A frequently seen Hollywood character player of comedies as well as crime and barrio dramas, Pepe Serna may be best recalled by moviegoers as Chuco, the practical-joking worker of "Car Wash" (1976), and as the pal of Al Pacino who dies by the chainsaw in Brian De Palma's "Scarface" (1985). A native of Texas, Serna made his acting debut in a Mexican production of "Hair." He migrated to L.A. where small film roles followed. Serna also joined the Center Theatre Group New Theatre for Now Company, at which he was most active from 1972-73, although he returned to the company in 1978 to co-star in the original production of the stage play "Zoot Suit."
Serna's feature work began with a bit part in "The Student Nurses" (1970). He received more attention playing a rooster owner in the cock-fighting scene of "Day of the Locust" (1975), was an arms dealer in "Deal of the Century" (1983) and a patriotic father of the Latino member of the freedom fighters in "Red Dawn" (1984). In "Silverado" (1985), Serna was a hired gun while in "American Me" (1992) he was alongside his former "Zoot Suit" co-star Edward James Olmos playing a hardened criminal. Paul Rodriguez gave Serna a supporting part in "A Million to Juan" (1994) and in Johnny Depp's directorial debut "The Brave" (lensed 1996), he was cast alongside Marlon Brando.
Serna first began appearing in TV-movies in 1974 with "The Gun" (ABC). He had one of his best roles as the younger brother of the slain president in "Sadat" (syndicated, 1983). Although Serna made numerous unsold TV pilots, including one for "Car Wash" (NBC, 1979), his first regular series role was as a co-ed's overprotective father in the short-lived CBS effort "Second Chances" (1993-94). He reprised the same character, now the over-protective father of a hard-working Latina, in "Hotel Malibu" (CBS, 1994), a summer series.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Sound (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made feature film debut, "The Student Nurses"
Was member of Center Theatre Group New Theatre for Now Company, L.A.
Made TV-movie debut, "The Gun" (ABC)
Was in ensemble cast of the feature "Car Wash"
Was member of the L.A. cast of "Zoot Suit"
Played brother of Anwar Sadat, in the syndicated TV miniseries "Sadat"
Played Salvatore Lopez on "Second Chances" (CBS)
Reprised the role of Salvatore Lopez on "Hotel Malibu" (CBS)