The Most Popular Crossover Latina Stars on TV Today

Plenty of Latinas have successfully crossed over into the American entertainment industry. While most readers have heard of international stars like Shakira, there are many more Latinas that have made a name for themselves in the United States as well as in South America. Take a look at some of the most successful Latin television and movie stars that have made the transition onto (North) American screens.

Most Americans don’t realize that Latinos make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, making them the country’s largest minority group. Though they are not represented on television at the same percentage, Latinos are making waves towards greater exposure and recognition. And if you want to catch your favorite Latin stars, choosing the right TV service is very important. One of the most popular Latina crossovers is Sofia Vergara, one of the stars of the television show Modern Family. Vergara who was born in Colombia—appeared in a bunch of movies…Chasing Papi (2003), Soul Plane (2004), Four Brothers (2005), and Meet the Browns (2008). Yet she didn’t receive true acclaim in the states until she starred in Modern Family, which debuted in 2009. She received an Emmy nomination for her role as Gloria Pritchett in the hit comedy series.

Ana De La Reguera, 33, is one of the lesser known Latinas to have successfully crossed over into the North American market. The native Mexican originally starred in telenovelas: these Latin American soaps – prime time productions that differ from their American counterparts in that new episodes are aired multiple times a week with a pre-determined series end date. Reguera’s telenovelas included the popular Gitanas and Azul. She then scored her first big role in the United States as Sister Encarnacion alongside Jack Black in 2006 comedy, Nacho Libre. Ana now acts on the popular HBO series Eastbound and Down.

Spain’s Penelope Cruz has been in show business for over 20 years. She debuted as an actress at age 17 in a 1992 film called Jamon, Jamon. She became an international sensation after her performance in the hit film, Vanilla Sky, where she played the love interest of Tom Cruise. Penelope won Oscars for her performances in 2008’s Volver and the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Roselyn Sanchez, a native of Puerto Rico, began her show business career as a co-host of a show called Que Vacilon. Her big break in Hollywood came in 2001, when she landed the role of undercover United States Secret Service Agent, Isabella Molina (Jackie Chan’s love interest) in the big screen blockbuster, Rush Hour 2. Her dazzling performance as Isabella won over Hollywood and she quickly earned several other roles in American television and movies. One of her most notable was her role in the television series, Without A Trace, where she played Agent Elena Delgado.

Kate del Castillo, 37, paid her dues working on nearly a dozen telenovelas. Kate, who is Mexican, originally played a role in the Spanish soap opera called Leticia en Muchachitas. Hollywood recognized her acting prowess and offered her a prominent role in the 2007 movie called Under the Same Moon. She then went on to star in the uber-popular Showtime television series Weeds.

Salma Hayek is probably the most famous Latina crossover star. She was actually quite famous in Mexico before she hit the screens in the United States. Hayek originally starred in a telenovela called Teresa, in 1989. She also had a key role in the critically acclaimed Mexican movie titled El Callejon de los Milagros (translates to Miracle Alley). Hayek moved to the United States in the early 1990s and earned a role in the hit movie Desperado, which starred Antonio Banderas. Her star still shines bright in the United States and she is the first Mexican to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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