Jonathan Del Arco (born March 7, 1966) is an Uruguayan American actor and gay rights and political activist. He is best known for his role as Hugh the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Picard, and for his series regular role as medical examiner Dr. Morales in The Closer and Major Crimes. He was awarded the 2013 Visibility Award by the Human Rights Campaign.
As a teenager, Del Arco became interested in acting and the theater. He often traveled by commuter train from his home in Port Chester, NY, to New York City, where he attended plays. He eventually enrolled in acting classes there, and after graduating from high school, he moved to New York City permanently.Shortly after, Del Arco won a role in the touring company of Torch Song Trilogy.
In 1990, with a role on the Miami Vice television show and a role in the independent film Lost Angeles under his belt, Del Arco moved to Los Angeles, California. Guest starring roles on the television series True Colors, Sisters, The Wonder Years, and Blossom as well as a small role in the film The Mambo Kings followed. His most notable role during this period was as the Borg drone Hugh on Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1992, which he reprised in 1993 and again in 2020.
Del Arco has appeared in a wide range of live theatrical plays. His Broadway theatre debut came in 1987 in Milcha Sanchez-Scott’s Roosters at the INTAR Theatre. Theater critic Mel Gussow called his a “most sensitive performance”, and said his debut was “auspicious”. His second Broadway role followed in 1988, when he played Martin in Michael Weller’s play Spoils of War at the Music Box Theatre, replacing Christopher Collet. This was followed in 1990 by a role in John Jesurun’s Everything That Rises Must Converge at the Kitchen Theatre Company.
Del Arco’s other stage performances include Amulets Against the Dragon Forces by Paul Zindel, House Arrest by Anna Deavere Smith, Virgin Molly, The by Quincy Long, Common Infractions / Gross Injustices produced by American Repertory Theater, and Blood Wedding by Federico García Lorca.
In 1996, Del Arco joined the Hispanic Playwrights Project at the South Coast Repertory and spent six seasons there. He also spent the summers of 1998 and 1999 at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, working under Anna Deavere Smith.
Del Arco’s breakout role came in 2003 when he landed a recurring guest star role on FX Networks’ highly popular series Nip/Tuck, where he played a transgender woman named Sofia Lopez. Roles on other highly rated shows such as 24, The Sopranos, and Dollhouse followed. Beginning in 2007, Del Arco had a series regular role on TNT cable network’s The Closer as the openly gay medical examiner, Dr. Morales. He continued the role in the series’ spin-off, Major Crimes. In 2014, he appeared in the episode “Love Sucks” of The Crazy Ones, as the previously unseen husband of Brad Garrett’s character.
He reprised his role of Hugh in Star Trek: Picard, a direct sequel to The Next Generation.
In addition to acting, Del Arco is a political, environmental, and gay rights activist. Del Arco turned to waiting tables in 1995 for an income. Instead, through a friend, he found paid work on an environmental campaign being led by actor/director Rob Reiner. Del Arco then worked on numerous political campaigns. Del Arco credits the political activism with allowing him to find a new passion and expansiveness as an actor, which led to new acting roles.
Del Arco volunteered for Barack Obama and has worked for five presidential campaigns, including as a celebrity surrogate for President Obama in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the Biden/Harris campaign in 2020. Most recently, he has volunteered as surrogate for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock for their campaigns in the 2020 Georgia Senate runoff elections.
He works to raise awareness for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which Del Arco described as life-changing. “Never did I imagine that working for a nonprofit organization would have such a great effect on me personally. It’s changed the structure of how I use my career as an actor because now I have a reason beyond entertainment to promote something other than me.”
In 2013, Del Arco was awarded the 2013 Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign and now works with the campaign as a guest speaker.
Del Arco is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Del Arco was born in Uruguay. When he was 10 years old his family left their home for the United States, moving into a two-bedroom, “rat-infested” apartment in Port Chester, N.Y.
When Del Arco was age 24 and living in New York City, he lost his first partner, Eddie, to AIDS. Later, when creating the role of Hugh for Star Trek, Del Arco based the character’s “innocence” and “wonder” upon Eddie, and channelled his own grief into the part: “I had just lost my partner a year before, so I was broken and lost and lonely, and I was willing to share that.”
Del Arco subsequently met Kyle Fritz, a talent manager, a year and a half after moving to Hollywood. They began a relationship around the time Del Arco appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “I, Borg”, and later married.
One of Del Arco’s best friends is Jeri Ryan, who like Del Arco played a Borg character in the Star Trek franchise; when Ryan returned to her role in 2020, Del Arco rehearsed with her to help her prepare.
Television and video games (1987–present)
|1987||Miami Vice||Ricky Díaz||episode: “God’s Work”|
|1991||Sisters||Teenage David||episode: “A Kiss Is Still a Kiss”|
|True Colors||Joey Santos||episode: “Strange Bedfellows”|
|1992–93||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Hugh / Third of Five||2 episodes|
|1993||The Wonder Years||Ted||2 episodes|
|1994||Blossom||Raymond Salazar||episode: “Last Tango”|
|1996||Pacific Blue||Jimmy Porter||episode: “Déjà vu”|
|Pearl||Carlo Morra||2 episodes|
|1997||Boy Meets World||Nunzio||episode: “Last Tango in Philly”|
|2000||Grosse Pointe||Greg||episode: “Star Wars”|
|2001||Star Trek: Armada II||Various characters (uncredited)||video game|
|Star Trek: Voyager||Fantôme||episode: “The Void”|
|2002||First Monday||Angel Flores||episode: “First Monday” (pilot)|
|Star Trek: Bridge Commander||Lt. Comm. Miguel Pedro Díaz||video game|
|2003||The Division||Uncredited cameo||episode: “Misdirection”|
|Nip/Tuck||Sofia López||3 episodes|
|2004||Crossing Jordan||Dr. Alex Cuevas||episode: “Necessary Risks”|
|The D.A.||Dr. Carlo Martínez||2 episodes|
|2005||24||Ian||episode: “Day 4: 5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.”|
|American Dreams||Father Alejandro||2 episodes|
|Huff||Dr. Ruiz||episode: “Crazy Nuts & All Fucked Up”|
|2006||The Sopranos||Father José||episode: “The Ride”|
|2007–2012||The Closer||Dr. Fernando Morales||39 episodes|
|2009||Dollhouse||Mr. Caviezel||episode: “Meet Jane Doe”|
|2012||This American Housewife||Ron||unaired pilot|
|2014||The Crazy Ones||Timothy||episode: “Love Sucks”|
|2016||NCIS||Ned Senders||episode: “Shell Game”|
|2012–2018||Major Crimes||Dr. Fernando Morales||69 episodes|
|2020||Star Trek: Picard||Hugh||3 episodes|
|1991||The Mambo Kings||Young Cesar|
|2000||True Rights||Sequoia||TV film|
|2009||Group||Jeremy Solaris||TV film|