Happy Birthday to Jimmy Smits

Happy Birthday to the talented Jimmy Smits, born on July 9, 1955 in New York City.  His mother was Puerto Rican and his father was Surinamese (check your map, that country is located in South America).   Smits grew up in Brooklyn, though he spent a few years in Puerto Rico as a child.  The Emmy award winning actor has starred in a number of enormously popular TV series, including LA Law, NYPD Blue, and West Wing.  The former teacher graduated with a BA in Education from Brooklyn College and later earned an MA from Cornell University in Theater Arts.  Smits is a co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, which is dedicated to advancing opportunities for Latinos in the entertainment industry.  (Image from HispanicArts.org)