For the first time, Edward James Olmos is detailing his difficult battle with throat cancer. The 76-year-old “Battlestar Galactica” star and founder of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival shared his recent experience in an interview with Mando Fresko on his podcast “Mando & Friends.”
Olmos received his last round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment in December and is now focusing on recovery. “I sit here saying now to you, Mando and friends, that one thing that I’m very grateful for was that I was in condition to fight this,” Olmos said. “I was in good condition — and I still am. I swim a mile a day at least, sometimes two miles a day. Every day, seven days a week. And then I row and do weights.”
Olmos said his bout with cancer caused him to lose more than 50 pounds, including a large amount of his muscle mass.
“There were times in the months of treatment that the body gives up. And I didn’t want to take my food through my stomach,” Olmos said. “They had to get 2,500 calories into my body every day. That was ridiculous, that was so hard.” He also shared that doctors were unable to ensure what his voice, such a part of his signature as an actor, would sound like after treatment.
“It was an experience that changed me totally, the understanding of how wonderful this life is. I’ve been through some experiences that have gotten me close to death, but that was really close,” he said.
In addition to “Battlestar Galactica,” Olmos’ many other credits including the 1980s hit series “Miami Vice.” He earned an Oscar nomination for lead actor for his work in 1988’s “Stand and Deliver.”
The 22nd LALIFF festival runs May 31 to June 4 at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood.