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Richard Cabral

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Cabral
Richard Cabral by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Cabral at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1984-08-28) August 28, 1984 (age 34)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesBaby Jokes
Years active2009–present
Janiece Sarduy (m. 2014)
Children4 children

Richard Cabral (born August 28, 1984) is an American actor, occasional producer and writer. He is best known for his roles on the ABC television series American Crime, which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2015, and the Fox television series Lethal Weapon.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ NYE 17 Opening Event - Positive Because Appealing
  • ✪ Interview with RICHARD CABRAL: From prison to Hollywood, guided from GOD
  • ✪ Richard Cabral Salazar HS 2018


Picture yourself being born, coming out of your mother's womb at the age you are now, at this very moment. What would be the first, absolutely your first initial reaction? If I were to open my eyes for the first time in this instant, emerging from my mother's womb I would be overpowered by the wonder and awe of things as present. I would be bowled over and amazed by the stupefying repercussion of a presence, which is expressed in current language by the word 'thing'. Things. That's something. Thing, which is a concrete and if you please, banal version of the word being. Being, not as some abstract entity, but as a presence. A presence which I do not myself make. Which I find. A presence which imposes itself upon me. Empirically translated, it is the original perception of a given. Gift. One comes to understand oneself as a given, as made, and this last step within the perception of reality as thing, things. The prime, original intuition is the awe in front of this given, and of the 'I' as a part of it. The prime, original intuition then is the awe in front of a given, the 'I' is a part of it. First you are struck, then comes the recognition that you've been struck. It is from this idea gift originates. And without this concept, everything man touches turns to dust. I open my eyes to this reality which imposes itself upon me, which doesn't depend on me, but upon which I depend. It is the great conditioning factor of my existence is the awe which awakens the ultimate questions within us. Not as a cold observation but as a wonder pregnant with an attraction. Almost a passivity in which simultaneously is conceived an attraction. The wonder of the presence attracts me. And that is how the search within me breaks out. And what is the formula for the journey to the ultimate meaning of reality? How can this enormously rich experience to the human heart become vivid? How can it become powerful in the impact with the real? The formula for the journey to the meaning of reality is to live always the real intensely. Without preclusion, without denying or forgetting anything. [APPLAUSE] [RICHARD CABRAL] Thank you. I was asked to give a brief history, story of who I am and where I am today. So I wrote this for you guys. I came from a world that never planned for me to succeed. Opinion, some might say. Well, if they lived a day in my shoes they might have the right to say. If they grew up in a family that cursed you before you were born, they have the right to say. If your mom was an alcoholic, and dad was nowhere to be found, they have the right to say. If you were looking for toys at your grandma's house, and stumbled upon your Uncle's heroin syringe, they have the right to say. Violence, gangs, and drugs, my mind, body, and spirit was shattered. It was all meant to be, God was gonna make everything all right. The truth is, my uncle sliced his wrists to commit suicide. My grandfather came home night after night, drunk, beat my grandmother in front of my mother, aunt, and uncles. My little cousin was walking home in the night. A little homie drove up on his side, asked him what gang he's from, and he shot him in the face. No laughs. No whispers. This is reality at its finest. But I do not accept what happened to me as an innocent child was normal. For the trauma I endured would be an obstacle I will forever have to face. It prepared me for survival in a violent, savage,world. the world of the streets, gangs, and prisons. Society threw us in the barrio in the ghetto, and told us, "figure it out". I was given no education that was worthwhile, no history of my people, schools and housing projects look like prisons. Disconnection to our roots has always been death to our people. Society fed us the crumbs and told us that is all we are good for. The barrio has not changed; more liquor stores than libraries, more poisonous food than health food, it is easier to find the dope spot in my community than a museum or a well of knowledge. Broken society produces broken homes which products a broken family, which ultimately produces a broken child. For every outlet there was an empty source. The only true outlet is to tap within. But I had no clue of what "tapping within" even looked like at that time. It wasn't my mother's fault, it wasn't my father's fault, for I know society had failed them, too. As an adolescent, the ruthlessness of life was to be accepted. On this side of the tracks gangs, violence, and drugs are to be accepted. My family has been involved in gangs since the 1970s. East Los Angeles fermented hopelessness. A quote from Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries "there is no hopeful child that becomes a gang member". My life of incarceration and drug use would begin at thirteen years old and this fate was welcome with open arms. In our communities we are given no alternative. Year after year I would continue the journey of what I thought my life was to become, for it was a story I told myself. It was the story me and my friends told ourselves. Twenty years old would be a critical point in my life for I committed a crime like no