What is Jimmy Smits' ethnicity? In The Heights star stuns onscreen

Olivia Olphin June 11, 2021

In The Heights has opened in cinemas across the United States and people are loving the story about Usnavi, and the community who live in Washington Heights. This musical extravaganza stars veteran actor Jimmy Smits. We give you all the details about the new film, his career and ethnicity.

Veteran actor is thrilled to be a part of In The Heights

According to Vanity Fair, Smits has been trying to get the part of Nina’s father, Kevin Rosario, since he saw the original production of In The Heights in 2007.

For many years, Jimmy Smits has been an inspiring role model for many young Latino people trying to break into the acting profession.

His career skyrocketed with the release of LA Law and NYPD Blue in the 1990s.

Smits is incredibly grateful to be a part of the In The Heights film. Even the premiere means a lot to him. As he told People magazine: “This whole thing about the premiere with the movie is going to be so emotional for me because I haven’t really seen my extended family. I haven’t seen my kids, my adult kids.

“They’re on the East Coast. Everybody’s in New York, so it’s just me and my honey here. Yeah, it’s going to be… I’m going to take my hankies with me.”

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What is Jimmy Smits’ ethnicity?

Jimmy Smits’ father, Cornelius, is from Suriname, and his mother, Emilina, is from Puerto Rico.

Suriname is the smallest independent country in South America. It was formerly known as Dutch Guiana, being a former Dutch Colony before gaining independence on 25 November 1975.

Smits has stated he comes from a “lower middle class” background and that both his parents were labourers, and hardworking people.

However, he was born on 9 July 1955 in Brooklyn, New York, so his nationality is officially American.

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Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Smits has has an illustrious and long-lasting career. He is perhaps best known for playing Senator Bail Organa in the Star Wars prequels, and in the recent film Rogue One.

He has also starred in hit TV shows such as Sons Of Anarchy, Dexter, The West Wing, NYPD Blue and LA Law.

Jimmy Smits is also well known for his work on Broadway, starring in the plays God Of Carnage and Anna In The Tropics.

Who is his character, Kevin Rosario, from In The Heights

Kevin Rosario is the businessman father of Nina Rosario. He runs the cab company Rosario’s and is known for being hard-working and successful.

Just like Smits, Rosario comes from a working-class background, as his parents were formerly farmers.

He is incredibly proud of his daughter as she has been studying at Stamford University. However, Kevin Rosario is also incredibly overprotective of Nina, especially when it comes to her love interest, Benny.

If you catch the movie at the cinema you will hear Jimmy Smits singing Kevin Rosario’s song Inútil, which means useless.

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While Kevin Rosario is seen as a savvy businessman, Jimmy Smits has also amassed quite a fortune. His net worth is thought to be about $15 million.

We can think of 96,000 reasons why we want to watch In The Heights, and we can’t wait to see what Jimmy Smits brings to the film.

Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.