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30 Years After Being Released, Here’s Where The Cast Of ‘Stand And Deliver’ Are Today

Thirty years ago this year, “Stand and Deliver” was released to the masses and nobody could have predicted the explosive success of the movie. Cuban born Ramón Menéndez was passionate about finding real high school students in el barrio to play the parts. After a disastrous attempt at getting high school students to become instant stellar actors, someone suggested using existing Latino actors who had only been given the opportunity to play one-dimensional violent gang members on screen.

This film gave Latin America some decent racial mirroring for one of the first times, and gave Latinos in Hollywood an opportunity to have range. Also, it gave us a go-to favorite movie you just expected to watch when you had a math sub.

The resemblance between real life Jaime Escalante and Edward James Olmos was uncanny.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latin Heat. 2 October 2018.

The real story goes that Jaime Escalante became a math teacher at James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. In real life, he started teaching AP Calculus to a group of 14 students, of which only five students stayed the course through the end of the year. Only two students passed the AP exam.

Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante

CREDIT: “Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver (1988)” Digital Image. IMDB. 2 October 2018.

Unlike in the movie, Escalante realized he needed to give students years of preparation before taking the AP class. He offered intensive seven-week summer sessions every year to the same students until the infamous class we all know and love.

Edward James Olmos Now

CREDIT: @edwardjolmos / Twitter

The actor is now 71 years old, and that’s what his face looked like after Mexico beat Germany this year. He was the first Mexican-American to earn an Oscar nomination. He’s known for his roles as Lt. Marty Castillo in “Miami Vice,” Selena’s father in “Selena,” Detective Gaff in “Blade Runner” and the voice of Chicharrón in “Coco.”

Rosana DeSoto as Fabiola Escalante

CREDIT: “Stand and Deliver” Digital Image. Listal. 2 October 2018.

DeSoto played Jaime’s supportive wife, Fabiola, in the film. Fun fact: the boy who played Jaime Jr., their son, was the actual son of real life Jaime Escalante.

Rosana DeSoto Now

CREDIT: ai.pictures / YouTube

Born in San Jose, California, DeSoto is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and spent most of her childhood handpicking fruit. She was one of nine siblings and went on to graduate from San Jose State University in Spanish Literature and Drama.

We last saw her as Sonia in “Once Upon a Wedding” in 2005.

Lou Diamond Phillips as Angel Guzman

CREDIT: @stfoodcinema / Twitter

Angel was the toughest cookie to crack. He was a member of the Maravilla gang, and while he definitely showed up as a tough guy that got him kicked out of the class, he’s thirst for learning took over. He begged Escalante to stay in the class and proved that he had a natural talent for math.

Lou Diamond Phillips Now

CREDIT: @LouDPhillips / Twitter

Lou Diamond Phillips is actually not Latino. He was born in the Phillipines and is a mix of Scottish, Irish and Filipino. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in “Stand and Deliver.” Before that role, he made it big in “La Bamba,” but just the year before he was an uncredited terrorist in “Time Bomb.”

Vanessa Marquez as Ana Delgado

CREDIT: @xochster / Twitter

In a LA Times article, we learned that Ana Delgado “was the only teenage character in the film based on a real person.” Her name was changed, but the shy girl who was almost forced to drop out to work in her father’s restaurant. Escalante really did show up at her house and talk with her father, and she was able to stay in school.

Vanessa Marquez Now, deceased

CREDIT: @SPHStiger / Twitter

Vanessa Marquez was tragically killed by a Pasadena police officer on August 30, 2018. She went on to lead a successful career in film and TV and was a key player in the “ER” family. Unfortunately, she suffered from mental illness and was having a seizure when police showed up to her Pasadena home to conduct a welfare check. Ninety minutes into a conversation with authorities, she pulled out what we later learned was a BB gun and pointed it at police, who then opened fire.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Ingrid Oliu as Guadalupe “Lupe” Escobar

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Lupe started out literally protesting Escalante’s educational tactics (i.e. giving quizzes), but eventually became the mother hen and urged her classmates to take the class seriously.

Angel also called her gordita and the queen laid it out, “Don’t call me gordita, pendejo.”

Ingrid Oliu Now

CREDIT: @CaveWoman1963 / Twitter

We know Oliu from “Stand and Deliver” but we also adore her as Estela, America Ferrera’s sister, in “Real Women Have Curves.” We last heard from her when she voiced the role of Officer Renee Montoya in “Batman.” Whatchu up to girl?

Patrick Baca as Javier Perales

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Javier was the stereotypical nerd of the class, but he was in no way shy. He was a total know-it-all and the class got hella annoyed with him. His ego was taken down a notch when he got a low grade from Escalante and was given no special treatment for his previous smarts.

