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.”Find JW on
- Active Duty
- Post 9/11 (01-Present)