Neron “Nero” Padilla is a “Companionator”, owner of an escort agency, and Latino gangbanger with an exit strategy who becomes a dangerous mentor for Jax. He is also interested in and sleeping with Gemma Teller Morrow. The part of Nero Padilla is played by Jimmy Smits.
Jimmy Smits (born July 9, 1955) is an American actor. Smits is perhaps best known for his roles as attorney Victor Sifuentes on the 1980s legal drama L.A. Law, as NYPD Detective Bobby Simone on the 1990s police drama NYPD Blue, and as Matt Santos on The West Wing. He is also notable for his portrayal of Bail Organa in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and Miguel Prado in Dexter.
Smits was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Cornelius Smits, is Surinamese while his mother, Emilina, is Puerto Rican. Smits identifies himself as Puerto Rican, and was raised in a strict devout Roman Catholic family. “Jimmy” is actually the name on his birth certificate, rather than “Jim” or “James”. He has two sisters, Yvonne and Diana. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood and spent time in Puerto Rico during his childhood. Smits earned a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College in 1980 and an MFA from Cornell University in 1982. Though born in New York, Smits has deep Puerto Rican roots and frequently visits the island. In 2001, he was arrested for his participation in protests against U.S. Navy bombing practices on the Puerto Rican offshore island of Vieques.
In 2012, he joined the main cast of Sons of Anarchy as high-level pimp Nero Padilla. Sons of Anarchy‘s Nero Padilla isn’t the type of character you expect to stick around for long. When he was introduced in the fifth season of the hit FX drama, the pimp and ex-gangbanger seemed destined for a violent end. Getting with Gemma (Katey Sagal) in a world where Clay (Ron Perlman) was still alive wasn’t a wise move, after all. Now, at the end of Season 6, Clay’s gone and Nero has worked his way into SAMCRO’s heart. But that doesn’t mean the character won’t meet that violent end eventually.