Raymond Cruz (born July 9, 1961) is an American actor, best known for his starring role as Detective Julio Sanchez in the series The Closer and his recurring role as the drug lord Tuco Salamanca in the crime drama Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul. He also starred on the series Major Crimes, a spinoff of The Closer, reprising the role of Sanchez.[1]

Raymond Cruz
Raymond Cruz February 2015.jpg
Cruz in 2015
Born (1961-07-09) July 9, 1961 (age 58)
EducationEast Los Angeles College
Years active1987–present

Early lifeEdit

Cruz was born in Los Angeles, and attended East Los Angeles College. Of Mexican descent, he grew up in a neighborhood that regularly saw gang activity, a reality he brings to his roles, particularly as Julio Sanchez on The Closer and Major Crimes, as well as a range of gang-affiliated characters[citation needed]. In an interview with LADbible, Cruz stated he witnessed someone get shot in front of him when he was 12 years old, noting that "his brains came out the back of his head."[2]

Cruz has said that becoming interested in American literature early in life helped him avoid joining such gangs himself.[3] His favorite novel is Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.[4][5]


His film roles include Ding Chavez in Clear and Present Danger, Hector in "Out For Justice", Tom Berenger's second-in-command Joey Six in The Substitute, U.S. Marine Sergeant Rojas in The Rock, as Jesus in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, USM Private Vincent DiStephano in Alien: Resurrection, and Ramirez in Under Siege. He appeared as Chuey, a gang member from the Vatos Locos, in the gang film Blood In Blood Out. In 2005, he played Chino in Havoc. He appeared in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, credited as "The Messenger," and in Training Day as a gang member named Sniper. He played a Los Angeles firefighter in Collateral Damage. He had guest roles in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Siege of AR-558", the X-Files episode "El Mundo Gira", and the second season of 24. He also made an appearance as the father of a murdered girl in CSI. He played a short-lived but well-known role as Tuco Salamanca, a sadistic and sociopathic meth dealer in Breaking Bad in 2008 and 2009. He later reprised the role of Tuco in the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul. He had a recurring role as Paco on My Name Is Earl, and as Alejandro Perez on Nip/Tuck. He is also the CEO of Toosho nawmshayin



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Maid to Order Sam
1988 Twice Dead Gang member
1989 I Know My First Name is Steven Punk
1990 Gremlins 2: The New Batch Messenger
1990 Cold Dog Soup Gang member
1991 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside Montoya Television film
1991 Dead Again Store clerk
1991 Out for Justice Hector
1991 Perfect Crimes Diego Television film
1992 Man Trouble Balco
1992 Nails Paco Sanchez Television film
1992 Judgement Cyclone
1992 Under Siege Ramirez
1993 Blood In Blood Out Chuy
1993 When the Party's Over Mario
1994 Dead Badge Tomas Gomez
1994 Clear and Present Danger Ding Chavez
1994 Dragstrip Girl Doogie Television film
1995 Operation Dumbo Drop Staff Sergeant Adams Uncredited
1996 The Substitute Joey Six
1996 The Rock Sergeant Rojas Uncredited
1996 Up Close and Personal Fernando Buttanda
1996 Broken Arrow USAF Lieutenant Colonel Uncredited
1997 Last Stand at Saber River Manuel Television film
1997 Alien: Resurrection Private Vincent DiStephano
1998 Playing Patti
1999 From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money Jesus
1999 The Last Marshal T-Boy
2000 Blood Money Gutierrez Television film
2001 Training Day Sniper
2002 Collateral Damage Junior
2004 Just Hustle Spanish Professor
2004 My Name is Modesty Raphael Garcia
2005 Havoc Chino
2005 Brothers in Arms Reverend
2006 10 Tricks Sal
2015 Cleveland Abduction Ariel Castro Television film
2019 The Curse of La Llorona Rafael Olvera
TBA Wander Luis Santiago Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Beauty and the Beast Hal Episode: "Down to a Sunless Sea"
1988 Cagney and Lacey Alonzo Episode: "Land of the Free"
1988 CBS Schoolbreak Special Angel Perez Episode: "Gangs"
1988 Vietnam War Story Diaz Episode: "Separated"
1988 Knots Landing Van Driver, Young Man 2 episodes
1989 A Nightmare on Drug Street Felipe Short Film
1990 Hunter Tomas Delgado Episode: "La Familia"
1990 Freddy's Nightmares Johnny 'Mac' McFarland Episode: "Life Sentence"
1990 Matlock Alien Worker Episode: "The Cookie Monster"
1990 Lifestories Episode: "Frank Brody"
1990 China Beach Lopez Episode: "One Small Step"
1993 Murder, She Wrote José "Joseph" Galvan Episode: "Double Jeopardy"
1995 The Marshal Rossiter Episode: "The Ballad of Lucas Burke"
1995 Walker Texas Ranger Sgt. Perez Episode: "Case Closed"
1995–2000 NYPD Blue Raoul / Rico 2 episodes
1995–2000 The Eddie Files Johnny 16 episodes
1997 The X Files Eladio Buente Episode: "El Mundo Gira"
1997 Cracker: Mind Over Murder MacCormick Episode: "'Tis Pity She's a Whore"
1997 413 Hope St. Rico Episode: "Lost Boys and Gothic Girls"
1998 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Vargas Episode: "The Siege of AR-558"
1998 The Practice Miguel Moreno Episode: "Truth and Consequences"
1999 Seven Days Rodriguez Episode: "Daddy's Girl"
2000 Strange World Rinaldo Molina Episode: "Man Plus"
2000 Seven Days Teo Millar Episode: "The Cuban Missile"
2000 Harsh Realm Sgt. Escalante 2 episodes
2002 Robbery Homicide Division Jesus "Termite" Rosales Episode: "City of Strivers"
2002 Boomtown Ruben Episode: "Crash"
2002–2003 The Division Roland / Ray Sanchez 3 episodes
2003–2011 CSI: Miami Martin Medesto / Marcos Trejo 2 episodes
2003 24 Rouse 2 episodes
2003–2008 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Miguel Durado / Donald Balboa 2 episodes
2003–2006 Nip/Tuck Alejandro Perez 2 episodes
2005–2012 The Closer Detective Julio Sanchez 105 episodes
2007–2008 My Name is Earl Paco 5 episodes
2007 Day Break Luis Torres 2 episodes
2008 Ylse Jesse
2008–2009 Breaking Bad Tuco Salamanca 4 episodes
2011 Los Americans Memo 7 episodes
2012 White Collar Enrico Morales Episode: "Most Wanted"
2012–2018 Major Crimes Detective Julio Sanchez 105 episodes
2013 Lauren (Webseries) Martinez 3 episodes
2015–2016 Better Call Saul Tuco Salamanca 3 episodes
2016 The Eric Andre Show Himself Episode: "Raymond Cruz; Amber Rose"
2018 Mayans M.C. Che "Padre" Romero Pilot
2018 Get Shorty Swayze 2 episodes


  1. ^ "TNT Says Goodbye to The Closer, Hello to Major Crimes". TV Guide. August 12, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  2. ^ https://www.ladbible.com/entertainment/film-and-tv-inspirational-interesting-raymond-cruzs-early-life-is-almost-as-crazy-as-breaking-bad-20180724
  3. ^ Cruz on avoiding gangs, thedailybeast.com; February 11, 2015; accessed July 16, 2015.
  4. ^ Profile, esquire.com; accessed July 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Fontana, Christine. "Cruz Control".

External linksEdit