Patrick Baca Now

CREDIT: @PatrickBaca / Twitter

Baca won the Michael Landon award for his performance in “Stand and Deliver,” and has since been nominated for his roles in short films ever since. He’s been busy and we expect to see him in four films that have yet to be released including “Road to Redemption,” “Offer and Compromise,” “Santa’s Boots” and “Hunting Season.”

 Will Gotay as Francisco “Pancho” Garcia

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Pancho is here for the money. He’s a young mechanic, eager to get to work and start making money, and easily discouraged by complicated math problems. Over time, Escalante convinces him that his education is the key to a successful career and he digs into the problems, solving them over time.

Will Gotay Now

CREDIT: @gotaywill / Instagram

Today, Gotay is an Executive Chef. He did go on to perform in “Dolly Dearest” and “Liberty & Bash,” but is living his best life in the kitchen.

Lydia Nicole as Rafaela Fuentes

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. TV Tropes. 2 October 2018.

Rafaela is a recent immigrant to the U.S. and is pretty quiet for the majority of the film. She doesn’t quite fit in with the overly feminized girls that grew up in East LA, and is more of an androgynous, quiet beauty with brains.

Lydia Nicole Now

@iamlydianicole / TwitterNicole grew up in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood of New York. Her radio work brought her to California where she worked in entertainment. Today, she’s best known for hosting the “Common Sense Mamita” web series, where you can find her gathering some “Stand and Deliver” cast members today for reminiscing.

Fun Fact: Senator Rand Paul has plagiarized from the “Stand and Deliver” Wikipedia page.

CREDIT: @drrandpaul / Instagram

Yup, he just straight up read the Wikipedia page of the movie on a speech on immigration in June 2013. Thank you, Rachel Maddow, for giving us this fact.

South Park spoofs Escalante in a 2008 episode, titled “Eek, a Penis!”

CREDIT: Hulu

It was a bit of a twofer. The movie tells the true story of how the students were mistreated with suspicion from the AP Board after they all passed and were forced to retake the exam to maintain their scores.

In this bit, it was also spoofing the NFL controversy around Patriots coach Bill Belichick being caught cheating.

Either way, long live “Stand and Deliver,” and may math teachers request many subs in it’s 30th year anniversary.

CREDIT: @coffee_and_street_art / Instagram

In December 2011, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry for it’s “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” values offered by Latino filmmakers.

Thank you Escalante for your own perseverance in changing the story of those high school students, and inspiring all of us.


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5 Bewitching Facts About Melonie Diaz Who Plays Mel In The 'Charmed' Reboot

entertainment

5 Bewitching Facts About Melonie Diaz Who Plays Mel In The ‘Charmed’ Reboot

meloniediaz / Instagram

Nuyorican actress Melonie Diaz is ready to invoke some fierce spirits and spells as one of the stars of the CW’s reboot of the 1990s classic, “Charmed.” A seasoned actress of independent films, Diaz has had years of preparation for her new network series role. Find out some interesting facts before the show’s premiere on October 14 at 9p.m./8p.m. CST.

Melonie Diaz is here to give you her opinion—and she doesn’t care if you think she’s a witch or not.

Cast as the first sister in the “Charmed” reboot, Diaz is bringing her fierce personality and distaste for the patriarchy to her portrayal of Mel. Mel who wants to create change and engage in the political conversation in this unprecedented time. She kicks butt and questions men who are parading as sexual predators by day and are actually demons at night. Sounds about right.

She’s politically engaged on social media.

Much like her feminist character on the series, Diaz isn’t shy about expressing her political beliefs. Recent tweets include posting hotline information for those that needed support after the infamous Brett Kavanaugh hearing. She also has no concern when it comes to sharing messages from politicians she believes in.

“I’m angry on a visceral level,’ Diaz told the the New York Times. “The way I feel is, ‘How can we not be talking about this? The world is a dumpster fire!'”

Diaz’s academic curriculum has specialized in the performing arts since she was a teen.

Before appearing on a hearty casting list of independent films and on the Broadway stage, Diaz attended the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan. She then received her degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in film production.

Diaz starred in “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler’s first feature film project “Fruitvale Station.”

In 2013, Diaz appeared as the character Sophina in Coogler’s first feature-length film, which garnered him buzz around the film festival circuit.

Diaz is a proud bookworm.

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New book! 🤓

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She often posts on Instagram the books on her current reading list and has encouraged her followers to support the work of minority women writers. All in favor of asking Diaz to start a virtual book club a la Reese Witherspoon, raise your hand. ✊🏻 ✊🏼 ✊🏽 ✊🏾 ✊🏿


READ: J.Lo’s ‘Shades Of Blue’ Has Us All Shades Of Worked Up And We’re Here For It

Are you ready to watch the show with Diaz as a main character? Tell us in the comments below!