfield War Sheriff Bernabe Montoya (Character) $12.7M 1988
      20% 55% Fatal Beauty Carl Jimenez (Character) $10.8M 1987
      No Score Yet 35% Critical Condition Louis (Character) $20.1M 1987
      60% No Score Yet Crossover Dreams Rudy Veloz (Character) - 1985
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Last Fight Andy `'Kid'` Clave (Character) - 1983

      TV

      Credit
      73% 58% Fear the Walking Dead Daniel (Character) 2015-2023
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Show Me More Self 2022
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Antiques Roadshow Guest 2021
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Tavis Smiley Guest 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet 106 & Park Unknown (Character),
      Guest
      2012
      50% No Score Yet Gideon's Crossing Dr. Max Cabranes (Character) 2000-2001
      74% 85% The X-Files Conrad Lozano (Guest Star) 1997