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Most famous Actresses from Puerto Rico

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    Micaela Nevárez

    Micaela Nevárez (born January 1, 1972 in Carolina, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress who has appeared in independent and European films. She made her film debut in the Spanish film Princesas which was directed by Fernando León de Aranoa, in which she played Zulema, an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic trying to make a living as a prostitute on the streets of Madrid, Spain. Her performance in this film earned her a Goya Award for Best New Actress in 2006, making her the first Puerto Rican actress to win this notable award. Born in the San Juan suburb of Carolina, Nevárez was educated in local military schools in order to improve her English. At the age of 10, her parents decided to relocate to New York City, where she focused her education to prepare her for a medical career. However, on the side she continued to dabble in the arts as a hobby. It was her stepfather who changed her mind and help encouraged her to follow her dreams and desire to become an actress. Fate stepped in when she was discovered by director Fernando León de Aranoa who was in New York promoting his latest film Lunes al Sol starring acclaimed Spanish actor Javier Bardem. Nevárez, who frequented
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    Gladys Rodríguez

    Gladys Rodríguez born June 4, 1943 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, is an actress, comedian and television host. Rodríguez was born in Santurce, a section of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Her parents moved to New York City when she was still a child. In New York, she received her primary and secondary education. When she was eight years old she attended the Children's Hour Academy where she learned tap dancing, drama and ballet. In 1960, Rodríguez returned to Puerto Rico where she took drama classes under the guidance of Edmundo Rivera Alvarez. She enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico where she earned a degree in Dramatic Arts. Rodríguez made her television debut when she auditioned for a role in the soap opera La Mujer de Aquella Noche ( The Woman of that night) and performed alongside Braulio Castillo. The soap opera was a success and her acting caught the attention of a Peruvian director who offered her a role in the soap opera Simplemente María-2da. Parte (Simply Mary-Part 2), filmed in Peru. Simplemente María Part 2, became an international success, in Latin America. She was inactive during the early 1970s, however in 1975 Puerto Rican television producer Tommy Muñiz
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    Joyce Giraud

    Joyce Giraud (born Joyce Marie Giraud Mojica; April 4, 1975) is a Puerto Rican actress and model. She is a two time Miss Puerto Rico and the second runner up in the 1998 Miss Universe pageant. She had previously represented Puerto Rico at Miss World 1994. Giraud was featured in episodes of Baywatch, and in the film Dude, Where's My Car?. More recently, she has starred in TV shows like House of Payne and Joey. After graduating at the age of 16, Joyce began modeling and attended the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico where she finished two Bachelor of Arts degrees by the age of 19; one in Social Work and one in Special Education. After graduating she worked with underprivileged children and public residentials in Puerto Rico. Joyce won the 1994 Miss World Puerto Rico and the titles of Most Beautiful Hair, Most Beautiful Smile; Most Beautiful Face and Best Runway. She later represented Puerto Rico in the Queen of the Atlantics International in Spain, and won the title Queen of the Atlantics 1995. In 1997 she represented Puerto Rico in the Miss Venus International in Jacksonville, Florida and won her hometown the title. In 1998 she won the title of Miss Aguas Buenas and then was
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    Valery Ortiz

    Valery Ortiz

    Valery Milagros Ortiz (born August 1, 1984) is a Puerto Rican actress who is known for her role as Madison Duarte on the television series South of Nowhere. Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Hector and Aracelis Ortiz and raised in Orlando, Florida. Passionate to become a "ballerina" and she explored her dancing talents after receiving a scholarship to The Southern Ballet Theater Performing Art Centre in Orlando. She continued dancing till her curiosity to being in front of the camera grew. Spurred on by her older brother Hector, explored his interest in movie making. Following in her brothers footsteps, Valery was accepted into the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Theatre Magnet High School. After four years of study, Ortiz began working in several productions like Latins Anonymous (Orlando Fringe Festival), West Side Story as Maria, A Midsummer Night's Dream as Helena, The Vagina Monologues (Orlando Premiere) and The Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe Festival. While attending the University of Central Florida for a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Ortiz was given an opportunity to work on Nickelodeons Live television show, Splat! as a host. After the first season, and one week road trip
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    Rita Moreno

    Rita Moreno

    Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress. She is the only Hispanic and one of the few performers who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and was the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award. Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, to Rosa María, a seamstress, and Paco Alverío, a farmer. She moved with her mother to New York City at the age of five, and took the surname of her stepfather, Edward Moreno. She began her first dancing lessons soon after arriving in New York from a friend of her mother, a Spanish dancer called Paco Cansino, who was the uncle of Rita Hayworth. When she was 11 years old, she lent her voice to Spanish language versions of American films. She had her first Broadway role — as "Angelina" in Skydrift — by the time she was 13, which caught the attention of Hollywood talent scouts. She appeared in small roles in The Toast of New Orleans and Singin' in the Rain, in which she played Zelda Zanners. In March 1954, Moreno was featured on the cover of Life Magazine with a caption “Rita Moreno: An Actresses' Catalog of Sex and Innocence.” In 1956, she had a supporting role in the film
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    Ivonne Coll

