Actor Ricardo Chavira caught acting bug at NEISD.

Posted by Evan Henson on 9/27/2022

Ricardo yearbook pic, next to current headshotWhen Ricardo Chavira was a student at Lee High School, he never dreamed his life would be filled with acting credits.


“I feel lucky,” said Ricardo. “I feel like I have won the lottery with some of the work I have done.”


Chavira has been in more than 50 television shows and movies.

He played Carlos Solis on Desperate Housewives, Francisco Vargas on Scandal and Selena’s father Abraham on Netflix’s Selena: The Series.


He’s had roles on Jane the Virgin, Chicago PD and Hawaii 5.0, and he’s currently shooting a new show for Netflix opposite Kim Catrell called Glamorous.


“Maybe it’s luck. I don’t know. Luck is an opportunity meeting preparation. When I am not working, I am preparing. I have put in the work.”


But his first acting role was playing villain Bill Sikes in the Lee High School production of Oliver Twist.


“A good friend of mine was in the theatre department and he kind of convinced me to get involved, and I kind of stuck with it.”


He certainly has.

When Chavira recalls his high school years, he remembers the beginnings of life-long friendships and teachers like Tammy Frazier, Amy Stengel, Joe Manry, Sue Weber, Bruce Logan and Carl Hansen.

He also remembers how school and classmates were there when he lost his mother to breast and ovarian cancer during his junior year.


“It made a bit of my high school painful sometimes, but I have some great friends that I still talk with. During that time, the one thing that was my foundation was my classwork -- my education.”


That work ethic has undoubtedly served him well.

But Chavira suggests if he can do it, anyone can, but you’ve got to put in the work.

He also suggests failing sometimes.


“Fail. Everyone is going to fail. So to the kids who may not be doing well in school- do your work. To the ones who are “perfect students”- fail every now and then. That’s how you learn. You learn through obstacles. You will learn more through hardships than success. Hardship is what gets you to become successful. I’d rather look like an idiot for trying than feel like an idiot for doing nothing. So, don’t be afraid to use your voice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”


Big or small, we’ve all got a story to tell.

If you’re an #NEISDalumni tell us your story at