America has been a land of opportunities for the early settlers from European countries to the rest of the world. It has not disappointed anyone who believes in working hard and sincerely to reach the top. The successive generations of those who settled in the US have found success which might have eluded them in their native countries.
America respects the spirit of individual entrepreneurship, personal freedom and ethnic diversity of its residents. Here is a list of 11 hottest actresses who hail from the central and south American countries and who made it big and became a worldwide celebrities.
11. Odette Annable
Odette Juliette Annable (née Yustman) was born on May 10, 1985 in Los Angeles, California. Her father is a Colombian father while her mother is a Cuban. She had her schooling in riverside, California and graduated from the Woodcrest Christian High School. When she was just five year old, Annable played a Spanish-speaking child in the film Kindergarten Cop. Subsequently, she appeared in the South Beach TV series and the movie, October Road.
Later in 2007, she played a lead role in the television movie Reckless Behavior: Caught on Tape and in 2008 in the film Cloverfield. She also acted in the comedy film Walk Hard and in the 2009 film, The Unborn. Annable continued to play lead roles in the TV series Breaking In, House, Two and a Half Men and Rush. In 2014 and later, Annable played lead roles in the TV series The Astronaut Wives Club, and The Grinder . Since 2016 she has worked in the main role in Pure Genius. In 2010, she married her TV co-star Dave Annable. They have a daughter.
10. Eva Mendes
Eva de la Caridad Mendez, her full name, was born on March 5, 1974 in Miami, Florida, to Cuban parents. She is a successful actress, model and businesswoman. Eva Mendes, after her schooling, studied marketing at California State University, but left it midway to pursue a career in acting.
She began acting in movies like Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and Urban Legends: Final Cut. Later she got a good role in Training Day. This helped her get lead roles in films such as All About the Benjamins, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Ghost Rider, We Own the Night, Stuck on You, Hitch, and The Other Guys. She has also appeared in several music videos and has also recorded with CeeLo Green. She has been a model and brand ambassador for several big brands like Cocio chocolate milk, Magnum ice cream, Revlon, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Thierry Mugler perfume, Reebok, Campari apéritif, Pantene shampoo etc.
9. Sofia Vergara
Sofía Margarita Vergara is a Colombian-American actress and model, born in Barranquilla, Columbia on July 10, 1972. After working in several top TV series, she made her debut in films with Chasing Papi. Later she appeared in several films like, Four Brothers, Meet the Browns, Madea Goes to Jail, The Smurfs, New Year’s Eve, Happy Feet Two, The Three Stooges, Escape from Planet Earth, Machete Kills, Chef, and Hot Pursuit among others.
She continued to work in television and was the top-earning actress on US television in the year 1011, 2012 and 2015. She has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards. She has also neeb ranked as one of the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Vergara got married at 18 to her high-school friend Joe Gonzalez. They have a son named Manolo. Later, they had a divorce. Vergara had her thyroid removed, after being afflicted with cancer and made a full recovery. In 2015, she married her True Blood film co-star Joe Manganiello.
8. Eva Longoria
Eva Jacqueline Longoria, the actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman, was born on March 15, 1975 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her parents were Mexican-American, or Tejano. Longoria did her Bachelor of Science degree and received her master’s degree in Chicano Studies from California State University.
She had done several small roles in many television series, before getting recognition on the CBS daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, in which she appeared from 2001 to 2003. Howeverm she is best known for her role as Gabrielle Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. The series ran from 2004 to 2012. She received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. She also starred opposite Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland in the 2006 thriller The Sentinel. She also acted in Harsh Times, starring Freddy Rodríguez and Christian Bale. She also appeared in Over Her Dead Body and many more films.
Longoria has done several advertising campaigns and has been named one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women. She is the brand ambassador for L’Oréal, Hanes, and New York & Co, and many other brands. Longoria topped the Forbes list of the highest-paid TV actresses for 2011.
7. Jessica Alba
Her full name is Jessica Marie Alba and she was born in Pomona, California on April 28, 1981, to parents whose roots were Mexican. Her family, in her own words, was a very conservative traditional, Catholic, Latin American family. She began taking acting classes when she was 12, and played a variety of roles in the Atlantic Theatre Company. She made her television and film debut at 13 with small roles before graduating to lead roles. She made her feature film debut in 1993 in Camp Nowhere. In 1994, she played a major role in Nickelodeon’s The Secret World of Alex Mack. From 1995 to 1997, she played the role of “Maya” in Flipper. Later, she also appeared in Venus Rising, Brooklyn South, Beverly Hills, and Love Boat.
