After playing Eddie Rivera on Miami Vice, Dutch-Puerto Rican actor Jimmy Smits went on to star in various other crime and political TV shows, including LA Law, NYPD Blue, and The West Wing. Two of Smith’s best roles are as Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and as Miguel Prado in the hit crime drama show Dexter.
If you want to check out some of his most recent work, you can see Smith in his role as Elijah Strait in the NBC drama series Bluff City Law. The Hispanic actor is a devout catholic and does much charity work for various organizations. Among these are the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, which he founded, and others including Red Cross, New York Cares, and Stand up to Cancer.
Charlie Barnett– After the show
Unfortunately, actor and comedian Charlie Barnett died just six years after Miami Vice officially ended in 1990. He was 42 years old at the time of his death and passed away from getting infected with the AIDS virus, likely due to his drug addiction.
The actor’s brief stint on the show was highly popular, and he went on to appear in a few other shows. Barnett's last role was in a 1996's film titled: They Bite.
Jimmy Smits As Eddie Rivera
We got to enjoy Jimmy Smith's character, the suave detective Eddie Rivera, in just one single episode before he died in a blast from a car bomb intended for drug dealer Corky Fowler. Rivera was the partner of Detective Sergeant James "Sonny" Crockett on the show and helped set the tone of the show early on. Sadly for viewers, Rivera didn't make it beyond the pilot episode of Miami Vice, but his contribution to the show’s inevitable success is clear.
We were quite saddened by Eddie Rivera’s death, as he could have been a great addition to the show as it went on. At-least the actor, Jimmy Smits, got to play in many other films and TV shows after his single-episode premiere on Miami Vice.
Laurence Fishburne As Keller
Laurence Fishburne got one of his earlier roles as Keller, a crooked guard in Bolton Prison. He appeared in the fourth episode of Miami Vice's third season titled "Walk Alone". Keller was caught by James Crockett, who was posing as his alter ego, Sunny Burnett, trying to facilitate a drug deal between the two.
Fishburne got a chance to really flex his acting muscles during this role, as this was one of his earlier chances to shine in the spotlight. The actor ended up becoming one of Hollywood’s most recognized actors due to his role in the hit film The Matrix, but that’s a subject for the next entry.
Laurence Fishburne– After the show
Laurence Fishburne was a relatively unknown actor throughout the '80s and has mostly appeared in minor roles throughout the decade. The actor finally found his breakthrough just a few years after Miami Vice, when he portrayed Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy, a role which he is known for and identified with to this day. Fishburne has since built up an impressive list of films, shows and video-games which he’s appeared in.
One of his most popular recent roles was in the action-filled John Wick film series, starring alongside Keanu Reeves, his co-star from The Matrix trilogy. There have even been some interesting rumors lately that the actor will reprise his timeless role as Morpheus in the new Matrix 4 film that’s currently in production.