"The interesting thing about the experience was that, even though I was a fan of the films, I found that there were a lot of people who were true aficionados, who knew everything down to the most minute detail. When I mentioned to some people that I was playing this character, they rattled off who Bail Organa is and who he is related to and the history of each of those people. I had to go to the Star Wars Encyclopedia to figure it all out."
―Jimmy Smits[src]

Jimmy Smits (born July 9, 1955) is an American actor who portrayed Senator Bail Organa in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith as well as in the Legends video game The Force Unleashed.[1] He also reprised his role as Senator Organa in the Anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.[2]


Smits was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Cornelius Smits, is a Surinamese immigrant of Dutch descent and his mother, Emilina, a Puerto Rican. He also has two sisters named Yvonne and Diana. Smits earned a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College in 1980 and a Master of Fine Arts from Cornell University in 1982.[3]

Smits is well-known for his American TV work in the popular shows L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, The West Wing, Dexter, and Sons of Anarchy.

Theatrically, Smits acted in several performances at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. His credits at the Hangar include the 1982 productions of Cabaret and Loose Ends. Smits also played the roles of Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night in 2002 and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing in 2004 for the New York Shakespeare Festival, now known as the Public Theater. From November 2009 to February 2010, he played in the Broadway play God of Carnage, and from December 2012 to March 2013, in The Motherfucker with the Hat at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

In 1996, Smits won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama for his role in the TV series NYPD Blues. He was nominated again twice, in 1997 and 1999.

In 2009, Smits appeared with Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu) in Rodrigo García's drama film Mother and Child.


Year Title Role Other notes
201724: LegacyJohn DonovanTV series
2016Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryBail Organa
2016Gears of War 4Oscar DiazVideo game (voice)
2016The Get DownFrancisco 'Papa Fuerte' CruzTV series
2012–2014Sons of AnarchyNeron 'Nero' PadillaTV series
2010OutlawCyrus GarzaTV series
2009Mother and ChildPaco
2009El traspatioMickey Santos
2008DexterMiguel PradoTV series
2008 Star Wars: The Force UnleashedBail OrganaVideo game (voice)
2007CaneAlex VegaTV series
2007The Jane Austen Book ClubDaniel
2005Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the SithBail Organa
2005Lackawanna BluesRuben Santiago Sr.TV movie
2004–2006The West WingMatthew SantosTV series
2002Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the ClonesBail Organa
2000Bless the ChildAgent John Travis
2000Price of GloryArturo Ortega
2000The Million Dollar HotelGeronimo
1997Lesser ProphetsMike
1997Mother Goose: A Rappin' and Rhymin' SpecialOld King ColeTV movie
1997Murder in MindPeter Walker
1996Marshal LawJack ColemanTV movie
1995–1997Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildOld King Cole & Prince FelipeTV series
1995The Last WordActor (Martin)
1995My FamilyJimmy Sánchez
1995Solomon & ShebaKing SolomonTV movie
1994–2004NYPD BlueDet. Bobby SimoneTV series
1994The Cisco KidCisco KidTV movie
1993Gross MisconductJustin Thorne
1993The TommyknockersJim 'Gard' GardnerTV miniseries
1992The Broken CordDavid NorwellTV movie
1991Fires WithinNestor
1991SwitchWalter Stone
1990Cop RockVictor SifuentesTV series (uncredited)
1990Pee-wee's PlayhouseYour authorized conky repairmanTV series
1990Vital SignsDr. David Redding
1989Old GringoGen. Tomas Arroyo
1988GlitzVincent MarraTV movie
1988Mickey's 60th BirthdayVictor SifuentesTV movie
1987Stamp of a KillerRichard BradenTV movie
1987The HighwaymanBo ZikerTV series
1987The BelieversTom Lopez
1987HotshotStars Team Member
1986–1992L.A. LawVictor SifuentesTV series
1986Running ScaredJulio Gonzales
1986Spenser: For HireHector ValdesTV series
1986Rockabye2nd PolicemanTV movie
1984Miami ViceEddie RiveraTV series


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jimmy Smitts In The Force Unleashed!. (2008-05-20). Retrieved on August 6, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robinson, Will (2016-08-05). Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Jimmy Smits confirms he has a cameo. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on August 6, 2016.
  3. Latino Actor Encourages Students to Stay in School. Latino Education Magazine (2015-01-12). Retrieved on August 6, 2016.

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