She was featured regularly in top fashion magazine covers. She also got major roles in Never Been Kissed, Idle Hands, and Paranoid. Her biggest break came when she starred in the sci-fi TV series Dark Angel, written and directed by James Cameroon, which gave her wide recognition.
Her first starring role in a major Hollywood studio film was Honey in 2003. She has since worked in more than 25 films many of which turned out to be blockbusters. In 2005 she starred opposite Bruce Willis in Sin City. Same year, she starred in her Marvel’s blockbuster Fantastic Four, which became a worldwide box-office success. Her later films were Valentine’s Day, The Killer Inside Me, Machete, Little Fockers; and also the 4D family adventure Spy Kids.
In 2013, she appeared in Escape from Planet Earth, and then in A.C.O.D, Machete Kills, and a sequel of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. In 2016, her notable films were Dear Eleanor, The Spoils of Babylon, and Stretch. Jessica has received numerous awards and nominations like the Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award, MTV Movie Award etc. She is also the co-founder of a consumer goods company, The Honest Company that sells non-toxic household products, which is now a $1 billion company. She has also written a book, The Honest Life.
6. Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek is one of the most beautiful actresses of Hollywood. She was born as Salma Hayek Jiménez. She was born on September 2, 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Her father is a Mexican of Lebanese descent and her mother is a Mexican of Spanish descent. In school, she was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. She studied International Relations at the university in Mexico City.
She began her career in Mexico with Mexican TV and films. Later in 1991 she moved to Hollywood and became a sensation with movies like Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, Dogma and Wild Wild West, Once Upon A Time In Mexico. One of her best film was Frida, released in 2002. For her role as Mexican painter Frida Kahlo she was nominated for Best Actress Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globe Award. This movie was a critical and commercial success. Hayek’s more recent films were Grown Ups, Puss in Boots, Grown Ups 2 and Tale of Tales.
She married French billionaire and CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault, in 2009. At golden fifty, she continues to look as sweet and as ravishing as ever.
5. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez is one celebrity who needs no introduction. More popularly known as simply JLo, her full name is Jennifer Lynn Lopez. She is one of the most successful American singer, actress, dancer, fashion designer, author, and producer. She was born on July 24, 1969 in The Bronx neighbourhood in New York. Her parents were from Puerto Rica. She graduated from Preston High School. At the age of 18 she moved out to join a law firm took dancing jobs at night. Her lucky break came when she was offered a job as a fly girl dancer on Fox’s hit comedy, In Living Color. She continued and then went on to dance for Janet Jackson.
She got her first major film, Gregory Nava’s My Family. Later she did her first leading role as the singer Selena Quintanilla Perez in Selena. This earned her a Golden Globe nomination. For her role in Out of Sight, Lopez became the first Latina actress to earn over US$1 million for a film.
Later, she ventured into the music industry in 1999 with her debut single “If You Had My Love”. In 2001, there was a simultaneous release of her second studio album J.Lo and her film The Wedding Planner. She became the first woman to have a number one album and film in the same week. Her 2002 remix album, J to that L–O! The Remixes, was a great success.
During this time in 2003, she had a divorce, and her movie Gigli with Ben Affleck did not do well. She married long time friend Marc Anthony, and had box office successes with her films Shall We Dance? and Monster-in-Law. Her fifth studio album, Como Ama una Mujer was a big success for a Spanish album in the United States.
She also appeared as a judge on American Idol. Her next single “On the Floor” became one of the best-selling singles of all time. In 2016, she began starring in a role as Harlee Santos in the crime drama series Shades of Blue. She is regarded as the most influential Hispanic performer as well the highest paid Latin entertainer. Forbes has ranked her as the most powerful celebrity in the world, as well as one of the most powerful women in the world.
4. Zoe Saldana
Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario, better known as Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey. Her father was from Dominican Republic, while her mother is from Puerto Rica. She grew up in Jackson Heights, New York and spoke English and Spanish.
In New York, she performed with the New York Youth Theater. While working with theatre group, she landed up a role of a ballet student Eva Rodriguez in Center Stage in 2000. This was followed by a role in Crossroads. Her next film was the comedy-drama Drumline. She attracted fame with her role in Star Trek and then as Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar, which is the highest-grossing film of all time.
