Sal Velez Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois as Salvador Velez Jr. to Vivian Hernandez, a school teacher and Salvador Velez, a U.S. Postman. A second generation Puerto Rican, Sal’s parents divorced at an early age where Sal, his mother and sister relocated to Houston, Texas. Sal later returned to Chicago’s Humboldt Park at the age of 14 to reconnect with his father.
Growing up in the rough streets of Chicago while working a full-time job in the Steel Worker’s Union, Sal used entertainment as his muse, from impersonations of iconic actors to singing Latin Jazz in nightclubs. In 2001, he was discovered and invited to audition for the infamous Chicago’s Second City where he won a three-year scholarship and studied Improv, Classical, Sketch Writing and Musical Theater and soon after joined their Second City Tour Company.
His love for performing found him in many Chicago productions at The Goodman Theater to the Chicago Theatre Building, from Nuyorican Poet Miguel Pinero plays to the Life of Cesar Chavez musicals. After the loss of Sal’s father in 2007, he made the decision to move on to Los Angeles in 2009 to fully pursue Film and TV.
Sal is known for the role of Mexican cartel Negro in Savages, directed by Oliver Stone and the Voice of Berto, in Telltale Games’ “Walking Dead Michonne.” You can currently find Sal on NBC’s newest drama Chicago Justice as Adrian Carrera or opposite Ron Perlman in season two of Amazon’s Hand of God as Mike Alcala and the new Boyle Heights Web series “Gente-fied” as Eric.
Created and written by Ben Watkins (Burn Notice), Hand of God returns with Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), starring as Judge Pernell Harris. The hard-living, law-bending king of San Vicente, “Judge Maximum” has finally hit bottom as he faces trial for the murder of a cop. While his visions and the ghost of his son will slowly lead Pernell through a conspiracy that is bigger than he could have imagined, they will threaten his relationship with his wife and everything he holds dear. This season, Judge Maximum must fight on two fronts—to restore his sanity and gain his freedom.
Hand of God also stars Dana Delany (Body of Proof) as the Judge’s estranged wife Crystal Harris, who is on a mission to secure her son’s legacy, Andre Royo (The Wire) as the gregarious, smart-yet-slick mayor Robert ‘Bobo’ Boston, Garret Dillahunt (Justified) as KD, the born-again sociopath whose violent tendencies are exploited by Pernell, Emayatzy Corinealdi (Roots) as Pernell’s former call girl and confidante Tessie, Alona Tal (Supernatural) as Pernell’s grieving daughter-in-law Jocelyn Harris, Julian Morris (Pretty Little Liars) as the morally questionable preacher Paul Curtis, and Elizabeth McLaughlin (Betrayal) as the preacher’s sultry girlfriend, Alicia.
This season the all-star cast is joined by Linda Gray (Dallas), Nia Long (The Best Man) and Brian Baumgartner (The Office).