    Ivonne Coll

    Ivonne Coll (born June 18, 1947) is a former Miss Puerto Rico turned actress who played the role of "Yolanda" in the movie The Godfather II. Coll (birth name: Ivonne Coll Mendoza ) was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico where she received her primary and secondary education. She was an honor student and graduated from "Nuestra Señora del Pilar" school. She then enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico (Universidad de Puerto Rico) where she studied Social Sciences. Coll started her career as a fashion model. In 1966, she represented the town of Fajardo in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant and won. In 1967, she represented the island as Miss Puerto Rico in the "Miss Universe" pageant which was celebrated in Miami, Florida. In 1969, Coll was a back-up singer for Lucecita Benítez when Benitez won the first prize in the "First Latin Song Festival of the World" which took place in Mexico. She also served as back-up for Chucho Avellanet, a popular teen idol in Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1971, Coll debuted as an actress in a local soap opera (telenovela), called "El Sirviente" (The Servant). In the same year she also debuted as a solo singer in the "Club Ocho Puertas (Eight Doors
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    Dita de Leon

    Dita de Leon is an American celebrity, having worked as an actress, model, dancer, writer and producer with an expanding merchandise business for her global brands DITA & DITA DE LEON. Dita was born in the island of Puerto Rico, relocating with her parents and two sisters to Newark, New Jersey, where she grew up. She began her career at an early age, launching her own entertainment business in her teens as a graphic artist and model. Dita attended Montclair State University where she received a B.S. degree. She was also at Marketing & Seton Hall School of Law to receive a Juris Doctorate Degree and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1996. While visiting South Beach, Florida in 1999, Dita was invited to a party for the interior designer Patrick Kennedy, who introduced her to an actor named Brian Hill who was instrumental in introducing her to Ed Arenas, the casting director of a film he was working on, Any Given Sunday, directed by Oliver Stone. He cast her in her first movie role as a football player's wife. Working with Oliver Stone inspired Dita to study acting at the Lee Strasberg school in New York. Dita relocated to Hollywood in 2003 where she continued her studies at another
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    Olga Tañón

    Olga Tañón

    Olga Tañón (born April 13, 1967) is a two-time Grammy Award and three-time Latin Grammy-winning Merengue and Latin Pop artist. Tañón has earned 5 Latin Grammy Awards and 28 Premios Lo Nuestro awards during her career. Tañón (birth name: "Olga Teresa Tañón Ortíz") is the youngest of four children born to José Tañón and Carmen Gloria Ortíz born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. She was raised in Levittown, Puerto Rico, Toa Baja, where she received her primary and secondary education. Tañón's singing career began when she joined a group called "Las Nenas de Ringo y Jossie" (Ringo and Jossie's Girls) in the 1980s. A short time later a very popular group in Puerto Rico called "Chantelle" noticed her mezzo soprano voice and recruited her. They saw in her what they needed for their merengue style of music. When Tañón was a member of Chantelle, they scored their biggest hit, "Aunque Tú no Quieras" (Even If You Don't Want It). The song was popular in Latin America. In 1992, Tañón signed a contract with the WEA Latina record label to record a solo album. Her first recorded album was titled, "Sola" (Alone). Among the songs in the album were, "Me Cambio por Ella" (I'll Trade Myself For Her), and
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    Josie de Guzman

    Josie de Guzman is an American actress of Puerto Rican descent best known for work in the theatre. After studying at the Boston Conservatory of Music, Guzman made her Broadway debut in 1978 as Lidia in the original production of Elizabeth Swados's Runaways. She returned to Broadway the following year to portray Gia Campbell in the original production of Joseph Stein and Alan Jay Lerner's Carmelina. In 1980 she was handpicked by Leonard Bernstein to portray Maria in the 1980 revival of West Side Story for which she received her first Tony Award nomination. She returned to Broadway in 1992 to portray Sarah Brown in Jerry Zaks's critically acclaimed revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls with Nathan Lane, Peter Gallagher, and Faith Prince. For her performance she earned a second Tony Award nomination. The recording of the production was filmed for broadcast on PBS's Great Performances. Although Guzman's career has been mainly within the realm of theatre, she has occasionally performed on television and in films. Her television credits include The Tenth Month (1979), Miami Vice (1984), Reading Rainbow (1998), and Third Watch (2002). Her film credits include F/X (1986) and F/X2
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    Mapy Cortés

    Mapy Cortés (March 1, 1910 – August 2, 1998), born Maria del Pilar Cordero in Santurce, Puerto Rico, was a famous actress who participated in many films during the Mexican film industry's golden era. Contrary to popular belief, Cortes was not Mexican; she was Puerto Rican, but she adopted Mexico as her residential country from her youth and almost until she died. Mapy Cortés began experimenting as an actress since an early age, working in various Puerto Rican radio shows, with lukewarm success. Never considered a superstar, glamour girl, or actress of merit, she was a beloved fan favorite. During the early 1930s, Cortes decided to look for fame in other places, and she arrived in Mexico, where she met and married the already famous Puerto Rican actor and producer Fernando Cortes who has already adopted the Mexican citizenship. This marriage proved to be a blessing for the Puerto Rican actress, both romantically and professionally speaking. By 1933, Mapy Cortés participated in the first of over 50 films she would make in Mexico and in Puerto Rico. Her film debut was in a movie named Dos Mujeres y un Don Juan (Two Women and a Womanizer). By the time this movie was released, Cortes
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    23

