Eddie Velez was born and raised in Manhattan by Puerto Rican parents Ramon Velez and Mercedes Luciano. He graduated from the High School Of Art and Design in 1976 majoring in Advertising Art, however a course in Film Appreciation caught his attention and led him to think about a career in show business. During a four year stint in the U.S. Air Force, Space Division's Satellite Control Center as the Vice Commander's Administrative Aide from 1978 to 1982, Velez began his theatrical career by joining a theater group on the base with fellow military personnel called The Moffett Players performing for the sailors and airmen stationed at Moffett Field Naval Air Station in Mountain View, California. He portrayed Speed in the The Odd Couple in their inaugural production and his first lead roles as Dracula in Count Dracula and Paul Bratter in Barefoot In The Park. While in the military, Velez took advantage of being stationed in the theater-rich location of Northern California's Bay Area by branching out into the local theater community. He was cast as The Attendant in Bruce Jay Friedman's Steambath at the Palo Alto Playhouse and as Duke Mantee in Robert E. Sherwood's The Petrified Forest. Both shows were huge critical successes and solidified Velez' passion for acting. Dr. Doyne Mraz, the artistic director from The Los Altos Conservatory Theater, saw Velez in these plays and recruited him to perform at his theater as Nicky Holroyd in Bell, Book and Candle, and Crook-Fingered Jake in The Three Penny Opera.