Lou Diamond Phillips — 5 Facts You Might Not Know About the 'Prodigal Son' Actor
Prodigal Son and La Bamba actor Lou Diamond Phillips grabbed attention in the late 1980s with his talent and exotic looks.
He has been acting for decades, and even though he’s been in the public eye for quite some time, there’s a lot you may not know about the actor.
Here are 5 facts you never knew about Lou Diamond Phillips.
1. His Ethnic Background
Phillips has played various characters of different ethnicities throughout his career — from a Mexican-American teenager in Stand and Deliver to Thai royalty on Broadway in The King and I.
However, he is frequently cast as a Native American.
The actor is of Filipino, Scottish-Irish, with some Cherokee ancestry.
Philip’s father, Gerald Amon Upchurch, was an American from Georgia and had English and Scots-Irish ancestry. His mother, Lucita Umayam Araña, was Filipino from Candelaria.
Okay...took a breath...picked myself up, dusted myself off...and I’m ready to LIVE TWEET! ONE HOUR #Prodigies! Let’s show ‘em some Style & Grace! Tonight’s ep is AMAZING! #ProdigalSon â¦@prodigalsonfoxâ© â¦@ProdigalWritersâ© pic.twitter.com/QaAEQtf60c — Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) May 11, 2021
2. His Name Bears Military Roots
Besides being an actor, director, producer, and writer, Phillips also serves as the official Veterans For Wars (VFW) national spokesperson. He comes from a long line of people who have served in the military.
His biological father, Gerald, was in the Navy, and Phillips was born Lou Diamond Upchurch in 1962 on the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines.
His father named him after a war hero of the Second World War, Gunnery Sergeant ‘Lou’ Diamond, a U.S. Marine legend in the Pacific Theatre.
After his dad passed, Phillips took his stepfather George’s last name.
3. How Tall Is Lou Diamond Phillips?
Philips also often interacts with fans on Twitter. In fact, he recently answered fans’ queries as well.
In a Tweet, a fan asked about his height, and he revealed that he was 6ft. Of course, some fans were shocked and thought he was lying.
But luckily for him, fan and author, Carolyn Lawrence, came to his rescue and vouched for him.
6 ft. https://t.co/yd0PtftfBM — Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) July 10, 2021
4. Is Lou Diamond Phillips Married?
Philips’s first marriage was with Julie Cypher, who was as assistant director in one of his movies. They married in 1987 and were divorced by 1990. The ex-couple had no children together.
In 1993, the actor met model Kelly Phillips and got married on 24 April 1994. The couple has three daughters.
Their first children, twins Grace and Isabella, were born on 5 October 1997, and their third daughter, Lili Jordan, was born on 26 September 1999.
After 11-years of marriage, the couple finalized their divorce in 2007. The two share custody of their three daughters.
Woohoo! Proud, proud papa today! My @bellaphillipsss graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from #CSUN! Not only that, she’s an Honors Candidate! Love you so much, sweetheart! Congratulations! You earned it! pic.twitter.com/0A9vuQfYad — Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) May 24, 2021
While the actor was separated from his second wife, Kelly, Philips met makeup artist Yvonne Boismier. Love blossomed between the two, and they even got married once his divorce from Kelly was finalized.
But before their wedded bliss, the couple had a rough patch. Boismier accused Philips of domestic abuse and was arrested. Phillips pleaded no contest to the charges, and the couple eventually got married.
They are still married to this day and are parents to a daughter, Indigo Sanara.
5. His Daughter Is a Famous Model
Philips’s oldest daughter, Gracie Philips, whom he shares with former spouse Kelly, is a famous model.
The 23-year-old has been modeling for almost 5 years and is signed to the prestigious Wilhelmina models agency.
She has worked with big names like makeup mogul Pat McGrath, Too Faced cosmetics, and South Beach.
Gracie kept her family background hidden, but in a 2018 interview with Dailymail, the star finally revealed that she was related to the famous actor.
She explained that she did not want her last name to draw criticisms and succeed on her own merit.