other. This act would have my life hanging by a thread. I was involved in a gang shooting and faced thirty-five years to life for attempted murder. Sitting in a cell in Allen County jail, I had the time to think of what my life had become. This is when I began to question why had my life turned out like this? Who had I become? Was death better than this reality? This is where my spiritual calling to God began to manifest its voice. For there was no help that man or woman could give me the true answers that lie within ourselves. It was me, in a lonely cell, with lonely thoughts crying to God. Through the grace of God and the spirit I was given the chance to come home again. I was given five years in prison, a relief, considering what I was facing. I was forced to think about life. Forced to see the reality at hand. People were dying in these streets. People were getting life in prison. These years in prison would be a time to think about my upbringing and what the streets gave me. I would meet men who had been incarcerated for twenty-five years. See men throw away their life in prison gangs. My friends would continue to die on the streets. See men get stabbed from numerous reasons in prisons. See the sickness and the reality of the gang world that I had once glamorized and dreamt about. I came home a young man who had witnessed and undergone his share of reality in this cold world. For I did not know what to become, but I knew my life of a gang member and a prisoner could not continue. A felon with two strikes on parole, not the most welcoming situation in seeking employment. Society never lets you forget about your downfalls and my chances of starting a new life--it was not welcoming. With nowhere to go I walked into Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles, seeking the help of Father Greg Boyle. Its motto, "nothing stops a bullet like a job". For I did not know what this man's soul possessed, for all I was seeking was employment. I sat there nervously waiting for my turn to be called. Waiting for the world to judge me again. My name was called and I walked into his office. I did not have no skills. Not much education. See, all I had was the truth. I was twenty-five years old, on parole, and I was tired of living a lie. I left his office with a job that day. But more than that, you see I left with hope. I left with the belief in me that I never had. For I was not just an inmate number, I was not just a name to him, I was not just a kid from the barrio that never felt loved. You see, he took that moment to talk to me. He took that moment to look me in the eyes--from birth to broken homes to the streets to gangs and to prison subconsciously we are told we are nothing, we believe we are nothing. Believing Homeboys that day made that little flame in my soul spark again. You see Father Greg helped me believe in love again. for someone else believed in me, how could I not believe in myself? For someone else loved me, how could I not love myself? I have worked hard to rewire my mind and I will forever work in that process to not judge my upbringing but to simply help myself understand it. I am not ashamed and hold no regrets, for without my suffering, I would not be here today. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] [FATHER VINCE NAGLE] Listening to you I felt like you were talking about really a new birth. I mean, as if you had been generated another time, not leaving anything behind, from what had come before, but that life suddenly had a new, as if it was a new word because it was a new meaning, there was a new place. You were in the same barrio, but now you were in a new place. It sounds like that. You know "I had nothing but the truth," you said, "and I didn't want to live a lie any more". I want to know what that truth was, I want to know, can you tell me, can you tell me something about that lie. Just to say "I didn't want to live that lie any more". What's the lie? [RICHARD CABRAL] I believe it was, the story I was telling myself, the story that our society tells ourselves. We talked about this earlier that we tell ourselves a story and that is what we believe. I had embarked on this journey at thirteen years old, that was a transitional period, and me and my friends all had embarked on this journey. I was twenty-five years old and my son was born--what I didn't mention is my son was already born--he was five years old and I was coming out of prison and my son didn't know me. I had nothing; I had nothing to show for myself or my family and I think that was the lie. It really came down to that. I had glamorized this vision. [FR VINCE NAGLE] Yeah you had glamorized. You said you had welcomed this--the gang, with open arms. [RICHARD CABRAL] Right. [FR VINCE NAGLE] This was, you had thought about the struggle between the gangs as something you dreamed of; the glory you dreamed of. But when you were a boy and you dreamed of the glory of taking part in this great struggle, what did you hope to gain from that? [RICHARD CABRAL] I believe I was searching for love, as a child, and I think we're all searching for love as children, and just growing up in a broken home like me and my friends and my family and my cousins, the love wasn't there. My dad had left me and so I didn't have the love from him. then, my mom was struggling with her own demons, so I didn't have the love from her. So, you're constantly searching, searching, and then you turn that age where you're like, wow, I guess the streets, these men, these young men, like-- and we're all broken and the thing that we don't talk about, all of us are suffering the same way. But we don't talk about it. [FR VINCE NAGLE] Nope. Because that's weakness and it feels like you can't win that way. [RICHARD CABRAL] Right. [FR VINCE NAGEL] You can't win the struggle. So, you've said by belonging to a band of brothers that fought, that hoped to win and defeat their enemies, you felt love coming that way. [RICHARD CABRAL] Definitely. I believe gang members are the most lovable people. [Audience