    Ana María Martínez

    Ana María Martínez is a Grammy award–winning operatic soprano from Puerto Rico. Martínez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the daughter of Puerto Rican opera singer Evangelína Colón and Ángel Martínez, a Cuban psychoanalyst. Martínez can trace her grandparents back to Spain and France before coming to the Caribbean Islands. Martínez grew up with discipline and experienced a strict Catholic upbringing. Highlights of Martinez’s career include her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Micaëla in Carmen, for which Marion Lignana Rosenberg of Newsday, said: “A lovely singer, Martínez is something more rare and wonderful besides: a beautiful musician. She shades her smoky, soft-grained voice with finesse, phrasing with unfussy grace and serving up some of the most ravishing soft singing heard at the Met in years.” For her debut in the title role of Rusalka at the Glyndebourne Festival, she was praised for her "brave back-flips before singing a radiant ‘Song to the Moon’. Her dusky lyric soprano rides the great closing scene to heartbreaking effect." Martinez’s debut performance with the Opera de Bastille was as Amelia in a new production of Simon Boccanegra, and she returned there to
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    Velda González

    Velda González de Modestti (born April 10, 1933, in Hatillo, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer, comedian, politician and former Senator. She was a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from 1981 to 2005. Velda González was born on April 10, 1933 in Hatillo, Puerto Rico. She studied her elementary school in her hometown, and continued high school in Carolina and San Juan, graduating from University High School. González enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico where she received a Bachelor's degree in Arts, with a Major in Spanish and Theater. She also completed studies for a Master's degree in Puerto Rican Studies from the Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. González began her artistic career as part of the University of Puerto Rico ballet directed by Madame Herta Brauer. She also distinguished herself as both an instructor and actress in theater, television, radio, and films. She started to gain fame as part of the cast of El colegio de la alegría, with Tommy Muñíz. However, her most famous role was as Azucena, the maid in the comedy sketch La criada malcriada, back in 1965. The role was so popular that González continued doing the show for 15
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    28

    Alba Raquel Barros

    Alba Raquel Barros (born 14 December 1952 in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an actress, comedian, and dancer. She is better known for her acting career, and she has won many national awards for her work, both in the television and theatrical fields. Barros participated in a rendition of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire as a student at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). She graduated with a degree in Theatre from the UPR in 1974. Barros began her rise to fame as a telenovela actress in Puerto Rico's channel 2 during the 1970s. She participated in some of that channel's most famous soap operas. By the early 1980s, she had moved to WAPA-TV, where she acted in some of that channel's most famous shows, including 1982's soap, Yo Sé Que Mentía (I know he was lying), with Iris Chacón, the mini series, Las Divorciadas, (The Divorced Women), with Sonia Noemí and Maribella Garcia, as well as 1984's sitcom, Barrio Cuatro Calles. In the latter comedy she played a Puerto Rican girl who had been born in New York City therefore she used an Americanized, or Nuyorican, accent. She played the wife of Miguel Ángel Álvarez, who played a bakery owner. They played opposite legendary
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    Edith Diaz

    Edith Diaz (October 23, 1949 - December 19, 2009) was a Puerto Rican-born American actress. Diaz, known for roles in film, television and stage, co-founded the Screen Actors Guild's Ethnic Minorities Committee in 1972. Diaz was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. She studied under noted acting teacher, Stella Adler, and at the Actors Studio in New York City. Her film credits included Born on the Fourth of July in 1989, Sister Act in 1992, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit in 1993, Nick of Time in 1995, First Watch in 2003 and Oh Baby! in 2008. On television, Diaz appeared in the short-lived 1975-76 CBS television series, Popi, which starred Hector Elizondo. Popi which aired on CBS for eleven episodes, was one of the first television series on American network television to feature a Hispanic theme and cast. Her other television credits included guest roles on St. Elsewhere, All in the Family and The Twilight Zone. In 1991, she played Desi Arnaz's mother, Dolores (Mother Arnaz), in the television movie, Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, on CBS. Diaz co-founded the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minorities Committee in 1972 with Henry Darrow, Carmen Zapata and Ricardo Montalban. Edith Diaz died
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    Sonia Noemí

    Sonia Noemi, "Sonia Noemí González" July 14, 1941, born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, is an actress and singer, who is one of the pioneers of Puerto Rican television. Sonia was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico's second most populous city, which is also known as "El Pueblo del Chicharrón" (Fried Pig Skin City), located on the northern coastal valley of the island. In 1958, at the early age of 17, she was already one the stars of the musical television show broadcast by Telemundo: "El Show Ford", with:Tito Lara & the Puerto Rican vocal quartet, "Los Hispanos". On September 3, 1965, Sonia Noemí, married a Venezuelan singer Hector Cabrera, and moved to Venezuela. Years later, Sonia divorced Cabrera, and in the early 1970s, she married again, this time to the Cuban actor and producer Guillermo De Cun. In the early 1980s, Sonia divorced de Cun. Alfred D. Herger, was the producer of her first album: "Si Yo Fuera una Reina", (If I were a Queen), *Sona-Rico, SR-1*. Sonia's hit single was: "El rebelde", a Spanish version of the hit song: "He's a Rebel", from The Crystals. In 1965, Noemí, recorded her second album with RCA-Victor record label, in Mexico: "Baladas y boleros", (Ballads & Boleros), *MKL
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    Lymari Nadal

