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You may know Lou Diamond Phillips from his iconic role as Ritchie Valens in La Bamba. He has also been nominated for several awards for his exceptional acting and direction in movies like The Kind and I, Courage Under Fine and Che among many others. He does not live a flamboyant life, as many others do, but he can be often seen in front of the cameras. He believes that he could achieve greatness and fame because of the support his parents, especially his mother gave him.

Read on to know more about his mother, Lucita Aranas, her spouse, life story, and more.

Personal Life

Not much is known about the personal life of Lou Diamond Phillips’ mother, Lucita Unayam Aranas. She is a native from Candelaria, Zambales and is a Filipina. She married US Marine crew chief Gerald Amon Upchurch in 1935, but their marriage ended in 1963, when he died. She had her son in 1962 and he was named Leland “Lou” Diamond. It is not clear whether he died in a military operation, or due to some disease. She later remarried George Phillips who loved both her and her son, and adopted young Lou Diamond. In fact, Lou Diamond changed his surname to Phillips after adoption.


Though the exact date of marriage is not known, Lucita Unayam Aranas was married to US Marine KC-130 crew chief, Gerald Amon Upchurch. They had a son together in 1962, but Gerald Upchurch met an untimely end in 1963.

She later remarried George Phillip, who also served the US army and acted as step father to Lou Diamond Phillip. After officially adoption the young boy, Lou changed his surname to Phillip.

Lucita Aranas


Lucita Aranas is said to have only one son – Lou Diamond Phillip, who grew up to be a prolific Hollywood actor. He is well known for and is often seen portraying Filipino-American characters.

Lucita Aranas

Children’s Career

Lou Diamond Phillips is a well-known American actor, and has had a great influence in Hollywood.  He began his acting career in the 1980s and the first movie he starred in was Trespasses. His breakthrough came when he starred as famous Rockstar Ritchie Valens in the 1987 movie La Bamba.

After playing parts in several movies and TV series, he also featured in Imagine Dragon’s famous Radioactive music video, which garnered over a billion views on YouTube. In 2016, he played the role of serial killer Richard Ramirez in the documentary The Night Stalker. Over the years, he has won several awards, including the 2005 Asia Pacific Islander Heritage Award for Excellence in Entertainment and Arts.

Net Worth

There has been no official declaration regarding the net worth of Lucita Aranas. She lived a civilian life, so her net worth is not a known figure. However, her son, Lou Diamond Phillips has a net worth of around $6 million.


Lucita Aranas has not appeared much in front of the camera. Whatever we know about her is from how her son has described her in interviews and other appearances. What we can say for sure is that she was a very supportive and strong mother who motivated her son to strive towards success. Despite having suffered several losses and heartbreaks in life, she did not break down, but rather strived to be a better person and a better mother. She never let her losses and failures bring her down, but rather learnt from it and moved forward with a stronger heart.