30 Pictures to Walk Down America Ferrera‘s Memory Lane
Would you have thought, looking at this nice, cute high school girl in the late 90s, that one day she’d be the red carpet beauty we know today? Let‘s jump in our DeLorean and go back to funky 90s to see how everything started.
1. You Remember Ugly Betty!
Some people say they knew very early on that they were “made for the stage”. Maybe that’s true of our America? Here she is in a Halloween parade, dressed as a little devil.
2. High School in the L.A Suburbs.
So many of us are so far from who we’re going to be in high school. But America Ferrera was getting close already. She got the part in a Disney Channel movie, “Gotta Kick It Up!” when she was just 18.
3. A Hit at Sundance.
A few months later the acting thing started to take off! Just 4 months later she lands her big Sundance break with the movie “Real Women Have Curves” by giving voice to young women who were struggling to love themselves and finding opportunities in life. This could‘ve been considered the birth of her inner activist…
4. Making a name for herself.
Years passed and America’s bubbly personality was catching on… She landed roles films and TV, like Lords of Dogtown and the CSI franchise. But much bigger things awaited…
5. Movie Career on the Rise.
America made the jump back to the big screen, this time as one member of a “sisterhood” that passes around a certain pair of pants. All four sisters, America, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn, have gone on to bigger things, and we hope more pants.
6. It’s Ugly Betty Time.
You know when you heard that title you said, “say what?” Then you watched the show and said, “ah, so she’s supposed to be ugly, but really she’s cute….” You know you loved some Ugly Betty back in the day. And America was great on it! Season 1, she won the Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award. Take that, Meryl!
7. Changing Red Carpet Looks.
Around this time, America started hitting the red carpets like mad. A new hairdo and some radically different eyebrows from Ugly Betty turned some heads!
8. Got her 1st Major Win.
2007 was looking like a great year for America (and it was!). She started the year earning her biggest win of her career, the globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
9. Commended by the Secretary of Labor.
After her win at the Golden Globes, Hilda Solis, The United States Secretary of Labor commended her for “helping to break down stereotypes and provide a role model for young Latinas”. And she definitely was…
10. Taking TV by Strom.
Just a few weeks later she earned herself her 2nd major award when she won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series at the SAG Awards… once again for her role as Betty Suárez. She was becoming television‘s IT girl and we were loving every minute of it.
11. She’s featured in TIME Magazine.
As an outspoken Latina, America always has the media’s ear. As the proud star of a network comedy (based on a Colombian telenovela), she broke down borders left and right. No less a source than Time Magazine took note, naming her one of the most influential people of 2007.
12. Became Comedy Royalty.
Won a Primetime Emmy Award and became the 1st Latina to win a Primetime Emmy as a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Way to go America!
13. Supported Hillary.
America, alongside her co-star Amber Tamblyn and Chelsea Clinton led the organization Hillblazers, a platform created for young voters who were supporting Hillary.
14. Pretty Betty.
Later in the show’s run, Betty got a bit of a makeover. Some fans were upset, but not America, who saw it as a natural progression for the character. Plus, she noted how men are constantly rewarded for changing their looks on screen, while for women, it’s seen as “very brave”.
15. Wedding Bells.
America had met her longtime boyfriend Ryan Piers Williams when he cast her in one of his short films at USC. They were together from that time on, and in 2011, they wed. Since then, they’ve made several films together. Click through for news on their latest production…
16. Debuted in Theatre.
After the big success that was Ugly Betty, doors opened for America… one of them took her to London‘s West End to debut in theatre as Roxie Hart in the Chicago musical. I bet all that dancing was a real challenge.
17. College Graduation.
Source: USC Graduation. Digital Image. USC News. May 20, 2013.
Early in her college career, America made the choice to give up her passion for acting and follow her passion for social activism. But a professor helped convince her she could do both. In 2013, she graduated from USC with a degree in international relations. Juggling college with major film and TV roles took ten years, but she did it!
18. New and Improved Red Carpet Look.
The fashion world had to turn its head when America did red carpets for Cesar Chavez. The former “Ugly Betty” star showed off a new sense of elegance and grace in a navy blue gown for the Berlin Film Festival premiere.
19. Big Biopic Role.
America played Helen Chavez, wife of Cesar, in the 2015 movie Cesar Chavez. Aside from wanting to tell the story of a Latino icon, America loved that the film showed him as a human being, a husband, and father.
20. Produced by Conference:
America as a panelist at the Produced by Conference, to help mentor a new generation of TV, film and new media producers.
21. Standing Up For What’s Right.
America has become a political force in her own right. She takes a stand for immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, and even spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention alongside Lena Dunham. Keep an eye on this one!
22. 5th Anniversary Celebration.
And since she swims a lot anyway…America and husband Ryan tried out a new pastime on their fifth wedding anniversary: Surfing! Surfing is just a liiiiitle bit harder than it looks, so we’re pretty impressed with this pic!
23. Fighting Her Inner Saboteur.
Since wrapping Ugly Betty and getting married, America has expanded her workout routine. Since training for and running her first triathlon, she has completed several more. She says it’s a great way to silence her inner saboteur and feel good with who she is.
24. Was front and center at the Women‘s March.
America has always spoken loudly when it comes to defending the rights of those whose voices are not being heard. That‘s why in 2017 she became the opening speaker at the Women‘s March in Washington. We couldn‘t be more proud of one of our favorite Latinas.
25. Became Selena.
In last year‘s Superstore Halloween Special, her character Amy went to work dressed up THE one and only Tex-Mex queen, Selena Quintanilla… and it was EVERYTHING! ?
26. New friends like Jay and Bey
When you’re a smart, funny, politically active TV star, you start to make friends. For example, noted film director Ava DuVernay, who directed Jay-Z’s latest video, “Family Feud.” She joined an all-star cast (Brie Larson, Michael B. Jordan) to play a freedom fighter from the future.
27. Pregnancy with Traveling Pants:
Okay, so here’s the not-that-big secret. America and her husband Ryan are expecting their first baby! They made it public in late ‘17. Her “Sisters” are all still friends and were there to celebrate.
28. Taking a Stand Against the Industry.
We know she‘s always fighting for a cause so it‘s no wonder he became one of the signatories for the Time‘s Up Legal Defense Fund in response to the #Metoo Movement created against sexual harassment women’s face in the workforce.
29. Sharing With Michelle.
America got the opportunity not only to take a picture with the amazing Michelle Obama but also got the opportunity to share the good news about her pregnancy with her… How cool is it that the former 1st Lady congratulates you one becoming a Mom?? Not gonna lie, we‘re a bit jealous!
30. Strong, Successful Woman
A lot has happened since 2002, and America Ferrera’s looks have undergone many changes. But what has stayed the same are her talent, her tenacity, her charm and her dedication. Who knows where the next 16 years will take her!
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