laughs] If you think about it, a gang member will die for his brother. A gang member will die for his brother or his sister. So you have to really love, deeply, in order to take that sacrifice for somebody. [FR VINCE NAGLE] You know I'm gonna insert something here. This is an amazing--you know my father was in WWII, in Normandy, and when we were growing up he didn't want to talk about that. It was all nightmare, horrible. We never talked about it but when he was older, he began to go to the reunions of all the soldiers and stuff. And that became so important to him towards the end of his life that it was really I think in some ways it became more important than his relationship with his family. And it was this--what you're saying. You know, as he got towards the end of his life, he needed to be with those men because that was the experience he had, that he was certain that the person next to him would give his life for him. You know, that's love. That is love, but, it was a love that brought about death. You know it was a love in service of something that wasn't true, I guess, and that's the lie. It was ultimately, it was love captured by a lie, somehow. And then you said, when I went to see Father Greg, I had nothing but the truth of my life. Can you open that up a bit? [RICHARD CABRAL] I was at the point of surrender. I had to really surrender to what is. Unless you surrender, you can't really--there's something still hindering, you're still holding onto. [FR VINCE NAGEL] Well, this is it. I think that we're all here exactly for what-- wow, that is great because reality scares the crap out of us, right? And the gangs are there, to protect their barrio, their neighborhood, make sure things go right for them, that the money comes to them. But it's fear. I think the lie that captures the love in the gang is the fear. In the end the reason for that gang is not to build something, but to protect each other. Not to build anything, there's nothing to build. So, it's the fear that has brought you together, and in the end there is love, but it's serving a lie. And you said you have to surrender to what is, you have to-- we would say reality, because that is what we're taught to say. Surrender to reality. This is why you are here to speak to us because surrender to reality isn't easy because you know, and you know more than I know, or perhaps even these people know. You know that reality will kill you. And that's not a maybe. Reality is gonna kill you, kill everyone you love, and it's gonna take away everything you loved in this world. Why, so now I'm asking you, why surrender to reality? You said, why surrender to what is? [RICHARD CABRAL] It was the only way I believe to start this life, because you go on now, I had full throttle into this vision, and I had put my life on the line for this vision, and when it was all said and done, it was nothing. So, I was back to square A as they say. And most people don't want to go back to square A, because it's work. I knew it was gonna take work to get here... [FR VINCE NAGLE] It's work and it's humiliating. [RICHARD CABRAL] Right, it is humiliating to just to go back to your family and to tell them, you know what guys, I have to start new. but it's what you need to do. [FR VINCE NAGLE] That's it. You said it so well. The reason to surrender is because it's true that reality kills us, but it's the only place life comes from. And here's, I guess, the great human drama, why we're here to discuss, why we're moved by you, why we want to see and hear more is because the life that reality gives us, is a greater life than we know, and we have to really ask for it. It's not something we're gonna say "thank you" and put it in our pocket we're always gonna be asking for that more life, deeper life, more mysterious life, truer life than we had before mamma mia. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] I have a question for you. When you started off correctly talking about cursed from the womb, well, now you're a dad, and you've had children of your own who've gone through the womb of their mothers, and are they cursed? I mean, you are their father, right? That's what I'm saying. And therefore, you're the one who has to point out what the struggle is really for, what love really is, and what reality really is. How do you envision helping them look at reality and surrender? How do you help them do that which you described your parents weren't able to help you do that. [RICHARD CABRAL] If I don't take it, like my mom and my father didn't take the reins to really shape me into this world, then the world shaped me. The streets, my mother and father weren't there to let me know and to guide me, so ultimately the streets is what guided me. And I have to be there to reinforce that story that my children need to follow the truth, because if I don't teach them, someone else is gonna teach them. [FR VINCE NAGLE] OK, this was not planned, OK, but you said the magic word for me. I feel like the jack-in-the-box that jumped out [LAUGHTER] you know I need to tell them the story, the true story. This is it. This is I think, what makes your acting come alive. What makes you so alive to us is that you have discovered a true story and you are just bursting with a desire to live that true story, discover it, and tell it. And, I think, you know, you had one story before and it was false, because it was a story of fear. It sounds like the story that you wanted to talk about, that you want to talk about now is the only story you want to talk about is the story, the way you describe it with your meeting with Father Greg is a story of love. So what is it that you want, and love builds; fear defends. Love builds. Cause it's always more. And, what is it that you're trying to build? What is the life you're trying to build with your children, with their mother, with your friends, your family? [RICHARD CABRAL] Love as you say, you're always gonna, we're not perfect, we're always gonna stumble but I think it's exactly what you said, that