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The Colombian native stepped into the spotlight across Latino markets in the mid nineties through the popular program Fuera de serie on the Univisión network, which she hosted alongside Fernando Fiore. Her goals however sought to make a name for herself on American television. With that objective in mind, she moved to New York from Miami in 2006. After spending years chasing that dream with successful films such as Chasing Papi, Four Brothers and Madea Goes to Jail, she has finally become one of the most popular Latina icons in Hollywood with her participation on the hit show Modern Family (ABC).
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In 1995, the son of Julio Iglesias became an idol throughout Latin-America with hits such as "Si tú te vas" (If You Go) and "Experiencia religiosa" (Religious Experience), which formed part of his self-titled debut album. Just two years later, Iglesias began dipping into the English language market with the number one single "Only You," from his second studio album, Vivir. Since then, songs like "Hero," "Bailamos," "Tonight (I'm Loving You)," and "I Like It," have made the Spanish artist a staple of the American music scene.
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Although she became an instant sensation in Latin-America in 1995 with the album Pies descalzos, it wasn't until 2001 that she caught the public eye across English language markets and beyond with the hit studio production Laundry Service. The Colombian pop star continues to churn out hit songs with every album on a global scale ever since.
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If coming from an impoverished Communist country and ending up on the cover of one of America's most iconic magazines isn't a success story, then we don't know what is... Cuban actor William Levy was enjoying great success as a telenovela actor in Mexico and the U.S. Hispanic market, when he was selected to be part of the cast of Dancing With the Stars. The combination of his looks and his moves drove the ladies crazy, gave him great exposure and opened new opportunities for this Latino hunk. On a side note, did you know he turned a role in the successful Magic Mike, alonside Channing Tatum and Matthew Matthew McConaughey?
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Even though most of the tracks from his first album, M.I.A.M.I, which he launched in 2004, were in English, it was the Latino fans in the United States which quickly grasped the music of the Cuban-American pop star. The same followed with his second and third studio albums, El Mariel, in 2006, and The Boatlift, in 2007. Regardless, over the last couple of years, Pitbull has become a sensation across all markets having put out duets with artists such as Usher, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer López.
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When she starred in her first English language film, The Hi-Lo Country, in 1998, Cruz was already a legend in her native country of Spain. In 1998, she won a Goya award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in La niña de tus ojos and two of her other films, Belle Époque, in 1992, and Todo sobre mi madre, in 1999, both won Oscars for Best Foreign Film, respectively. In 2000, she made her way to the Hollywood scene with roles in the films All the Pretty Horses, with Matt Damon; Blow, starring Johnny Depp; and Vanilla Sky, alongside Tom Cruise, who she maintained a romantic relationship with for some time.
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The successful actor's career began early in his native Spain at the age of 20 years old. After being in over 20 films and making a name for himself in his own country, Bardem arrived in Hollywood in 2000 with the film Before Night Falls, which earned him his first Oscar nomination, making him the first Spanish actor to receive one in the history of the Academy Awards. In 2008, Bardem reached yet another milestone when he took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant performance in the film No Country for Old Men.
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With his first English album, which he released in 1991, Marc drew minimal attention from fans, though in 1993 the launch of the Spanish language album Otra nota changed everything as it jump started his career among the Latino audience. The Puerto Rican star didn't give up on accomplishing the crossover to English and in 1999 conquered the charts with his self titled studio album, where the majority of the tracks were in English. His marriage to Jennifer López, in June of 2004, as well as his various roles in film, has made Marc one of the most popular names in show business.
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The actress first stepped into the scene in 1988 with her part in the soap series Un nuevo amanecer, but it was her star role in Teresa, the following year, that transformed her into a start in Mexico overnight. However, a few years later Salma bid farewell to her native land with eyes fixed on the United States in pursuit of making it to Hollywood. Fortunately for her, she quickly found success and since then has become one of the most celebrated women in the film industry.
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The Spanish actor first made his presence known in the early 1980's with the help of director Pedro Almodóvar. For a decade, he dominated the film industry in his native Spain before taking the international audience in the 90's. In 1993, Banderas appeared in the film Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks. Years later came the classics Interview with a Vampire, alongside Brad Pitt, and starred in films including Desperado, The Mask of Zorro.
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GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL
Bernal has come a long way since his role as the young Daniel in Mexican soap opera El abuelo y yo, and has quickly opened some eyes throughout Hollywood with his performances in such hit films as Babel and Blindness.
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The path to success of actress Génesis Rodríguez —daughter of legendary Venezuelan singer José Luis 'El Puma' Rodríguez— has been a quiet but solid one. She had a few secondary roles in several telenovelas before fading away for a while, only to re-appear stronger than ever as a talented and sought after Latina actress in Hollywood. She has appeared alongside huge stars like Will Ferrel (in Casa de Mi Padre), Jennifer López and Cameron Díaz (What to Expect When You're Expecting), Arnold Schwarzenegger and Forest Withaker (The Last Stand), as well as Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy (Identity Thief). She will also star in the upcoming Hours, alongside Paul Walker.
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ANA DE LA REGUERA
Although she was already well known throughout Mexico, it was in 2004 that the actress went international with her role in the soap series Gitanas. Two years later, De la Reguera stole the hearts of the American public as the beautiful "Encarnación" in the comedy Nacho libre, where she starred alongside Jack Black, and which set her on firm ground in Hollywood. In 2010 she worked with film veteran Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan in Cop Out and has just wrapped production on the upcoming sci-fi action film Cowboys & Aliens, which has a cast that includes Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde.
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The musician and producer started his career in the 1970's back home in Argentina, where he founded a number of musical groups. He has produced albums for many Latin artists such as Juanes, Café Tacvba and Maldita Vecindad. But it is his brilliant musical ensembles for films like Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Brokeback Mountain and Babel (the last two of which took home Oscars for Best Original Score, one in 2006 and the other in 2007, respectively, that have helped make Santaolalla one of the most highly respected Latino music producers in the film industry today.
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ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑARRITU
In the early 90's, the Mexican director created his own production company, Zeta Films, which backed his 1995 project Detrás del dinero, a film for television, which starred Spanish singer Miguel Bosé. The critically acclaimed film Amores perros, which he released in 2000, was nominated the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and received top honors at Cannes and other international film festivals. Following the huge success of the film, the director decided to conquer Hollywood. Since then, he has created memorable classics which include 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful.
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After producing various films and shorts in his native Mexico, some of which include Como agua para chocolate, in 1992, the cinematographer opted to make the move to Hollywood, where for almost two decades, compiled a plethora of achievements with films like Great Expectations, Sleepy Hollow, Ali, and Burn After Reading, to name a few.
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Before testing his luck in Hollywood, the actor had already become popular across Mexico, where he has a long list of casting credits stretching from television dramas to various films. Now, the budding actor continues to breakthrough in the American scene, including his roles in Che, the Showtime series Weeds, and just recently in A Better Life, which has critics talking of an Oscar nomination for his impeccable performance.
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Some say the Colombian film star inherited much of his acting talent from his father Gabriel García Márquez. He started his career in Mexico back in 1987, realizing the photography for diverse films such as Lola and Danzón. In Hollywood he followed the same route with the television film Gia starring Angelina Jolie. In 1999 his first script won the approval in Hollywood, and for HBO, as he directed Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her. Afterward, Garcia went on to create such films as Nine Lives and Mother and Son, and also writes and produces the HBO original series In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne.
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