A Martinez: biography
A Martinez is an American actor and musician, known for his role as Cruz Castillo in the cult series Santa Barbara. Thanks to the character of a brave policeman, he was rightly called the sex symbol of the TV series.
He was so popular with female viewers that the man could only be compared with Lane Davies, who played Mason Capwell. After completing the project, he managed to release a solo album, which was his cherished dream.
Childhood and youth
A was born in Glendale, California, in September 1948. His full name is Adolfo Larrue Martínez III. The relatives called the boy A, Little Adolfo, or Little A, not to confuse him with his father and grandfather, who had the same names. Soon, A became the name he would use, and the actor did not have to come up with a stage name.
Martinez has a mixed ancestry. A was born in California, his father was of Mexican descent, and his mother was of Indian, German, Irish, and even Slavic ancestry. The boy’s father worked as a teacher, and the mother was a housewife. The woman devoted all her time to raising five sons and a daughter. It was the mother who instilled in A, his brothers and sister strong work ethic, which he would later call his strong point.
At school, A was fond of music and sports. He was a member of a rock band and played for the basketball team. The guy did not dream of becoming an actor because he was much more interested in baseball, basketball, and singing. The parents, who were not connected with the art world, helped their son find a vocal coach. Thus, A Martinez began his creative career. At the age of 12, he became famous as a singer, winning the talent competition title at the Hollywood Bowl. The boy learned to play the guitar and piano on his own.
Martinez later entered the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied acting.
Martinez made his movie debut, playing a bit part in the TV series Bonanza. Then there were the feature films Cowboys, Powwow Highway, and What's Cooking?. In 1978, A appeared as an Indian nicknamed Hawk in the series, telling about the first settlers of America, and in 1979 he starred in the mini-series Centennial.
The main work of A Martinez’s acting career was the role of Cruz Castillo in the television series Santa Barbara. The project made the artist world-famous. Millions of viewers remembered Martinez as a handsome Mexican man, a brave policeman, Cruz Castillo, who faithfully loved Mason Capwell's sister, Eden.
The actor later recalled that for a long time, he did not agree to participate in the project, which was broadcast only during the daytime hours. A thought that this work would not make him so popular as the actors who appeared on the screen in the evening. But Martinez liked the image of Cruz because he had never played “good guys” before.
Later, the artist called the work in the family saga the leading role in his life. It is an interesting fact that in real life, A is not much different from the character who has played a significant role in his life. He prefers American style loose clothing, e.g., jeans, checkered shirts.
For ten years, fans of the series obediently sat in front of the screen, hearing the sting of Santa Barbara. The artist considers the image of Cruz Castillo the best in his career. He played this role in Santa Barbara from 1984 to 1992. Unlike others, his hero has never been replaced. Martinez was awarded the Daytime Emmy Award for the part of Cruz Castillo. In 1990, he was named the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Of course, the role of Cruz Castillo is not the only artist’s work. A Martinez’s filmography has about 100 projects. He starred in American television series and detective movies, and the most popular of them are L.A. Law and General Hospital. But the actor frankly admits that he still misses Castillo.
After Santa Barbara, A Martinez appeared in the popular TV series General Hospital, in which he played gangster Roy DiLucca. The project was shot from 1999 to 2002. During this period, the man received three consecutive ALMA Awards.
A Martinez is an in-demand actor today. In September 2008, he played the role of Ray Montez in the TV series One Life to Live on ABC. In 2009, A played Sheriff in the sci-fi movie The Terminators. Soon, the actor appeared in one episode of the highly-rated detective series Castle. And since 2012, he starred in the television western Longmire for four years.
In 2013, the actor’s filmography included roles in the projects Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian and Curse of Chucky. The first movie told about an American Indian who participated in the Second World War. In this drama, Martinez got a bit part.
The second film belongs to an unusual slasher genre. The actor appeared as Frank's father. A series of bloody killings take place in the city, and the owner of the doll Chucky, girl Nica (Fiona Dourif), begins to suspect that her toy is involved mystically in the crimes.
A year later, A joined the cast of The Night Shift. The Santa Barbara star appeared in several episodes of the medical melodrama.
A real present for the artist was the crime action movie Queen of the South, in which A portrayed the image of a good guy, a Texas sheriff who was involved in the fight against Mexican cartels. The series was warmly received by viewers, so the project was later renewed.
In 1978, A Martinez met his first wife, actress Mare Winningham, on the set of the TV series The Young Pioneers. They got married in 1981 but quickly realized that their marriage was a mistake. Their family life ended a few months later.
Later, A Martinez connected his life with his second wife, Leslie Bryans. They live together today. Before the birth of children, the woman had been engaged in computer graphics. A and Leslie have three children; their son Dakota was born in 1987; at that time, the man participated in the shooting of Cruz and Eden’s honeymoon trip in Paris.
The young father could not stand the separation from his relatives and went to California. Later, A returned with his family to Europe to complete work. His daughters Devon Makena and Ren Farren were born in 1990 and 1993.
The marriage of A Martinez and Leslie Bryans stood the test of time from 1984 to 1992 during the shooting of Santa Barbara. The actor admits that it was difficult for him to block the romantic feeling for actress Marcy Walker, who played the role of Eden Capwell. The on-screen love could have turned into a real one, and A did his best to resist temptation.
A and Leslie saved the marriage. Now Martinez and actress Marcy Walker are on friendly terms. They occasionally get in touch over the phone. In 2005, the woman quitted her film career and became a children's ministry director. A and his family live in a villa that he built for money he earned for Santa Barbara.
A Martinez is an extremely sociable and friendly person. His house is always full of friends. And he often goes with his family in Hawaii. In 1995, the man traveled to Russia, where he visited Moscow and St. Petersburg. The actor was invited to the first TEFI Award ceremony.
Martinez has never forgotten about the love of music. In 2003, his album Fragrance & Thorn was released.
Musical critics claim that his songs are a mixture of soul, gospel, blues, and classical guitar music. Interestingly, the wife insisted that the actor continue his musical career. He even built his own studio to record the album, which Leslie also supported.
A Martinez now
In 2018, fans of the cult series celebrated its 35th anniversary. A lot of reports showed how the leading actors have changed over the years. The photos of the title characters periodically appear on Instagram communities dedicated to cinema. A Martinez is one of those artists who managed to stay afloat.
Nowadays, the actor is shooting in the fantasy action movie Second Sunrise. The film is dedicated to the vampire story. Besides Martinez, the main cast included Zahn McClarnon and Balthazar Getty. Crystle Lightning portrayed the beautiful FBI agent.
As of 2019, A Martinez has a net worth of $8 million.
- 1959—1973 — Bonanza
- 1966—1973 — Mission: Impossible
- 1973 — Police Story
- 1977 — CHiPs
- 1984—1992 — Santa Barbara
- 1989 — She-Devil
- 1994 — She Led Two Lives
- 1997—2000 — The Hunger
- 1999—2002 — General Hospital
- 2010 — Castle
- 2012—2016 — Longmire
- 2013 — Curse of Chucky
- 2014 — The Night Shift
- 2016 – Queen of the South