July 9, 1961
Los Angeles, California, United States
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A popular character actor, Raymond Cruz worked his way up to lead roles the old fashioned way, through hard work. Growing up in the Barrio South Gate neighborhood of Los Angeles, surrounded by gang violence, Cruz found an escape in acting. He made his TV and feature debut in 1987 in "Vietnam War Story" (HBO) and the film comedy "Maid to Order" respectively. Cruz was soon a jobbing actor working solidly through the '80s and '90s with roles in "Cagney & Lacey" (CBS, 1982-88), "Knots Landing" (CBS, 1979-1993), "Under Siege" (1992), "Clear and Present Danger" (1994), "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002) and "Alien: Resurrection" (1997). As the years rolled by, the parts steadily grew bigger and bigger. Proving his versatility and taking a departure from his usual tough guy persona, Cruz's first recurring role was as Johnny in kid's educational series "The Eddie Files" (PBS, 1995-2000). 2005 saw Cruz take on his most famous role as Detective Julio Sanchez in police procedural "The Closer" (TNT, 2005-2012). He took time out from this consistent schedule for regular appearances in offbeat sitcom "My Name is Earl" (NBC, 2005-09) and playing psychotic meth dealer Tuco Salamanca in "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013). As "The Closer" came to an end in 2012, spin-off series "Major Crimes" (TNT, 2012-) went into production, again starring Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez. Proving he's one of the hardest working men in showbiz, when showrunner Vince Gilligan came calling about "Breaking Bad" spin-off "Better Call Saul" (AMC, 2015-), Cruz resurrected Tuco, filming his scenes on weekends and during breaks on "Major Crimes."