In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), she played Anamaria. She then appeared in The Terminal. In 2005, Saldana acted in Constellation, Guess Who and Dirty Deeds. This was followed by Premium and After Sex, and Blackout in 2007. Saldana appeared in two very successful movies in 2009. The first was Star Trek and the other was Avatar, in which she starred as the alien hunter Neytiri. Avtar went on to break all box office records and became the first film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide. Later she starred in The Losers, Takers, Death at a Funeral and Burning Palms. Her later films were Colombiana, Guardians of the Galaxy. Her Guardians of the Galaxy became the third highest-grossing film in 2014.
In 2016, Saldana starred in Nina, Star Trek Beyond, and Live by Night. In 2017, she returned as Gamora sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. She will again reprise the roles in th sequels scheduled to be released in 2018 and 2019. After her divorce in 2011, Saldana married Italian artist Marco Perego in 2013. She had twin sons earlier, and in 2017 was blessed with a son.
3. Camilla Belle
Camilla Belle Routh was born on October 2, 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is a Brazilian and she was brought up in Brazil and spoke Portugese. Her works include The Ballad of Jack and Rose, When a Stranger Calls, 10,000 BC, The Quiet, Push, and Breakaway. She is best known for her roles as Sydney Miller in Rip Girls and Lizzy Buscana in Back to the Secret Garden. When she was five year old she played the lead role in NBC’s thriller, Trapped Beneath the Earth. Her film career began in 1995 with a small role in A Little Princess. She was also in the film The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
In 1998, she played Steven Seagal’s daughter in The Patriot. She also made an appearance in TV series Walker: Texas Ranger. She played the lead role in the television movie Rip Girls in 2000. Belle later worked in lead roles in films such as The Quiet, and When a Stranger Calls. Her next big role was in the film 10,000 BC, and then in Push. In 2010, she appeared in a lead role in a Canadian movie which was simultaneously made in Punjabi and Hindi , the Breakaway, which was produced by Indian film star Akshay Kumar. Since then she has worked in many more films. In 2016, two of her movies, The American Side and Sundown, were released.
2. Cameron Diaz
Cameron Michelle Diaz was born on August 30, 1972 in San Diego, California. Her father’s family is Cuban, and later they settled in Ybor City, Tampa, before moving to California. Diaz grew up in Long Beach where she had her schooling, rapper Snoop Dogg was her school mate.
She became a star with a slew of hit films like The Mask (1994), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) and There’s Something About Mary (1998). She also lent her voice to the character of Princess Fiona in the Shrek series (2001–10). Some of her other notable hits were Charlie’s Angels and its sequels; Full Throttle, The Sweetest Thing, In Her Shoes , The Holiday, What Happens In Vegas , My Sister’s Keeper, Knight and Day , The Green Hornet, Bad Teacher, What to Expect When You’re Expecting , The Counselor , The Other Woman, Sex Tape, and Annie etc.
Cameron Diaz has received four Golden Globe Award nominations for her performances. In 2013 she was named as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. She is the third highest-grossing U.S. box office actress.
1. Selena Gomez
Selena Marie Gomez was born on July 22, 1992 in Texas. She is of Mexican descent from her father’s side while her mother, who was a stage actress, had Italian ancestors. Selena was named after Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. When she was a young child she appeared in the children’s television series Barney & Friends. Later, she became famous in the role of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place.
In 2008, she formed her band Selena Gomez & the Scene and signed a recording contract. The band produced four top 30 singles by 2011. She also made her own production company in 2008, July Moon Productions. During 2009 and 2011, Gomez starred in several films like Princess Protection Program, Ramona and Beezus, and Monte Carlo, and Spring Breakers.
Her singing career also took off in 2013, with the release of her first solo album Stars Dance and included the top ten single, Come & Get It. Gomez released a compilation album in 2014 and second top ten single, The Heart Wants What It Wants. In 2015, her second solo album, Revival, debuted at number one on the Billboard. Her three singles, Good for You, Same Old Love, and Hands to Myself; all topped the charts.
She also acted in films, The Fundamentals of Caring, In Dubious Battle, and in the Hotel Transylvania films. Her albums have been sold for over 7 million and her singles over 22 million worldwide. She has won number of awards and nominations for her work as an actress and singer including MTV Video Music Award, an American Music Award, and fifteen Teen Choice Awards. She is also the most-followed Instagram user in the world.
All the stars listed here are awesome and an inspiration to the next generation. There are many more who missed being included in this list. There are many who are from the European traditional Latin speaking countries, and have not been included in this list. The vivacious enchanting Penelope Cruze is one such example, who hails from Madrid, Spain. Nevertheless it does not undermine their achievements. Latin Americans continue to contribute, dazzle and shine.