Ruben Blades

Ruben Blades Photo


Date of Birth: July 16, 1948

Born in Panama City, Panama, Rubén Blades studied and practiced law in his native land before joining his parents in Miami, Florida in 1974. He then went to Harvard, where he obtained a masters in law and later returned to earn a doctorate in international law. In the late 1970s, he concentrated on a music career, following in his parents’ footsteps (his father was a drummer and his mother a singer) by popularizing salsa. His 1978 album “Siembra” was a best seller and he has gone on to win four Grammy awards for releases such as “Escanas” and “Tiempos.”

His feature film debut was in The Last Fight (1983), in which he played the lead role of Andy ‘Kid’ Clave, and he also composed a song for the film. Blades played a salsa singer in Crossover Dreams (1985), for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as Best Male Lead. His next film was the mainstream Hollywood comedy, Critical Condition (1987), playing opposite Richard Pryor. Next up was a lead role in Fatal Beauty (1987) with Whoopi Goldberg, followed by Robert Redford’s The Milagro Beanfield War (1988). He has worked steadily since, both in major feature films and on television, where he has twice been nominated for Emmy awards.

In 1992, Blades (pronounced Blah-dez) founded the Papa Egoró political party and placed third in Panama’s 1994 presidential election, pulling in 20 percent of the vote. In 1997, Blades starred in the Broadway musical The Capeman, composed by Paul Simon. Blades took on his first regular role in a TV series with Gideon’s Crossing for the 2000 to 2001 season, playing Dr. Max Cabranes, and the same year, appeared in the feature film All the Pretty Horses (2000) starring Matt Damon. When Gideon’s Crossing folded after one season, Blades returned to the big screen in projects such as Assassination Tango (2002) co-starring Robert Duvall, Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) with Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp, and Imagining Argentina (2003), again with Antonio Banderas.

Since September 1, 2004, Blades has been the Manager of the Panama Tourism Bureau and Minister of Tourism. Filmography:

Sequestro Express (2005)
Spin (2004)
Imagining Argentina (2003)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
Assassination Tango (2002)
All the Pretty Horses (2000)
The Cradle Will Rock (1999)
Chinese Box (1997)
Scorpion Spring (1997)
The Devil's Own (1997)
Color of Night (1994)
A Million to Juan (1994)
Life with Mikey (1993) (uncredited)
The Super (1991)
Heart of the Deal (1990)
Predator 2 (1990)
The Lemon Sisters (1990)
The Two Jakes (1990)
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Disorganized Crime (1989)
Homeboy (1988)
The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)
Fatal Beauty (1987)
Critical Condition (1987)
Crossover Dreams (1985)
The Last Fight (1983)