Esai Morales Leads 2018 Puerto Rican Day Parade As Grand Marshal

Esai Morales Leads 2018 Puerto Rican Day Parade As Grand Marshal

This year Award-winning actor Esaí Morales will lead as Grand Marshal of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, under the theme "One People, Many Voices".

Over his 35-year career, Morales has sought to challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Latinos in television and film, and he now serves on the national board for SAG-AFTRA.

Other distinguished honorees include several individuals who are leaders in multiple fields. Former Miss Universe, television host, dancer and model, Zuleyka Rivera, will be this year's Parade Queen. Legendary singer/songwriter and former member of the world-renowned Fania All Stars, Ismael Miranda, will be be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement title. Other leading honorees announced at a press conference in San Juan include noted singer Lucecita Benítez with a Lifetime Achievement title, Laura and Jorge Posada as Madrina and Padrino (Godmother and Godfather) and Carlos Beltrán as Athlete of the Year. The NPRDP Board will recognize David Begnaud, CBS News Correspondent, for his extraordinary, award-winning reporting of Hurricane Maria and for documenting the recovery efforts and progress made over the past 8 months.

This year's honorees will also include first responders and other local heroes who have demonstrated unwavering commitment to providing emergency aid and ongoing recovery relief to Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

Award-winning actor Esai Morales is recognized as one of the most talented and relevant actors in Hollywood. Since his feature film debut in Bad Boys, Morales has continuously offered performances that strongly resonate in the hearts and minds of a diverse and international audience. His breakthrough role in La Bamba made him a star, contributing to making the film the most commercially successful Latino-themed Rock biopic of all time. To this day, his role as Bob Morales continues to uptrend in major social media sites.
In 1997 Esai Morales co-founded the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, created to advance the presence of Latinos in the media, telecommunications and entertainment industries. The NHFA has provided scholarships to hundreds of Hispanic students in excess of 1 million dollars. Theater performances include Oscar Wilde's Salome with Al Pacino (Broadway) Joe Papp's production of The Tempestwith Raul Julia (New York's Shakespeare in the Park Festival) Tamer of Horses (Los Angeles Theater Center) The Exonerated, directed by Bob Balaban and his musical theater debut on The Mambo Kings.

Film credits include Bad Boys, La Bamba, Rapa Nui, Mi Familia, Fast Food Nation, Paid in Full,The Line, Atlas Shrugged: Part II, Jarhead II: Field of Fire, The Disappearance of Garcia LorcaandGun Hill Roada film he starred and executive produced. The film was a grand Jury Nominee at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. Most recently he was cast in the remake of Superfly.

Television credits comprise the Emmy award-winning series NYPD BLUE (ABC) Resurrection Blvd (Showtime) American Family (PBS) Miami Vice (NBC) Fame (NBC) Law and Order: SVU (NBC) The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story (HBO) Vanished(FOX) Burn Notice (USA) Jericho (CBS) Caprica (Syfy) Fairly Legal (USA) Criminal Minds (CBS) Major Crimes (TNT) and SavingWestbrook High, The Brink (HBO), Chicago PD (NBC) and most recently, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC), Mozart in the Jungle, (Amazon), MARS (Nat Geo) and Ozark (Netflix).

AWARDS: Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award - Tamer of Horses Alma Award (2002) Best Actor in a Television Series NYPD BLUE Imagen Award - Entertainer of the Year NYPD Blue Imagen Award - Best Actor, Gun Hill Road Imagen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for American Family NAACP Award nomination for We Have Your Husband

Throughout his career, Esai Morales has been an advocate for countless charities and causes such as literacy, environment, health, immigration, arts funding and social justice.

Sunday June 10
Starting at 11:00 am (EST)

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