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Domingo's Mi Gente features Pepe Serna

Beloved Corpus Christi native, Pepe Serna, is an artist and motivational speaker who has appeared in more than 100 feature films and over 300 television shows.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 3NEWS caught up with Pepe Serna at La Cuerva Art Gallery in Portland, where his work is on display. His collection includes unique, colorful paintings, each with a story of their own to tell.

"These are my giclée's, the enhanced giclée's that are actual originals," Serna said. "This is an old zoot suiter, but I gave him my older brother's name, my mentor, Zeke. Eziquiel Adolfo Serna, Zeke, also known as B.B. He passed away, but he was my mentor and coach."

Serna has gone where dreams are made of. He left our sparkling city by the sea for the glitter of Hollywood. This was in the early 60s, a time when acting roles for Mexican Americans were almost non-existent. 

"When I got to Hollywood, there were only about three or four of us, and we all had to fight for the same bone," Serna shared.

He landed his first role at 19, appearing as a bullfighter in a movie titled "Jacket of Blood and Gold," which was filmed in Corpus Christi and Nuevo Laredo.

Since then, Serna's filmography has been nothing short of amazing. Some of his motion picture credits include 1983's "Scarface" as Al Pacino's ill-fated cocaine partner, the western "Silverado" in 1985 with Kevin Costner, the crime movie "The Rookie" in 1990 starring Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen, and the drama "American Me" in 1992 starring Edward James Olmos.

In the five decades of his career, Serna's characters have been everything from drug dealers and thugs, to law enforcement. 

Now, Serna has produced his own film to star in: his documentary.

"In my documentary "Life is Art," you will see not only the filmography of movies that I've been doing," Serna explained. "My first seven months in the Screen Actors Guild, I did five feature films back to back with one of the greatest producers of all time, Hal Wallis."

Serna described another notable film collaboration he had soon after that. "I did a western with Gregory Peck. Can you imagine? A Texan getting to go to Hollywood, and 18 months later I am on horseback after Gregory Peck who had just won the Academy Award for 'To Kill a Mocking Bird.'"

The documentary is titled "Pepe Serna: Life is Art," and is currently being screened in markets throughout the country.

Serna will continue in his artistic pursuits, representing Corpus Christi everywhere he goes, and he has a message for those with big dreams like him.

"Tejanos, que viva Tejas and que viva all you youngsters that have a dream, just stop dreaming, and start doing," Serna encouraged.


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