    Lymari Nadal (born February 11, 1978 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Nadal was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where she lived until she was 23 years old. She graduated from high school from the Academia Santa María. She went on to earn her first college degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico at Ponce. In a 2011 interview, Nadal said she was "a pure Ponceña" (Ponceña is Spanish for a woman from Ponce). During a recent interview in Ponce, Nadal stated "I have a Masters degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, but I always wanted to be an actress." Thus Nadal went to Mexico to study acting, then on to England. After her acting classes, Nadal felt she was still repeatedly rejected within the acting industry. “It was very difficult. Imagine, it was always ‘no, no and no’." As a result Nadal started in theatrical arts, entering her husband's theatrical company as producer. She moved to Los Angeles, California in 2001. Since 2002, Nadal has been married to Edward James Olmos. Her latest film - América - premiered in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, area though she wanted
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    39

    Adamari López

    Adamari López Torres (born May 18, 1971 in Humacao, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress famous for participating in several Puerto Rican and Mexican soap operas. The daughter of an undertaker, Luis López, Adamari started her career at the age of six in the Telemundo Canal 2 production of the Cristina Bazán soap opera, alongside legendary Puerto Rican actress Johanna Rosaly and Venezuelan singer José Luis Rodríguez, El Puma. Her talent indicated a future superstar. WAPA-TV next chose her to play Iris Chacón and Daniel Guerrero's daughter in Yo sé que mentía. She was then nine years old, and was given one of the most important roles of the story. López became a household name. A short, two chapter appearance on Vivir Para Ti followed in 1983, and after that, López decided to dedicate herself to her studies. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of the Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico. After reaching the age of maturity, she came back, participating in several plays at Puerto Rico's Teatro Tapia, San Juan's premier and oldest theater, and getting the attention of Mexican producers. She traveled to Mexico next, after the invitation by the producers to try out there, and
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    Chay Santini

    Chay Lynn Santini is a Puerto Rican fashion model and actress who in 1998 was named "Latina Super Model of the Year" by Avon Products, Inc. Santini was born San Juan and raised between Puerto Rico and Tampa, Florida. She moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where she enrolled in the Florida State University. She studied and modeled at the same time for magazines and for companies such as Motorola and Avon. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in studio art along with taking pre-med classes. In 1998, Santini landed a small and uncredited part as a cheerleader in Adam Sandler's movie The Waterboy. That experience motivated her to become an actress, and as a result she enrolled and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and The School for Film and Television Acting School. Also, in 1998, Santini was honored by being named Latina Super Model of the Year by Avon. She returned to Puerto Rico and on September 21, 2000, she represented San Juan in the Miss World Puerto Rico pageant. She was chosen as First Runner-Up and won awards for Best Skin, Best Legs, Best Hair, and Best Figure. Santini was cast as "Alejandra Santiago" in episode 34 ("Family Reunion") in the television series She
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    Dayanara Torres

    Dayanara Torres

    Dayanara Torres Delgado (born October 28, 1974) is a Puerto Rican actress, singer, model, writer and former Miss Universe. Torres was discovered at age 17 while walking through the Plaza de Toa Alta in her hometown, and was invited to represent Toa Alta in the annual Miss Puerto Rico pageant. She won the pageant and the right to represent Puerto Rico in the 1993 Miss Universe pageant. In 1992, she participated in the Miss International pageant and became a semi-finalist. The same year, she earned second place at the Queen of the World contest. Torres won the crown in the Miss Universe pageant held in Mexico City on May 21, 1993. Torres' victory in the pageant caused some controversy because of the claim that she was still a minor; however, Torres had turned 18 several months before the contest. Her victory also raised some eyebrows, as she did not top any of the pageant's segments. When Torres returned home to Puerto Rico, she was received with a massive parade. During and after her reign as Miss Universe, she became an ambassador for UNICEF, traveling through Asia and Latin America in support of the organization. She created the Dayanara Torres Foundation which has provided
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    Millie Corretjer

    Milagros Ninnete Corretjer Maldonado, known as, Millie Corretjer (b. April 18, 1974, is a Puerto Rican singer and actress. She is married to boxer Oscar De La Hoya. At the age of 15, Corretjer hosted a Puerto Rican television show named La Ola Nueva (The New Wave). In 1995, she released the album Sola (Alone), which sent three of her songs to the Billboard lists and the album featured two Spanish versions of Selena songs "Where Did the Feeling Go? which was called Donde Te Has Ido Amor and "Only Love" called Solo Tu. In 1997, Corretjer released her second album, Emociones (Emotions). Her third album, 1999's Amar es un Juego earned her a golden album in Puerto Rico, her song De Hoy en Adelante (From Today On) ranked number one on Billboard for more than six weeks. Millie has a very soft, low and angelic singing voice when she sang. Corretjer and her music became well known in Puerto Rico, Latin American countries, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (where she lived for six months) and the United States. In 2000, Oscar De La Hoya recorded his first music album. In the studio, while trying to record songs for his album, De La Hoya was finding it difficult to sing with more passion. To
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    Manoella Torres