love will overpower all. As long as I get up and dust myself off and continue to show them what love is, to be there for them--those lessons that I got from my mother and my father, even though they hurt me at that time, that was some of the greatest lessons because that showed me what not to do. [FR VINCE NAGLE] Yeah. No that is one of the greatest lessons, and I think this is important what you keep saying, you never want to leave that first part of your life behind. This is what you're always saying. [RICHARD CABRAL] We're gonna leave this world, I know, we were talking about death earlier, and sometimes we hate to face it in this society but death is gonna come. I know that, I can't live here forever. It's here, it's here. It's like this thing that's always chasing you. But want to know when on my dying day, on my deathbed or wherever I pass away that I did that much, that I left this world a little bit better than when I came in for my children. My children are gonna be here. And I think that's what I strive for to do everyday now. [FR VINCE NAGLE] So, here's what I see. You've got this story. And it's a good story because what has appeared on the horizon is a good ending. Otherwise, you wouldn't want to tell the story and we wouldn't want to hear it. And because this good ending has appeared on the horizon through an act of love that has changed you that is still changing you, an act of love that you want to share, not only with your children but with everybody. That's why you're acting, that's why you're telling stories, right? [RICHARD CABRAL] Right. [FR VINCE NAGLE] But because it's an act of, because you've discovered through love, this mysterious good ending on the horizon, it's like it's already here. The way death is already here. You know, we're tasting it already, we're seeing it already, we're feeling it already. And is love, is love where death is going to? Only if love takes us there. Only if love takes us there, only if love takes us to death will death take us to love. Do you know what I mean? If we surrender, if we surrender and let it take us right even to death, then will death take us--instead of fear taking us to death, love taking us to death, and therefore, that will bring us to this beautiful something that's on the horizon. But here's the important thing. I believe, you know, you got out of prison, and said, man, we're gonna do something new, we're not doin' that old thing before. We're doing something new. And you didn't have any idea about that, you just knew that what I was doin' before, no way, no way, no way. But, nonetheless, when I hear you speak, you don't want to leave behind anything of what was before, even though something new has begun. And what does that tell me? That tells me that this love that has entered into your life has somehow brought all of the old stuff into that beauty. All of your life, not just the good parts, but all of your life is part of this love now. Is part of this good story. Even those horrible things, you know that, you just pray that your son will never do. But even if he does, that can be part of a good story, too, because this love can meet him, even in those things. Does that make sense? [RICHARD CABRAL] Yes. [FR VINCE NAGLE] Even if your son does worse than you, and much worse than you; you still have hope for him, because you met a love that, right in the middle of those things, that made even those things part of a good story, part of a good story. And this is what you want for your son, I think, this good story, no matter what. No matter what. Still, we don't want him to do those things. [LAUGHTER] [RICHARD CABRAL] I'm hoping he doesn't have to. [FR VINCE NAGLE] That's right. You're working hard. [RICHARD CABRAL] I'm working my butt off. [FR VINCE NAGLE] That's right. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER and APPLAUSE] And neither your daughters. But you know, you're workin' hard to give them the things that they didn't have, but I think, when I hear you speak. the greatest thing you can do is give them your hope. And the hope born of a love that appears as a good ending, that says, hey, this is a good story. And if this is a good story, then I have hope. It doesn't get rid of anything. The fact it is a good story doesn't get rid of anything. Wow. So if you'll have another girl, maybe you'll call her Esperanza. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] [RICHARD CABRAL] No. And I think for me, the biggest thing is to be of service, like, a lot of people say, like, I'm in this Hollywood world, and I could have turned my back. Like, I don't have to come back to prisons, I don't have to come do talks, but I believe that God did this for me to send that message of hope, because the reality is that my people, our people are still suffering in this world and what good is this love, what good is this insight if I keep it all for myself? To be of service? [FR VINCE NAGLE] That's it, that's service. Share the hope. That's it. That's a good definition. You were asking me about what service was, but I think you just answered that. Service is to share the hope, that's it. But to share the hope, my experience is you gotta go down into the pain. [RICHARD CABRAL] Right. It hurts when you gotta go back down there. But I believe the only way that I can convey that message--we can talk about the outside all we want, but until we start talking about the trauma, until we start talking about the inner stuff, that's when I believe-- that's only when the healing, that's when you can really start healing. [FR VINCE NAGLE] That's why you said I like to take the roles that are dramatic, and nitty gritty. You know, that get down to the hard stuff, the hard stuff that demands hope, that demands hope. WEell, we're getting to the end of this talk and I'm sorry cause it feels like we're just getting started. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] So, we can only thank you for coming. [RICHARD CABRAL] Thank you. [AUDIENCE APPLAUSE] [MUSIC--LEONARD COHEN, "ANTHEM"]


