This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Tony Plana" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Tony Plana
Tony Plana in 2019.jpg
Plana in 2019
José Antonio Plana

(1952-04-19) April 19, 1952 (age 70)
Alma materLoyola Marymount University
OccupationActor, director
Years active1974-present
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
(m. 1988)

José Antonio Plana (born April 19, 1952) is a Cuban American actor and director.[1] He is known for playing Betty Suarez's father, Ignacio Suarez, on the ABC television show Ugly Betty, and for voicing Manuel "Manny" Calavera in the video game Grim Fandango.

Early life and education

Plana was born in Havana, Cuba.[2] His family moved to Miami in 1960.[3] He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and was trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK.


While known to a broad audience for his roles in feature films and television, Plana is also known for his skills in acting and directing for the stage. He has created and directed a number of Shakespeare productions for minority audiences and has been active in the Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York City theater communities, including leading appearances on Broadway and at New York City's Public Theater. He originated the role of Rudy in the L.A. production of Luis Valdez's play Zoot Suit, going on to play Rudy in the film version.[4]

Plana has acted, directed and written for television in series, miniseries, and specials such as Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Resurrection Boulevard, Commander in Chief, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The West Wing, 24, and Cagney & Lacey.

Plana has acted in films such as An Officer and a Gentleman, Three Amigos, Goal!, and Lone Star. He is known to PC gamers as the voice of Manny Calavera in the LucasArts 1998 adventure game Grim Fandango. In 2011, Plana guest starred in Desperate Housewives as Gabrielle Solis's abusive stepfather, Alejandro Perez. He also directed Witch's Lament, a Desperate Housewives episode in the show's eighth season. In 2011, he appeared in Body of Proof, in the episode "Helping Hand".

Plana participated in the web series Los Americans (2011), about a middle-class family in Los Angeles.

Plana teaches acting at California State University, Dominguez Hills and Rio Hondo College. In 2012, he served as an official judge for the Noor Iranian Film Festival.


Plana volunteers as a spokesperson for comprehensive immigration reform.[5] He was the keynote speaker for the 2012 LULAC conference in Coronado Springs Convention Center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.[6]




Selected filmography

Voice acting


  1. ^ "Happy (belated) Birthday, Tony Plana!". 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  2. ^ Verdeja, Sam; Martine, Guillermo (2012). Cubans, an Epic Journey: The Struggle of Exiles for Truth and Freedom. Reedy Press LLC. ISBN 978-1-935-80620-2.
  3. ^ Yahoo! Movies biography
  4. ^ Berumen, Frank Javier Garcia (2014-08-22). Latino Image Makers in Hollywood: Performers, Filmmakers and Films Since the 1960s. McFarland. ISBN 9781476614113.
  5. ^ Reform Immigration Now clip with Tony Plana on YouTube
  6. ^ 2012 LULAC Convention: Tony Plana, Actor introduces the March from Selma to Montgomery Video on YouTube
  7. ^ The 11th Annual Satellite Awards Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. Last accessed January 9, 2007.
  8. ^ The Paper Chase, Season 1, Episode 15: "The Man in the Chair" (YouTube)