Castaic resident rebooting career in entertainment industry

Actor Tim Lounibos sits in his Castaic Backyard. Lounibos is best known for his roles on Criminal Minds, JAG and The West Wing. Cory Rubin/ The Signal
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Castaic resident Tim Lounibos could be seen guest starring on major television series like “JAG” in the 1990s, where he played JAG attorney Lt. Peter Yuen for a few episodes from 1996 to 2002.

Throughout his acting career, he also landed roles in television series such as “Doubt,” “General Hospital” and “The West Wing.” He has recently been on “A.P. Bio” and “Criminal Minds.”

Lounibos switched from residing in the Los Angeles area to the Santa Clarita Valley when he eventually decided to upgrade to a bigger house. That’s why Castaic, where he has lived for 15 years, appealed to the actor.

“I like a separation,” he said. “I lived out in the country when I was growing up in Northern California. I prefer that sort of environment. I love going into the city. I love the vibrancy — but I don’t want to live in it.”

Lounibos originally moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Berkeley to pursue an acting career. He shot the movie “Erotique,” where he starred in the vignette “Wonton Soup,” in his first major role, and then began booking other guest spots, such as in “Star Trek: Next Generation,” as Lt. Dan Kwan and Walter Chen on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

In the late 1990s, he was one of the few Asian-American actors in the industry, he recalled, and was often overlooked because he didn’t fit stereotypes for how Asian men were typecast.

“I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood,” said Lounibos, who is half-white, half-Korean. “And when I was deciding what I wanted to do for my future, I knew I really wanted to be creative. There weren’t a lot of Asian-American pop stars. I’d heard you can’t really make money in writing. So I turned to acting.”

Lounibos took a brief hiatus from acting from 2009 until 2016, when he decided to leave his job as house manager at the CSUN Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts to try his hand at acting again but also try producing and developing shows.

He is curious about how he will fit into the recent Hollywood surge in interest for Asian-American creatives, as the success of movies such as “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Searching,” and “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” headlined by Asian-Americans.

In the meantime, he said moving to the SCV was for his children, Heely, 17, and Spencer, 10, to attend good schools.

Lounibos stars in the upcoming season of Amazon Studios’ “Bosch,” leading him to commute to Hollywood for the role.

His commute has changed over the years; Lounibos recalled taking I-5 through the SCV to get to Los Angeles, and then, in the early 2000s, being shocked to see Santa Clarita so developed.

“When I first drove here, I didn’t know there was anything out here,” he said. “But now, there’s the Valencia Town Center, there were developments going up, it was so crazy for me because it was all sweeping land when I first got here. Now it’s definitely way different.”

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