Héctor Elizondo exclusively opened up to Us Weekly about 25 things you might not know about him — including his favorite memory working with Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, what he would do if he weren’t an actor and what he likes doing during his free time. Read on to learn more about the Last Man Standing star.
1. I was awarded a second degree in kendo [a Japanese martial art] in Japan in the ’70s.
2. After my early-morning stretches, I drink a glass of room-temperature water with half a lemon and 1,000 mg of vitamin C. Then I investigate the wildlife activity in my backyard while my cup of joe boils, and gather my newspapers — yes, newspapers.
3. I marvel at neighbors who seem to be taking their cellphones for a morning walk and never look up at [nature].
4. The Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, happened to catch my school performance, and the next thing I knew I had my first professional job, appearing on The Okey-Dokey Ranch House with Wendy Barrie. I was 10.
5. My guilty pleasure is dark chocolate.
6. As a kid, I was often chased by bullies to and from school. My father simply and calmly said, “We’re not moving.” In other words, figure it out …
7. I figured it out.
8. My father was a fount of wisdom. One of [his favorite sayings]: “Don’t be part of the problem and never show off — makes you look like an amateur.”
9. Left to my own devices, I’d observe wildlife and read about the transformative power of art.
10. I played the conga drums with a Latin jazz quartet. I still do, for benefits.
11. I love the company of funny, smart and kind people.
12. My favorite memory on the set of The Princess Diaries was watching Anne Hathaway get mentored by Julie Andrews. Besides being a wonderful actor, Anne is one of the smartest people I’ve worked with.
13. I danced with a jazz company in NYC before getting my Equity card in 1961.
14. It would be a joy to have dinner with Leonardo da Vinci. He was a great painter, a futuristic thinker, an inventor, a poet and philosopher, and a vegetarian on humanitarian grounds.
15. I once got mistaken for Sir Ben Kingsley in New York.
16. I would love to have acted in Cyrano de Bergerac [by Edmond Rostand].
17. Gratitude is the ship I sail on.
18. I appeared in all of Garry Marshall’s movies. [1982’s] Young Doctors in Love was one of our favorites.
19. We know Tim Allen is a very funny man, but he’s also a damn good actor. I’m proud to be part of that company [on Last Man Standing].
20. I love my electric Chevy Volt!
21. Julia Roberts is a great person to work with.
22. As a kid, I loved my baseball mitt and chemistry set.
23. Music is very important to me. Jazz is my go-to.
24. I’m curious, but not very ambitious.
25. If I weren’t an actor, I’d either be an animal biologist, a teacher or a musician.
Last Man Standing airs on Fox Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.