Selena: About The Cast

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JENNIFER LOPEZ (Selena) reunites on "Selena" with writer/director Gregory Nava, with whom she worked on "My Family/Mi Familia."

Lopez recently enjoyed a busy acting year, appearing in "Money Train" opposite Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, and later in the hit comedy "Jack," starring Robin Williams and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. She also completed a starring role in Bob Rafelson's crime drama "Blood and Wine," with Jack Nicholson and Stephen Dorff, and wrapped production on the action-adventure "Anaconda" before beginning work on "Selena."

Following "Selena," Lopez will star with Nick Nolte and Sean Penn in Oliver Stone's "U-Turn" in a coveted role sought by many of Hollywood's leading actresses.

Lopez began her entertainment career in 1990 after winning a national competition for a position as a "Fly Girl" on Fox's hit television series "In Living Color." Soon thereafter, she landed roles in other television series, including "South Central," "Second Chance" and "Hotel Malibu."

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS (Abraham Quintanilla, Jr.) also was among the cast of Gregory Nava's previous film, "My Family/Mi Familia." Olmos recently worked with producers Moctesuma Esparza and Bob Katz on "Lorca," also starring Andy Garcia and Esai Morales.

Among Olmos' acting honors are an Academy Award nomination for his role as inspirational math teacher Jaime Escalante in "Stand and Deliver"; a Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award nomination for "The Burning Season," the HBO biographical drama about Chico Mendes; and Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his supporting work on the hit series "Miami Vice." Olmos' recent feature-film credits include "The Limbic Region," "Mirage" and "Roosters." On television, he starred in "Dead Man's Walk," the mini-series prequel to "Lonesome Dove"; the Showtime cable film "Slave of Dreams"; and the mini-series "Menendez: A Murder in Beverly Hills."

Olmos came to national attention for his performance in the musical "Zoot Suit," which won him a Tony Award nomination. He recreated that role in the film adaptation, and his additional features include "Wolfen," "Blade Runner" and five films for director Robert M. Young: "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" (produced by Moctesuma Esparza), "Saving Grace," "Triumph of the Spirit," "Talent for the Game" and, most recently, "Caught." Olmos made his feature-film directorial debut with 1992's "American Me" and recently executive produced the award-winning documentary "Lives in Hazard" that addressed gang prevention.

Olmos is an active humanitarian who devotes his time, presence, energy and resources to numerous causes and foundations. He is the United States Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and the national spokesperson for Voter Registration, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and The AIDS Awareness Foundation. He sits on the boards of more than a dozen public-service, educational and health-care organizations and has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from five institutions. On average, Olmos speaks at 150 schools, charities and juvenile institutions a year and was instrumental in the clean-up efforts following the Los Angeles riots, Northridge earthquake and Hurricane Andrew in Florida.

JON SEDA (Chris Perez) starred last fall opposite Woody Harrelson in "Sunchaser," directed by Michael Cimino, and in the Garry Marshall comedy "Dear God," starring Greg Kinnear. Seda also appeared in Terry Gilliam's futuristic fantasy "12 Monkeys," opposite Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, and the courtroom drama "Primal Fear," starring Richard Gere.

Seda starred in Darnell Martin's acclaimed independent feature "I Like It Like That" and was nominated for an Independent Feature Projects Committee Spirit Award as Best Actor for his performance. Seda made his feature debut in "Gladiator" and counts among his additional film credits "Carlito's Way," "Boys on the Side" and "Zebrahead." His television roles include work on the acclaimed series "NYPD Blue" and "New York Undercover" and in the made-for-television film "Under Fire" and HBO's "Daybreak" and "Mistrial."

CONSTANCE MARIE (Marcela Quintanilla) most recently appeared in Gregory Nava's multi-generational drama "My Family/Mi Familia." Marie's additional feature-film credits include "Salsa," "Body Rock" and "Back to the Beach."

She recently made a memorable guest-starring appearance on the hit comedy series "Spin City" and is scheduled to soon make another one. Among her other television credits are "Fast Company," "Island City" and "Daddy Dearest." Marie has also guest-starred in many series, including "Reasonable Doubts," "Jake and the Fatman" and "When You're Smiling." She was a regular on the daytime drama "Santa Barbara" and the series "Dirty Dancing."

JACOB VARGAS (Abie Quintanilla) worked with Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos and Gregory Nava on "My Family/Mi Familia."

Before beginning work on "Selena," Vargas completed work on "Santa Fe," directed by Andrew Shea. His list of film credits includes "Get Shorty," "Crimson Tide," "Damascus," "Fatal Instinct," "American Me" (directed by his "Selena" co-star, Edward James Olmos) and two films for acclaimed independent director Allison Anders: "Gas Food Lodging" and "Mi Vida Loca." His television work has included regular roles in the series "Malibu Shores" and appearances in "ER," "Pretender," "JAG" and "The Tracey Ullman Show" and the made-for-television films "Drug Wars: The Camarena Story" and "Hard Time on Planet Earth."

Vargas was the recipient of the Bravo Award for the Best Emerging Artist in 1995 and was honored by the Imagen Awards in 1995.

LUPE ONTIVEROS (Yolanda Saldivar) starred in Gregory Nava's Oscar-nominated film "El Norte" and later in the director's "My Family/Mi Familia."

A founding member of the Latino Theatre Company in Los Angeles, Ontiveros has dedicated her professional life to affecting positive change in the image of Latinos in the entertainment industry. Her stage work includes being among the original cast of Luis Valdez's "Zoot Suit" and many original works with her dramatic company in L.A. Ontiveros' additional feature-film credits include "The Goonies," "Bound by Honor" and "How Else Am I Supposed to Know I'm Alive?." She produced the award-winning educational film "Una Vez Al Ano Para Toda Una Vida," which addressed the need for awareness of breast cancer for Latinas.

JACKIE GUERRA (Suzette Quintanilla) recently made her feature-film debut in the upcoming romantic comedy "Eat Your Heart Out," starring Laura San Giacomo and Linda Hunt.

Guerra was the first Latina ever to star in her own sitcom, "First Time Out," which aired last season on the WB Network. Columbia Television was so impressed with Guerra's talents that they have developed a talk-show vehicle for her, and she has already taped the pilot.

BECKY LEE MEZA (Young Selena) was discovered at the portion of a nationwide casting call in San Antonio, Texas. Meza had already participated in a Selena tribute in Corpus Christi, where she appeared on a Selena float sponsored by Fiestas Patrias del Salvador.

RUBEN GONZALES (Joe Ojeda) counts among his film credits "It's Pat! The Movie" and "The End" and has appeared on television in "America's Most Wanted." Gonzales has also done theater both in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

PETE ASTUDILLO (Pete Astudillo) was a member of "Selena y Los Dinos" and enjoys a successful musical career as a vocalist and songwriter. During the 1993 Tejano Music Awards, Astudillo won the New Rising Male Vocalist Award. During the Premio Lo Nuestro Awards, he received the award for Song of the Year in the Regional Mexican division for "Como La Flor," which he co-wrote with Abie Quintanilla. Astudillo and Quintanilla also co-wrote Selena's hit songs "Amor Prohibido," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," "La Carcacha," and "Que Creias."

In 1992, Astudillo co-wrote and sang a popular duet with Selena entitled "Siempre Estoy Pensando en Ti," which appeared on Selena's triple platinum album, "Entra a Mi Mundo." Selena and Astudillo received a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at both the 1992 and 1993 Tejano Music Awards. He also recorded his first solo album, entitled "Entregate a Mi," which included such hits as "Porque le Gusta Bailar Cumbia," "Perdoname" and "Entregate a Mi."

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