J.W. Cortés is an award-winning actor, Marine combat veteran, singer, filmmaker and philanthropist. Born and raised in Sunset Park Brooklyn, to inspiring Puerto Rican parents, he developed an interest in the arts along with a desire to serve his community and country. Currently Cortés plays the recurring role of "Detective Carlos Alvarez" on FOX’s hit prime-time series "GOTHAM." Cortés is the first actor in history to portray the iconic comic book character in television and film. Detective Alvarez was originally created by Judd Winick's for his hit DC Comics’ The New 52 Catwomanseries.
In addition to "GOTHAM," he has had various roles on: Starz’s “POWER,” NBC's “The Blacklist,” “The Mysteries of Laura” and CBS’ “Blue Bloods.” Previously, Cortés starred as an “Operative” on NBC's reality television show, "STARS EARN STRIPES" and appeared in feature films including the soon-to-be released “A Momentary Lapse of Reasoning” with The Big Bang Theory's Kunal Nayyer, “As Good As Dead” from Andie MacDowell, “Blue Caprice" with Isaiah Washington and the award winning short film “Stop” at Sundance Film Festival.
Currently, Cortés serves New York State’s Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department (MTAPD) as an officer based in Grand Central Terminal. In addition, he helps raise awareness and funding for various philanthropic organizations, including: the Detective Rafael Ramos Foundation, Autism Speaks, Got Your 6, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation and MusiCorps. In 2016 Cortés received the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, was chosen by the Boot Campaign as a celebrity spokesperson & Hero Ambassador and participated in the critically acclaimed HBO series HABLA Y VOTA. In 2015 he was selected by Got Your 6 to serve as an “American Icon” and he continues to support the organization’s mission to empower Veterans by serving on its advisory board.
Cortés served in the United States Marine Corps for nearly thirteen years attaining the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals and Marine of the Year. He studied acting at the world renowned William Esper Studio, under the tutelage of Terry Knickerbocker. J.W. Cortés is the proud father of two boys, a lucky husband and loving owner of an American-Bulldog named "Blue.”
In 2012 he worked as an Operative on NBC's fierce reality television show, "Stars Earn Stripes" alongside Chris Kyle (American Sniper), Grady Powell (Ultimate Survival Alaska), Dale Comstock (American Badass), Tom Stroup (SWAT Commander), Andrew McLaren (Chrome Underground), Talon Smith (Force Recon) and Brent Gleeson (Navy Seal). During the run of the show he had the pleasure of training, mentoring, and executing training missions with celebrities, the likes of Terry Crews, Laila Ali, Dean Cain and Todd Palin.
As an avid activist, he helps to not only raise awareness but also much needed funding for various charities and organizations that include Got Your 6, Autism Speaks, the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Detective Rafael Ramos Foundation.
In partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, J.W. Cortes joined legendary Pink Floyd's Roger Waters on stage at Madison Square Garden to help raise over six million dollars. Rolling Stone Magazine described his performance as "Stunning!" saying he sounded like a mixture of a young Marvin Gaye and John Legend.