At 86 years old, Hector Elizondo has this physical status:
From 1962 to 1963, Elizondo studied dance at the Ballet Arts Company at Carnegie Hall. During 1962–63, he also studied acting under Mario Stiletti at Stella Adler Theatre Studio when it was located in the Dryden East Hotel on East 39th St. In 1965, he landed a part in the off-Broadway show Kill the One-Eyed Man.
In 1968, he got a part in the play The Great White Hope. His first major success came when he played "God" in the guise of a Puerto Rican steam room attendant in Steambath, for which he won an Obie Award for his performance. Many of his roles involve playing a friend of or sympathizer to the lead character.
In 1974, Elizondo played an ex-mafioso-turned-subway hijacker "Mr. Grey" in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.
He starred as a Puerto Rican widower on the CBS television series, Popi (1975–76). The short-lived series, which ran for 11 episodes, was one of the first American network television series to feature a Latino theme and cast. In 1975, he portrayed the murderer in an episode of Columbo, "A Case of Immunity". He was a member of the cast of the 1985–86 CBS situation comedy Foley Square, starring Margaret Colin.
In the 1980s, Elizondo befriended Garry Marshall, who was impressed with his talent. Their first movie together was Young Doctors in Love, in which Elizondo displays his guitar-playing talent. His role in Pretty Woman lasted only 10 minutes, but led to a Golden Globe nomination. In 1999, he co-starred in Runaway Bride as Fisher, the husband of the male protagonist's ex. Elizondo has participated in more than 80 movies (18 of which have been Marshall's). He appeared in every movie that Marshall directed, including a brief but funny appearance as a Portuguese fisherman in Overboard, which starred Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.
In 2001, he was featured in the short-lived television drama Kate Brasher and portrayed security head Joe in the movie The Princess Diaries, a role he reprised in the 2004 sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. As a voice-actor, he played Bane, one of the more aggressively themed characters in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. He may be best known to television audiences as Dr. Phillip Watters on the CBS television series Chicago Hope created by well-known television creator David E. Kelley. He has won both an Emmy and ALMA award and was nominated for a Satellite Award and several SAG Awards for playing this role. He is one of only two people to remain on the show for its entire run, the other being Adam Arkin.
On April 30, 2008, USA Network announced that Elizondo would be cast on Monk as Dr. Neven Bell, Adrian Monk's new psychiatrist, following the sudden death of Stanley Kamel, the actor who played Monk's original psychiatrist, earlier that month.
From 2011 to 2021, Elizondo played Ed Alzate on the Fox (formerly ABC) comedy Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen and Nancy Travis.