    Manoella Torres

    Manoella Torres, "the woman who was born to sing", is an American singer and actress of Puerto Rican background based in Mexico who has had a extensive career that continues to this day. She has recorded over 350 songs by famous songwriters such as Armando Manzanero, Juan Carlos Calderón, Juan Gabriel, Manuel Alejandro and Rafael Pérez Botija to name a few. Gloria Torres Calderón was born on April 21, 1954 in New York City, United States. Her Puerto Rican parents Felicia Calderón and Jorge Torres had a total of six children, Gloria being the oldest one. She developed an affinity to singing since childhood and would sing for her family. Fighting alcoholism, Jorge Torres and his wife decided to separate and their children were sent to boarding schools while they worked out their problems. Gloria, on the other hand, moved to Mexico with her grandmother, Guadalupe Narváez, who wanted to help her granddaughter's dream come true. She encouraged her talent while Gloria idolized singers like Cuco Sánchez, Los Panchos and Lucha Villa. In Mexico she continued to study vocalization and years later met the man who would take her career to the next level, Alfredo Marcelo Gil. He became her
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    50
    Melina León

    Melina León

    Melina León (born 12 July 1973 as Yamillette Aponte Yunqué in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican merengue singer and actress. From an early age she performed with several groups including The Rubi, Girls of Puerto Rico and The Cherries, with whom she appeared in several San Juan hotels. Her first recording, Mujeres Liberadas, appeared in 1997 on the Tropix Music label. This was followed in 1998 with a Sony release, Con Los Pies Sobre La Tierra. By 2003 she was also performing as an actress on television movies such as: "Yo Creo en Santa Claus" in 2004, broadcast by Televicentro in Puerto Rico, and Wapa America in the United States, among others, and has received several popular awards and had several successful albums and singles on the Billboard Tropical and Latin charts. León started singing as a girl in musical festivals and music contests. At the age of 15, she joined a group called Las Cheris (The Cherries). After that she formed a group called Ruby which released an album through Independent Musical Productions. Tropix Music signed her as a solo artist and she released her first album Mujeres Liberadas (Liberated Women) in 1997 which reached the top 10 of the
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    Marquita Rivera

    Marquita Rivera

    Marquita Rivera (May 18, 1922 – October 21, 2002), a.k.a. "Queen of Latin Rhythm", was a Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer. Dubbed the "Queen of La Conga", "Queen of Latin Rhythm" and "Latin Hurricane" during various stages of her career, Rivera, went on to enjoy a strong musical career both in the United States and in her native Puerto Rico. Born Maria Heroina Rivera de Santiago in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, she was the youngest in a family of seven sons and five daughters. The de Santiagos moved to New York City when Rivera was a young child and it was there that she started a musical career. Studying dance and flamenco at an early age (6), she originally studied with Rita Hayworth's father, Eduardo Cansino. Rita herself gave Rivera a set of castanets as a gift. A childhood friend of bandleader Tito Puente, Rivera, accompanied by her costume designer mother, went on to earn a featured role as a dancer with "George White's Scandals of 1936", but it was her performance before King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the 1939 New York World's Fair during their respective royal visits in 1939 that she considered the highlight of her nascent career. She also toured Boston, Chicago and
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    Giselle Blondet

    Giselle Blondet (born January 9, 1964) is a Puerto Rican actress and TV host. Blondet was born Alba Giselle Blondet, to Victor Manuel Blondet and Alba Gomez, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Around then magazines such as Vea and Teve Guía started talking of a supposed rivalry between Blondet and Millie Avilés, another young Puerto Rican actress who resembled Blondet physically. Blondet spent the rest of the 1980s participating in different television shows, soap operas, and mini-series, as well as in some theatre plays. In 1987, her romance with actor Raúl Rosado was well publicized. In 1989, she married Argentine producer Harold Trucco and they had daughter, Gabriela, and a son, Harold Emmanuel. The relationship encountered problems and ended in 1997. In June 1997, her career took off internationally as she became co-host Univision's international show ¡Despierta América! alongside Rafael José, Fernando Arau, Ana Maria Canseco, and Neida Sandoval. Since divorcing Trucco, she has remained single and says she wants to dedicate her free time to her children. In 2004, Blondet published her autobiography Con los Pies en la Tierra. The following year, she left Despierta América to host a new
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    Carmen Dominicci

