Lou Diamond Is cast in Casa Manana's 'Miss Saigon'

Texas-raised Lou Diamond Phillips has been cast in a new production of Miss Saigon at Fort Worth's Casa Manana theater. 

Phillips, 61, graduated from Corpus Christi High School and went on to receive a bachelor of fine arts in acting from the University of Texas at Arlington.

He rose to prominence in the 1987 film La Bamba, playing rock-and-roll pioneer Ritchie Valens, and has since built a successful career as an award-winning actor and filmmaker.

Phillips plays "The Engineer," a French-Vietnamese nightclub proprietor in Miss Saigon. It's a retelling of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, running June 3-11, and revolves around a fatal love story between an American Marine and a South Vietnamese girl during the Vietnam War.

Phillips is the frontman of the Pipefitters, a rock band that recently performed in Dallas. He was born on a naval post in the Philippines to a military family.

He had previously starred at Casa Maana in Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men in 2007. In 1996, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as King Mongkut of Siam in the Broadway version of The King and I.

Phillips was nominated for a Golden Globe for best-supporting actor and won the Independent Spirit Award for his performance in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver, in which he played a student mobster who learns to love math under a charismatic instructor played by Edward James Olmos.

"My first brush with fame was making a Denver omelet for Willie Nelson, who had the munchies at nine o'clock in the morning," he added. "Can you imagine?" So it was the most important omelet of my life."