The "Better Call Saul" actor who made headlines this week for falsely presenting himself as a war vet, deserves a chance to make good in Hollywood ... according to real Army vet and actor J.R. Martinez.
J.R. -- who won "Dancing With the Stars" in 2011 -- tells us Todd LaTourrette's admission he lied for years about how he lost his arm in order to score acting roles ... is absolutely despicable. Still, he's willing to give LaTourrette a pass, if he's serious about shedding light on mental illness.
If you missed it, LaTourrette confessed to KOB-TV he'd cut off his arm 17 years ago during a bipolar episode. When he started acting, he told producers he'd been wounded during military service. He says the lie worked for years and helped him score the role of Skell on 'Saul.'
J.R. says he appreciates Todd copping to the lie. He added, IF Todd puts "action" behind his promise to raise mental health awareness ... there's no reason he can't keep acting.
Interestingly, J.R. feels producers and casting directors also bare some blame. Check out his take ... he seems to be saying Hollywood owes it to real vets to make sure they're being authentically represented.