    Carmen Lourdes Dominicci Ramos (born July 15, 1966 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a news anchor, television reporter and PSA representative. Dominicci Ramos, a native of Ponce, began appearing in television commercials and beauty pageants in Puerto Rico during the late 1980s. She represented Puerto Rico in modeling competitions in the United States and Europe. Later she began acting in theater T TV comedies and in mini-series (which is a term used for shorter, three or four chapter versions of telenovelas (soap operas), which helped her become a household name and recognized figure in Puerto Rico. She left modeling and acting to study journalism. She married Puerto Rican actor Osvaldo Rios and had a son: Guiliano Rios Dominicci. In the 1990s in Puerto Rico, Carmen Dominicci was active as a news reporter and began appearing in TV news shows in TeleOnce and became news anchorwoman for Wapa TV. In 1998, she signed a contract with Telemundo 47 as news anchorwoman and worked in New York City for four years covering important events such as 9/11. In 2002 Dominicci joined Univision's highly touted news show Primer Impacto and for three years anchored and reported events such as the Pope's John
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    Mapita Cortés

    Mapita Cortés (August 4, 1939 - January 1, 2006 born Maria del Pilar Mercado Cordero in 1939 in Puerto Rico – died in Mexico City), was an actress of telenovelas and the cinema of Mexico. She is the mother of Mexican actor Luis Gatica, the wife of Lucho Gatica, the niece of Puerto Rican actress Mapy Cortés, and the niece in law of Mexican actor Fernando Cortés. Mapita Cortés is also the cousin of famous Paquito Cordero, two years her junior. Mapita Cortés demonstrated desire to become an actress since she was a child. As she and her cousin grew, her cousin became a known personality in Puerto Rico. Mapita Cortés, however, tried her luck in Mexico, since her aunt had adopted her and was a celebrity there. Mapita Cortés took her last name from her uncle and aunt. Cortés became a sensation in the Mexican film industry during the 1950s, when she appeared in 1958's Misterios de ultratumba ("Mysteries of the Afterlife"). This movie became a contemporary Mexican classic. Cortés then starred or played important roles in a number of films, following her uncle and aunt's footsteps by becoming a celebrity on her own in Mexico. She decided to establish herself in the North American country
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    Marisol Calero

    Marisol Calero (born September 13, 1963) is a Puerto Rican actress and singer. Calero was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on September 13, 1963. Since she was a child, Calero participated in school performances at the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro. As a child she participated briefly in the San Juan Children's Choir. As a teenager she attended the Escuela Libre de Musica (Free School of Music) in San Juan. There she continued to participate in the dramatic arts. She studied singing from the age 14 under the sopranos Rina de Toledo, Vilna Echenique and Darysabel Isales. She started her professional career with a fino performance in a poetic musical, accompanied by her mother – also an actress as well as a politician Marta Font. She was a singer in various civic, college, and professional groups. In time she rose to the theatrical horizon in Puerto Rico. In addition to her theatrical career in Puerto Rico, Calero also became a professional singer. Her first hit was Conmigo no (Not with me) in 1986. This was followed by Duende, Ojalá, Te voy a dejar, Duendes de la noche, and Frágil.. A parody of Duendes de la noche became comedic character Vitín Alicea's signature song, Hombres en la
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    Taina

    Noris Díaz Pérez (also known as La Taína, born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico on October 2, 1975) is a Puerto Rican model and host. She appeared on the now defunct late-night show No te Duermas from 1996 to 2007. In addition to her work on television, she has appeared in numerous commercials and ads for beers and other products. Taína has produced eight calendars featuring photographs of her in various poses. She had a brief roles as a prostitute in the film Bad Boys II (along with fellow Puerto Rican Denise Quiñones), and in the Puerto Rican film Más allá del límite, both released in 2002. In January 2006, Taína was hospitalized with severe headaches and later fell in critical condition for what was believed to be a brain tumor.The diagnosis was later altered to encephalitis and she gradually recovered from the illness and returned to television shortly after. On April 24, 2007, she announced her retirement from television to dedicate time to other things, and to fully recover from her condition. After her exit from the entertainment industry, she became a born again Christian and started preaching in churches throughout Puerto Rico. On August 1, 2011, she announced via a press
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    Gredmarie Colón

    Gredmarie Colón (born October 7, 1988) is a Puerto Rican model, actress and reporter. She was the first runner-up of the beauty pageant/reality show Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011. She currently appears as a reporter on the Univision morning show Tu Mañana. Colón is married to Raúl Alexis Ortíz, from the reggaeton duo of Alexis & Fido.
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    Ivy Queen

    Ivy Queen

    Martha Ivelisse Pesante (born March 4, 1972) is a Puerto Rican Latin Grammy nominated reggaetón composer and singer. She is most commonly known as Ivy Queen "La Reina Del Reggaeton" (The Queen of Reggaeton). She is also referred to as "The Queen of Bachata". Martha Ivelisse Pesante, also known as Ivy Queen was born in Añasco, Puerto Rico. When she was young, Ivy Queen's parents moved to New York City where she was raised. Her parents returned to their hometown of Añasco when Ivy was in her teens. There she spent her time perfecting her craft while hanging out with barber/rapper chu chu tren. When she was 18, Ivy Queen moved to San Juan where she met rapper and producer, DJ Negro, who introduced her to a group called "The Noise," with whom she wrote and performed her first song "Somos Raperos Pero No Delincuentes" (We're Rappers, But Not Delinquents). She became tired with the violent and sexual themes often used in reggaeton, and wished to write about a variety of subjects. Soon, DJ Negro convinced Ivy Queen to go solo and in 1997, she made her solo debut with the recording of the album En Mi Imperio (In My Empire) for the Sony International Records '97" award, naming her "The
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    Lillian Hurst

