Latinos comprise a notable percentage of the world’s leading actors and actresses, and they have had a particularly large impact in Hollywood. We have studied the awards, critical acclaim and overall notoriety of today’s popular Latino actors and come up with a general consensus on who stands above the rest. We’ve put together this list of the top 10 Latino actors and actresses of Latino descent for your enjoyment:
Top 10 Latino actors and actresses
Salma Hayek is one of the most accomplished Latino actresses in Hollywood. She humbly started her acting career in Mexico, subsequently moving to the U.S., where she worked her way up to gain eminence in Hollywood. She was featured in 1990s films such as “Desperado” and “Wild Wild West” before making a major breakthrough in 2002, playing Frida Kahlo in the film “Frida.” Hayek has won several awards — Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe Award, Daytime Emmy Award and more. Most recently, she can be seen in “Grown Ups I” & “Grown Ups II.”
George Lopez is loved by kids, teens and adults alike. Apart from acting, Lopez is also a writer, a standup comedian and a talk show host. “G.Lo,” as some refer to him, produced the George Lopez ABC sitcom, hosted the “Lopez Tonight” talk show on TBS and has also been featured in a number of films. His comedies mostly analyze the relationships amongst races and cultures, with more attention payed to the Mexican-American dynamic. Lopez received accolades for his exemplary performance in the film “Real Women Have Curves” back in 2002. He was awarded an ALMA Award in 2011, Image Award in 2004, a Star on the Walk of Fame in 2006 and more.
Andy Garcia, born Andres Arturo Garcia Menendez, is a name that frequents exceptional film lists. He started his acting back in the 1980s and carried the passion and determination through the 90s. He has been featured in several high-ranking films, including the Oceans series, “The Lost City,” “The Untouchables” and others. He has three films set to be released in 2014, some of which are already filming. A brand in Hollywood, Garcia has won an ALMA Award both as an actor and a director as well as the Anthony Quinn Award for Achievement in Motion Pictures.
Eva Mendes is a reputable Latino actress, singer and model. Her Hollywood prominence came in 2001 when she appeared in the film, “Training Day.” She has starred in a number of films, namely “The Other Guys,” “Last Night,” and “Girl in Progress.” She has received several nominations and won the Capri Global Award, Giffoni Award, Imagen Award and more.
Edward James Olmos
A familiar face to many film lovers, Edwards James Olmos is particularly remembered for his role in the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica” as William Adama. He has also appeared in several other films, notably “Blade Runner,” “Stand and Deliver” and “Miami Vice.” He has also directed, and produced a number of projects. He won the Academy Award for his lead role in “Stand and Deliver” and the ALMA Award in the years 1998, 1999, 2002, 2007 and 2008.
He is a leading Latino actor and an adored figure in action/thriller movies. Danny Trejo has acted in many films and won a number of awards. His roles in “Tough Guy,” “Machete,” “Con Air,” “Heat” and “Desperado” are some of his most notable performances. Trejo won best actor at the Feature Film Awards in 2008 and was also nominated for an ALMA in 2011. His role in “Machete” won him several accolades and endeared him to many action/thriller film enthusiasts.
Rosie Perez is an accomplished Latino actress who is also famous for her dancing and community activism. She is noted for her roles in music videos and her appearances in a number of Hollywood big budget films. She appeared in an episode of the “Law & Order” TV series, “White Men Can’t Jump” and more. She has received the Special Mention Award, the Boston Society Film Critic Award, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award and many more.
Zoe Saldana’s breakthrough came in 2000 after her fantastic performance in the film “Center Stage.” After the initial success, she made strides to become one of the most celebrated Latino actresses in Hollywood having played roles in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Star Trek,” “Avatar” and the highly acclaimed “Colombiana.” Since her breakthrough, Saldana has remained steadfast in her acting career and has excelled to initially unimaginable heights. In 2012, she won an ALMA Award.
Jennifer Lopez may have started out as a “fly girl” but she’s come a long way. Now a full-fledged entrepreneur, entertainer, an accomplished Latino actress and admired philanthropist, Lopez has starred in big-budget romantic comedies including “The Back-Up Plan,” “The Wedding Planner” and “Maid in Manhattan.” She has also received critical acclaim for roles in “Enough” and the film we came to love her for: “Selena.” Lopez has been nominated for, and won, several ALMA awards as well.
John Leguizamo is a Latino actor of Colombian descent, producer, comedian and screenwriter. He got into the industry as a stand-up comedian back in the 1980s. Leguizamo played roles in “Super Mario Bros,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Executive Decision,” “Moulin Rouge” and many more. He has received several award nominations and has been awarded many including the Special Achievement Award, ALMA Award, CableACE Award, Norman Lear Writer’s Award and a Primetime Emmy.