Early life

Cabral grew up in East Los Angeles, in a second-generation Mexican-American family. He became active in gang activity from an early age.[1] He said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that his family had been a part of the gang scene since the 1970s. He was a documented member of a gang in the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey. When he was a child, he was separated from his family. He was incarcerated at the age of 13 for stealing a wallet.[2] Cabral developed an addiction to crack cocaine by the age of 15.[3] He obtained his GED as a teenager but once again got in trouble with the law. He was sentenced to prison for violent assault with a deadly weapon, and was released at the age of 25.


While Cabral was trying to turn his life around, his friends recommended he seek out the services of Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program based in Los Angeles.[2] He began to act. In 2009, Cabral appeared in the television show Southland. In 2010, he appeared in the music video for Bruno Mars' single "Grenade".

In 2015, Cabral starred in the mini-series American Crime, in which he portrayed the character Hector Tontz.[4] For his role, Cabral was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards.

In 2016, Cabral co-wrote with Robert Egan a one-man show called Fighting Shadows, about his experiences as a former gang member who spent years in and out of prison.[5]


In 2013, Cabral won the Lo Maximo award from Homeboy Industries, which honors HI service recipients who give back to the community.[6]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 A Better Life Marcelo Valdez
2012 End of Watch Demon
2013 Snitch Flaco
2013 The Counselor The Green Hornet
2014 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Arturo Lopez
2014 Walk of Shame Gang Member
2016 Blood Father Joker
2017 Khali the Killer Khali
2018 Breaking In Duncan
2018 Peppermint Salazar
2018 All Creatures Here Below Hugo Post-Production
2019 Windows on the World Domingo


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Southland Joker Ruiz Episode: "Derailed"
2011 Southland Cholo #2 Episode: "Code 4"
2011 Southland Leprechaun 3 episodes
2011 Body of Proof Jorge Episode: "Hunting Party"
2012 Luck Store Clerk Episode: "#1.3"
2013 Chicago Fire Inmate Rios Episode: "A Hell of a Ride"
2014 Bosch Jimmy Uribe (uncredited) Episode: "Chapter One: 'Tis the Season"
2014 Key and Peele Eduardo Episode: "Terrorist Meeting"
2015 American Crime Hector Tonz 11 episodes
2016 American Crime Sebastian De Le Torre 5 episodes
2016–17 Lethal Weapon Detective Alex Cruz 8 episodes
2017 American Crime Isaac Castillo 5 episodes
2018–present Mayans MC Johnny "El Coco" Cruz 10 episodes
2019 Into the dark Episode: "Culture Shock"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2015 67th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
American Crime
19th OFTA Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Nominated
2016 20th Satellite Awards Best Ensemble – Television Series (shared with the ensemble) Won


  1. ^ "Former Mexican Gang Member Richard Cabral Reveals How He Left Streets to Star in ABC's 'American Crime'". Latin Post.
  2. ^ a b "How Former Gang Member Richard Cabral Went From Prison To Prime Time". 16 September 2015.
  3. ^ "'American Crime' Star Richard Cabral Reveals His Past of Crack Addiction, Life in Gangs". Entertainment Tonight.
  4. ^ "Richard Cabral as Hector Tontz - American Crime". ABC.
  5. ^ "FIGHTING SHADOWS with Emmy Nominee Richard Cabral to Play Rosenthal Theater". Broadway World.
  6. ^ Homeboy Industries. "Richard Cabral - Lo Maximo 2013 - Homeboy Industries". YouTube. Retrieved 2 October 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 April 2019, at 15:24
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