20 Latino Celebrities Who Were From New York
When you come from New York AKA The City of Dreams in many ways you grow up with a mindset that anything is possible. While many in our Latin community come from outside of the U.S. there are tons of Latinos whose roots are heavily based in the Big Apple as well.
Here’s a look at 20 famous Latino born and raised in New York.
1. Jennifer Lopez
There’s no doubting how proud the Bronx-born Latina is of being raised in The Bronx. Lopez sang about her love for her city in her 2002 hit single “Jenny from the Block.”
2. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Born and Raised in New York City, Miranda is the Puerto Rican composer, rapper, and Broadway star who came up with the hit musical In the Heights. In recent years he’s been known for creating Hamilton.
3. Kat DeLuna
Kat DeLuna moved to the Dominican Republic at a young age, but the pop singer was born in The Bronx. DeLuna sang of her NYC love in her single “New York City Gurls.”
4. Alex Rodriguez
Rodriguez was born in Washington Heights and grew up in New York City, the Dominican Republic, and Miami.
5. Marc Anthony
The beloved salsa artist was raised in Spanish Harlem and started his career doing freestyle at Underground New York house music acts.
6. Christina Aguilera
The “Genie in A Bottle” singer was born in Staten Island and lived in New Jersey, Texas, New York and Japan as a child. The Grammy-winning singer signed with RCA Records in 1998.
7. Rita Moreno
Puerto Rico-born, Moreno moved to New York City when she was five-years-old. Moreno won the National Medal of Arts and became the first and only Hispanic performer to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.
8. Prince Royce
Born and raised in The Bronx, Prince Royce is the son of Dominican immigrants and did his best to stay out of trouble while growing up in The Bronx’s toughest neighborhood.
9. Rosie Perez
Perez is an NYC native from Queen. Growing up she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist got into acting when director Spike Lee spotted her at a nightclub and cast her in to the Right Thing.
10. Zoë Saldaña
The Dominican actress was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and spent her early childhood in New York City. She is also a trained dancer.
11. Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor, the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, spoke lovingly of her love for her neighborhood The Bronx in her book.
12. Rosario Dawson
The Puerto Rican Cuban American actress was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a building that she and her family renovated.
13. John Leguizamo
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Leguizamo’s family immigrated to the United States when he was four. They lived in neighborhoods around Queens including Jackson Heights.
14. Lana Parrilla
Parrilla, a star of Once Upon a Time is half Puerto Rican and credit her New York City roots for her success. “I grew up in Brooklyn and was tough — kind of loaded with attitude — and then I came here [Hollywood]. I’m sure people found me kind of intimidating,” Parilla has said.
15. Gina Torres
Torres was raised in The Bronx by her tight Cuban American family. Torres is also a trained singer.
16. Jake T. Austin
Austin was cast by Gary Marshall in New Year’s Eve a film that takes place in his own neighborhood. While on his show of Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place the actor often got to flex is NYC accent.
17. Ana Ortiz
Ortiz was born in Manhattan, raised in Philadelphia. The Latina studied to become a ballerina at a young age but eventually the actress who is part Puerto Rican attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and after Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.
18. Adam Rodriguez
Rodriguez was born in Yonkers and set his sights on becoming a professional baseball player at a young age. Unfortunately, he had an awful injury in high school but luckily it set him on the path of becoming an actor.
19. Melonie Diaz
Diaz was in New York City’s Lower East Side and often known as the Latina indie film queen. The Puerto Rican actress was raised in New York City’s Lower East Side, and recieved a degree in Film Production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
20. Judy Reyes
Reyes was born to Dominican immigrants in The Bronx. She graduated from Hunter College in New York and has starred in shows like “Law and Order SVU” and “Scrubs.”