    Lillian Hurst (born August 13, 1943) is a Puerto Rican actress and comedienne. Hurst made her debut as a television comedian in the early 1960s. She participated in various Off-Broadway and movie productions in the United States. Hurst was born in the Villa Palmera section of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the middle class families live. Her father was the owner of the "Farmacia Imperial" (Imperial Pharmacy) located in the neighborhood of Barrio Obrero. Hurst is also a cousin of Puerto Rican television producer Tommy Muñiz. She received her primary and secondary education in the capital. At a young age, Hurst told her parents that she wanted to be an actress. They enrolled her in the modeling academy of Ana Santisteban. In 1960, when she was 17 years old, she was clowning around with her friends while waiting for her turn at the academy. Producer Gaspar Pumarejo happened to encounter Hurst when he entered the academy looking for "fresh" talent for a new show that he was producing. That year Hurst was contracted and she starred in the television comedy Pompilia y su Familia (Pompilia and her Family), which was broadcast on WAPA-TV. Later, she hosted La Hora del Niño (The Children's
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    Lady Catiria

    Catiria Reyes (1959 – May 3, 1999), better known as Lady Catiria, was a Puerto Rican drag performer, film actress, and transgender beauty pageant winner. She was one of the main performers at the New York City Latino nightclub La Escuelita, where she entertained crowds for almost two decades. She was the first person to win two titles at the Miss Continental pageant in Chicago. Towards the end of her life, she became an advocate for AIDS awareness. Lady Catiria began her career at the age of 19 years in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, impersonating the Puerto Rican TV performer Iris Chacón. In the early 1980s, Lady Catiria moved to La Escuelita, a gay club located in midtown Manhattan, where she developed an extremely large following that would faithfully attend her lip-synching performances, especially on Saturday nights. Lady Catiria, who was a transsexual woman, stood out from other performers because of her extremely sensuous body, great beauty, provocative dance moves and penchant for exhibitionism. In general, she did not speak during her performances or while off-stage. In the 1990s, Lady Catiria went on to participate in drag beauty pageants. In 1993 she won
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    Denise Quiñones

    Denise Quiñones

    Denise Marie Quiñones August (born September 9, 1980 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican actress and beauty pageant titleholder who was the fourth woman from her country to win the Miss Universe contest. Prior to winning the Miss Universe pageant, she represented her hometown of Lares in the Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2001 pageant. Quiñones won the Miss Universe 2001 pageant in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 2001. Her win, over Greek contestant Evelina Papantoniou, came on the Miss Universe pageant's 50th anniversary. As Miss Universe, Quiñones resided in New York City for a year, enjoying the benefits that all winners of the pageant receive, including complimentary make-up and haircare, a car, complete wardrobe, professional representation by the Miss Universe Organization, a $60,000 scholarship to a New York City film school, and traveling opportunities. On the night of the Miss Universe 2002 contest, she passed on her crown, once again in Puerto Rico (this time the event was held in the city of San Juan), to Oxana Fedorova of Russia. Since relinquishing the title, Quiñones attended the School for Film and Television's two-year conservatory acting program. Presently an actress,
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    Marga Gomez

    Marga Gomez is a Puerto Rican/Cuban-American comedian, playwright, and humorist. She is openly lesbian. Gomez got her start in the gay comedy clubs of San Francisco in the mid 1980s, including the Valencia Rose Cabaret founded by Ron Lanza and Hank Wilson. She tours nationally in concert, at universities, nightclubs, cruiseships, and political events. She has appeared on HBO's Comic Relief, Showtime's Latino Laugh Festival, Comedy Central's Out There and the PBS series In The Life. Marga's comedy recording, Hung Like a Fly, is available on Uproar Records. She is profiled in the 2003 award winning documentary Laughing Matters along with Kate Clinton, Suzanne Westenhoefer and Karen Williams. Gomez won a GLAAD award for Off-Off Broadway theater in 2004 and is the author/performer of numerous theater pieces: Her seventh solo performance, Los Big Names, was presented by Woolly Mammoth Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 2004 and opened Off Broadway at the 47th Street Theater in April 2006 receiving nominations for the Drama Desk Award and New York Outer Critics Circle Award. The work was inspired by the lives of her entertainer parents Willy Chevalier and Margo the
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    Roselyn Sánchez

    Roselyn Sánchez (born Roselyn Sánchez Rodríguez; April 2, 1973) is a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, model, actress, producer and writer of film and television. Sánchez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the youngest of four siblings, having three older brothers. She received her primary education in San Juan. At a young age, she showed an interest in both dancing and acting and would put on shows for her family. Sánchez enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico, where like her father and brothers she was to study marketing. However, this was not her calling and after three years she left the course. In 1991, at the age of 18, Sánchez moved to New York City, where she took classes in dancing, acting and singing. She returned to Puerto Rico, and in 1992 she made her movie debut, having landed a small part as an island girl in the movie Captain Ron, which was partly filmed in Puerto Rico, starring Martin Short and Kurt Russell. In Puerto Rico, she gained public attention as a dancer and as co-host of a variety show called Qué Vacilón. At that time, in 1993, Sánchez won the Miss Puerto Rico Petite contest, and in 1994 she won the international title of Miss American Petite, bringing
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    Blanca de Castejón

