Bidyo’s Filipino American Hall of Fame: Lou Diamond Phillips

Lou Diamond Phillips is the seventh honoree in Bidyo’s new show, Filipino American Hall of Fame and the seventh episode airs this Sunday, October 2nd!  Bidyo is a new YouTube channel created by FilAm Creative.  Bidyo’s mission is to produce and promote content from emerging Filipino American talent.  Subscribe to the Bidyo Channel here:   


Born at the Subic Bay Naval Station in Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines, the son of Lucita Umayam Arañas (Filipina mother) and Gerald Amon Upchurch (American father), Lou Diamond Phillips have been putting out quality work during his 30+ year career span.  From his breakthrough role as Ritchie Valens in the 1987 biographical film La Bamba to his Golden Globe-nominated and Independent Spirit win for Best Supporting Performance as Angel Guzman in 1988’s Stand and Deliver.  

His other films include 1988’s Young Guns, 1990’s  Young Guns II, 1996’s Courage Under Fire, 2008’s Che and 2015’s The 33.  More of Lou Diamond Phillips’ film work is featured in our October 30, 2014 blog, Halo-Haloween Part 14: Low Budget Films, Dr. Cody Chase, Matthew Abaya’s Vampariah, Lou Diamond Phillips (link).   

He made his Broadway debut with the 1996 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s revival of The King and I, earning a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam.  He also won a Theatre World Award and was nominated a Drama Desk Award for his performance as well.

In July 2014 he replaced the injured Jason Scott Lee in Opera Australia’s Melbourne production of The King and I, reprising his role as the King of Siam.

He made history as one of the inaugural nominees for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series for portraying Taino Chief on The Crossroads of History (2016) for the History Channel.

Lou Diamond Phillips has been an outspoken advocate of the Filipino Equity Act, a legislation to extend the same benefits to World War II veterans from the Philippines as have been available to United States of America World War II veterans.

And, you can catch Phillips in his starring role as Henry Standing Bear in the television series Longmire on Netflix.  The show premiered its Season 5 order on September 23, 2016 – now streaming on Netflix.

Netflix has plans to make a go of the show’s next season. Discussions are underway for a big plan to retain Longmire Season 6 on its air channels come 2017.

Lou Diamond Phillip’s quality work has inspired many filmmakers to one day work with him.  My recent interview with film producer Mark V. Lágrimas (of They’re Watching) have said, “When I was a kid, ‘Young Guns’ [was] awesome to me because [that was] the first [time] I was able to hear a Filipino voice or see a Filipino face on the big screen in the United States. Lou Diamond Phillips…expect a call from me soon”. (link).  Ring, ring!

Written by Edwin Santos (10/2/16)


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