Anthony Quinn was the first major Hispanic actor to make it in Hollywood. Born in 1915 in Chihuahua, Mexico, Quinn came to Hollywood in 1936. His first great role was in "Parole," and he later appeared in films such as "¡Viva Zapata!" and "Lust for Life," for which he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1953 and 1957, respectively. He is also remembered for his role in "Lawrence of Arabia" (1963). He died in Boston on June 3, 2001.
Sara Montiel was born in Campo de Criptana, Ciudad Real, Spain, in 1928. The Spanish actress and singer began her film career in 1944, when she was discovered by one of the owners of the Cifesa company. She made the leap to Hollywood in 1954 thanks to her roles in "Women's Prison" and "Cinnamon Skin." She died in Madrid on April 8, 2013.
Henry Ian Cusick
Henry Ian Cusick was born in Trujillo, Peru, in 1967. He rose to fame thanks to the series "Lost" for his role as Desmond, which led him to be nominated for Best Leading Actor at the Emmy Awards in 2006. He later appeared in roles in "Scandal," "The 100," "The Passage" and "MacGyver." He appeared in several movies in smaller roles between 1999 and 2023, although there he has not yet had a hit performance on the big screen.
Rita Moreno (Humacao, Puerto Rico, 1931) is one of the last representatives of Hollywood's golden age. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "West Side Story" (1961) as Anita. She also has two Emmys, which she won in 1976 and 1978 for her performances in "The Muppet Show" and "The Rockford Files"; a Grammy, which she received in 1973 for "The Electric Company"; and a Tony, which she won in 1975 after her performance in the Broadway play "The Ritz."
Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro is a Puerto Rican actor who was born in San Germán on Feb. 19, 1967. He began his career in Hollywood in 1980 appearing in small roles in series such as "Miami Vice." In 1987, he also appeared in Madonna's music video, "La Isla Bonita." Success came for del Toro in 1988 when he starred in "Big Top Pee-wee." After this, he played the youngest villain of the James Bond saga in "License to Kill" (1989). He won an Oscar in 2000 for his role in "Traffic," and after this, he has appeared in several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as in Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga.
Salma Hayek is one of the top Mexican actresses of recent decades. Born in Coatzocoalcos in 1967, she began her career in the soap opera "Teresa" as well as in the film "The Alley of Miracles." In 1991, she made the leap to Hollywood and began starring in films such as "Desperado," "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Wild Wild West." It was in 2002, with "Frida," when she achieved her first and only Oscar nomination, becoming one of the nine Latin American actresses nominated for an Oscar for Best Leading Actress or Best Supporting Actress. Among her latest films are "Puss in Boots," "Eternals" and "As Luck Would Have It."
Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro G. Iñárritu y Guillermo del Toro (The Three Amigos)
The trio affectionately known as "The Three Amigos" is made up of Mexican directors Alfonso Cuáron, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro. All of them are regulars at the Oscars and have won several Academy Awards. Cuarón (Mexico City, 1961) is recognized for his work on "Gravity" and "Roma," which earned him the Best Director Oscar in 2013 and 2018, respectively. Iñárritú (Mexico City, 1963) achieved fame in 2014. That year, his film "Birdman" won the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He won the Best Director award again a year later, thanks to his work on "The Revenant." Guillermo del Toro (Guadalajara, Jalisco, 1964) has three Oscars to his name. The first two, for Best Director and Best Picture, he won in 2018 with "The Shape of Water." The last one he received this 2023 thanks to Guillermo del Toro's Pinnochio," which won him the award for Best Animated Film.
Sofia Vergara was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, on July 10, 1972. She began her career as a television hostess for the Latin channel Univision in 1995, but moved to Hollywood in 1991 after a talent scout discovered her on a Colombian beach. Success came in 2009 when she signed on as the lead in the series "Modern Family," where she played Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, making her one of the best-known comedic performers on national television. Her last television role was in 2020 when she was a judge for "America's Got Talent." On the big screen, she has appeared in films such as "Big Trouble," "The 24th Day" and "Escape from Planet Earth."
One of the best-known Spanish actors is Antonio Banderas. Born on Aug. 10, 1960 in Malaga, Spain, he began in the world of acting by starring in Pedro Almodovar's 1982 film "Labyrinth of Passion." He has made numerous films with this director, with whom he maintains a great friendship. International fame came in 1998 when he starred in "The Mask of Zorro," one of his first American films. It was then when he made the move to Hollywood. He has appeared in films such as "Philadelphia," "The House of the Spirits," "Evita," "Interview with a Vampire" and the "Shrek" franchise, where he voiced Puss in Boots. His last film appearance was in "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny."
