From Foster to Famous: Esai Morales

Actor Esai Morales, 54, grew up in a vibrant Puerto Rican neighborhood after his parents immigrated to New York.

Despite the closeness of his neighborhood, Morales reportedly had a difficult relationship with his mother. After running away several times, he ultimately became a ward of the state. His mother returned to Puerto Rico.

While living in a group home, Morales studied at New York City’s High School of Performing Arts. He made his on-stage debut at the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park.

Since then, Morales has appeared in Vanished, NYPD Blue, Criminal Minds and How to Get Away With Murder.

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Sources: IMB,, Wikipedia