    Blanca de Castejón (1909–1969) was a Puerto Rican actress who became very successful in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. It was never clear if de Castejon was born in New York of Puerto Rican parents, or if she was actually born in Puerto Rico. Blanca Castejón (b. May 13, 1909, d. 1969) was possibly born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her name means "the white one". Castejón went to Argentina in the 1930s, where she made two feature films between 1934 and 1935. With these two movies, Castejon established herself as a bonafide celebrity in the so-called south cone. Her fame transcended Argentina; she also made film in Uruguay at the time. By 1935, she began searching for fame in Hollywood, making a few movies, where she would speak Spanish. Her stay in Hollywood lasted for about five years. During the 1940s, she established herself in Mexico, marrying actor Rafael Banquells (later the husband of Silvia Pinal and father of Rocio Banquells, who, in turn, is the sister of Silvia Pasquel). In Mexico, de Castejon made about thirty movies, becoming a sex symbol in that country and a member of Mexico's golden era of film. In 1954, de Castejon won the Ariel award (Mexico's version of the
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    Flor Joglar de Gracia

    Flor Joglar de Gracia is a Puerto Rican actress and singer. She performed during the 1970s, with a theatre troupe known as "Teatro del Sesenta" ("Theatre of the Sixties"). She is more known recently for being the mother of urban music artist René Pérez, better known as Residente from the popular duet, Calle 13. Recently, Joglar has been featured in some of Calle 13's video clips, predominantly that for the song "Tango del Pecado" (lit. "Tango of Sin"); she sings the song's last section in both the original recording (featured in the album Residente o Visitante) and the song's video. Her voice can also be heard in the intro to the song "Algo Con Sentido", a real life recording of a voicemail she left her son Renée out of concern for his album's violent content.
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    Maria-Elena Laas

    Maria-Elena Laas (born November 28, 1981 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) – is an actress and model of Puerto Rican descent. Her acting career in film includes the comedy The Hot Chick (2002) and indies 'Suffering Man's Charity (2007), Kill the Habit (2010), Lunatics, Lovers and Poets (2009) and Airplane Disasters (2007). She has also had other roles on the sitcoms Grounded for Life and Pacific Blue. In 2006 she also appears opposite George Clooney in a Nespresso commercial filmed by Michel Gondry.
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    Melissa Otero

    Melissa Otero Cintrón (born October 11, 1980) is an independent Puerto Rican pop/rock singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. Otero made her debut under her own label Divine Spell Music Group in 2008. Otero has released one album and one EP to date. Her single "My First Everything" was released in 2006 and had national airplay on indie radio stations marking the beginning of her professional career as an artist. It reached #1 for two consecutive weeks on the Hot97.net Online Radio. Her debut album My Spirit was released on Christmas Day of 2008 and has sold over 500 digital copies most of which were from fans in Colombia and New York City. Otero recently wrapped up her Free Spirit Tour which included performances in New York, Puerto Rico and throughout the Fox Valley of the State of Wisconsin during the summer of 2009. As of 2011, in addition to her touring, Otero has begun working on her second album with Secret Sounds, CEO/producer Stefan Moessle and producer Jimmy Deer (Seal, India Arie, Danica). Melissa Otero Cintrón was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and grew up in the countryside of Yauco, Puerto Rico in the Diego Hernández neighborhood. She is the fourth child of Luis Otero, a
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    Miriam Colon

    Míriam Colón (born August 20, 1936) is a Puerto Rican actress and the founder and director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City. Colón (birth name:Míriam Colón Valle} was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She was a young girl in the 1940s when her recently divorced mother moved the family to a public housing project called "Residencial Las Casas", located in Barrio Obrero, San Juan. She attended the Ramon Baldorioty de Castro High School in Old San Juan, where she actively participated in the school's plays. Her first drama teacher, Marcos Colón (no relation) believed that she was very talented and with his help she was permitted to observe the students in the "Drama Department of the University of Puerto Rico". She was a good student in high school and was awarded scholarships that enabled her to enroll in the "Dramatic Workshop and Technical Institude" and also in "The Lee Strasburg Acting Studio" in New York City. In 1953, Colón debuted as an actress in Peloteros (Baseball Players), starring Ramón (Diplo) Rivero, a film produced in Puerto Rico, and in which she played a character called "Lolita." In 1954, Colón moved to New York City, where she worked in theater and
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    Sorely Muentes-Mendez

    Sorely Muentes-Mendez

    With a Suma Cum Laude Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts from The University of Puerto Rico and Choreography Certification from Dance New Amsterdam, her training includes 15 years of experience in physical theater, clown, ballet, contemporary, jazz, salsa and tango. In 2010 Sorely moved from Puerto Rico, where she was a professional dancer to New York City to pursue her other passion, acting. She's has been presented in El Museo del Barrio and The Brooklyn Museum.

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