Pedro Almodóvar also worked with Spanish actress Penélope Cruz. Born in Alcobendas, Madrid, in 1974, the actress began her acting career in 1991 in the film "The Greek Labyrinth." A year later, she starred in "Jamón Jamón," the feature film by Bigas Luna. It was not until 1997 when Cruz managed to star in an Almodóvar film, "Live Flesh." In 2000, Cruz moved to Hollywood, where she appeared in films such as "All the Pretty Horses" and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." Her first Oscar nomination came with "Volver," another film by Almodóvar. On that occasion, she failed to win the award that she later won for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 thanks to her role in the Woody Allen film, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."
Andy García was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956. However, at the age of 5, he moved to Miami, and his career in the world of acting got its first big start in Hollywood. His first role on the big screen came in 1986 with the film "8 Million Ways to Die." His role in that film enchanted Brian De Palma, who brought him in for "The Untouchables" (1987). In 1989, Francis Ford Coppola cast him in "The Godfather Part III," where he played Sonny Corleone's son, Vincent Mancini. Thanks to this, he was nominated for best supporting actor at the Oscars that year. Other films he has participated in have been "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve," "Ocean's Thirteen," "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" and "Pain Hustlers."
Ana de Armas
One of most prominent actresses of today is Cuban Ana de Armas. Born in Havana in 1988, her acting career began in Cuba when she was 16 years old. Two years later, the actress decided to move to Madrid. In 2007, she landed one of the leading roles in the Spanish series "The Boarding School," with which she achieved fame in Spain. After that, she acted in the series "Hispania, the Legend," which ended in 2012. Three years later, de Armas decided to move to Hollywood. There, she has appeared in films like "Knock Knock" (2015), "War Dogs" (2016) and "Hands of Stone" (2016). His first big role in the movie mecca came with "Blade Runner 2049" (2017), where he played the holographic AI projection, Joi. After that, she stepped into the shoes of Marta Cabrera in "Knives Out" (2019). Her most recent role came as the star of the Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde," which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Javier Bardem (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 1969) started early in the world of acting. When he was only 5 years old, he appeared briefly in the TV series "El Pícaro," although his name does not appear in the credits. At the age of 11, he also appeared briefly in "El Poderoso Influjo de la Luna," a film starring his mother, Pilar Bardem. In 1990, he acted in "The Ages of Lulu," and two years later, in 1992, in "Jamón Jamón," by Bigas Luna. In 2006, he moved to Hollywood, where he was cast in "Love in the Time of Cholera." Two years later, in 2008, he starred in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "No Country for Old Men." The latter earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, making him the first Spanish actor to be nominated for an Academy Award, which he won. His latest role was as King Triton in the live-action version of "The Little Mermaid."
Gael García Bernal
Gael García Bernal is a Mexican actor born on Nov. 30, 1978 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Despite not having an Oscar, the actor has an Emmy thanks to the series "Mozart in the Jungle" (Amazon Studios) and has earned great recognition in the Hispanic world. He starred in films such as "Amores Perros," "And Your Mother Too," "The Crime of Padre Amaro," "Privates Lives," "The Motorcycle Diaries," "Babel," "Letters to Juliet," "A Little Bit of Heaven" and "No." More recently, he dubbed the voice of Hector, one of the characters in the Walt Disney Studios movie "Coco," both in its English and Spanish versions.
Paz Vega (Seville, Spain, 1976) began her acting career in the Spanish series "7 Vidas" in 1999. After that she participated in films such as 'Sex and Lucia' (2001) and "Mine Alone" (2001). Three years later, in 2004, the actress decided to try her luck in Hollywood, where she has acted in films such as "Spanglish" (2004), "The Spirit," "Grace of Monaco," "Tales of an Immoral Couple" (2016) and "Rambo V: Last Blood" (2019).
Actor Pedro Pascal is the latest great Hispanic actor to hit Hollywood. Born in Santiago, Chile, on April 2, 1975, he became known in 2014 thanks to a small role in "Game of Thrones," where he played Oberyn Martell. After this, he signed on for his first starring role in "Narcos" (2015-2017), where he played DEA agent Javier Peña. However, his best known roles are as the title character in "The Mandalorian," the Star Wars spinoff series. His most recent role was as Joel Miller, the lead of the HBO Max series "The Last of Us." On the big screen, his notable performances include playing Whiskey in "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (2017), Maxwell Lord in "Wonder Woman 1984" (2020) and Silva in Pedro Almodóvar's short film, "Strange Way of Life" (2023) are well known.