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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

I'm also certain that you've seen Rubén Blades at some point over his 36-year acting career on the big and small screens.

He's mostly known as a go-to supporting man -- the guy to call to play a Latino character with gravitas and, occasionally, desert-dry wit.

Among his best-known roles are Sheriff Montoya in the critically acclaimed 1988 picture "The Milagro Beanfield War" (directed by a young guy by the name of Robert Redford), Det. Danny Archuleta in 1990's "Predator 2," and retired FBI man Jorge in the 2003 action thriller "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

However acting is only part of Blades's stardom. He first found fame as a salsa musician -- indeed, his first film credit is as a song composer for a 1983 short film.

His music and acting occasionally came together, such as in the 2016 boxing biopic "Hands of Stone," in which several of his songs appeared, and he played boxer Robert Duran's manager.

Blades's musical and acting fame also boosted his third career, as a political activist and politician. He even ran for the presidency of his native Panama in 1994, and later served as minister of tourism in the mid-2000s.


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