Was nominated for Broadway's 1979 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for "Zoot Suit," a part he recreated in the film version of the same name, Zoot Suit (1981).
Turned down a regular role on "Hill Street Blues" (1981) (after several guest appearances) as well as major roles in Scarface (1983) and Firestarter (1984).
Was considered for the part of Klingon Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), but lost the role to Christopher Lloyd because Lloyd was taller.
Was offered the role of Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987). He would have been contractually obligated to work exclusively on the series, and not do any other projects while under contract. Olmos wanted the flexibility to be able to work on multiple projects, and declined the role on that basis. Patrick Stewart was eventually cast in the role.
Gained twenty pounds and thinned his hair to prepare for the role of Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver (1988).
Sentenced to 20 days in prison for trespassing in April of 2000 on US Navy land on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Olmos & others were protesting the use of the island as a bombing test ground. President 'George W Bush' promised to end the testing in 2003. [10 August 2001]
Agreed to the role of "William Adama" on the "Battlestar Galactica" (2004) remake only on the condition that the stories reflect as much realism and credibility as possible.
Declined an offer from director Michael Mann to reprise the role of "Lt. Martin Castillo" in the movie version of Miami Vice (2006). He was the only cast member from the original "Miami Vice" (1984) series who was approached to appear in the rebooted movie version of the series.