This biopic tells of the rise and tragic fall of crossover Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla, who was poised for a bright future when she was gunned down by her former fan club president.

EJO's Role

Edward James Olmos in Selena

Edward James Olmos plays Abraham Quintanilla, father of Selena.

The Numbers

Selena was release on March 21, 1997.

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  • Selena Director Gregory Nava also worked with Edward James Olmos on My Family, which also featured Jennifer Lopez, and on the PBS series "American Family".
  • In Selena, Edward James Olmos plays the father of Jennifer Lopez's father. In My Family, Lopez plays the mother (in flashbacks) of Olmos' character.
  • Constance Marie portrays the mother of Selena, wife of Edward James Olmos' character Abraham. In "American Family" Marie played Olmos' daughter. She was also in My Family as his sister.
  • Selena's Lupe Ontiveros also appeared in My Family with Edward James Olmos, playing his sister.

  • 1998 Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical (Jennifer Lopez)
  • 1998 Grammy Awards: Nominated for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television
  • 1998 ALMA Awards: Won four awards (Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film, Edward James Olmos; Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film, Jennifer Lopez; Outstanding Feature Film; Outstanding Latino Director of a Feature Film, Gregory Nava). Also two other nominations (Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film, Jon Seda; and Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film, Jackie Guerra)
  • 1998 MTV Movie Awards: Nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance (Jennifer Lopez)
  • 1998 Imagen Foundation Awards: Won two awards (Best Motion Picture, tied with The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca; and Lasting Image Award, Jennifer Lopez)
  • 1998 Lone Star Film & Television Awards: Won two awards (Best Actress, Jennifer Lopez, and Best Actor, Edward James Olmos)
  • 1998 Young Artist Awards: One nomination (Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress, Rebecca Lee Meza)


My Take

Selena could have been a dark and tragic film, but instead the makers chose to make it a celebration of the musician's music, happy upbringing and life before it was cut heartbreakingly short by a bullet on March 31, 1995.

It was a smart move. Instead of a depressing film, we get one that captures the exhuberance of the singer's youth and passion for music. We feel her joy at finding success in crossover markets and her family's love for one another.

Leading that family is Abraham Quintanilla, played by Edward James Olmos who infuses his portrayal with humor and patriarchial authority that always puts his family's health, safety and happiness first. Selena is brought to life by pop-star Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) who established herself as an actress with talent while ably lipsyncing the Tejano star's songs in this film.

The rest of the cast performs more than ably as well, particularly Jackie Guerra, who stars as Selena's sister Suzette, and Jon Seda, who plays Chris Perez, Selena's husband.

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Eddie James and the <a href='/edward-james-olmos-pacific-ocean.html'>Pacific Ocean</a>

EJO began his entertainment career as lead singer of a band called Pacific Ocean.


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