Entertainment

32 celebrities that you did not know are Latino

Actors, singers and athletes makeup this list of Latino celebrities. I bet there are quite a few on this list you would have never guessed are Latino!

1. Ryan Lochte

Source: Ryan Lochte. Digital Image. LA Times. April 27, 2017. 

The second best ranked swimmer in the world, after Michael Phelps, was born in New York but is Cuban on his mother side. Who’d knew?

2. Diana Taurasi

Source: Diana Taurasi. Digital Image. 

Diana Taurasi, the professional basketball player was born in California. However, her Italian-born father was raised in Argentina and her mother is Argentinian as well.

3. Sara Paxton

Source: Sara Paxton. Digital Image. Celeb Mafia.

Aquamarine star Sara Paxton is Mexican on her mother’s ,side although she was born in Los Angeles.

4. Vanna White

Source: Vanna White. Digital Image. Latin Trends. 

Known for her role in Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White is half Puerto Rican. She uses her step father’s name, as her biological one abandoned the family at an early age.

5. Kid Cudi

Source: Kid Cudi.Digital Image. Billboard. April 22, 2016.  

Kid Cudi’s real name is Scott Ramon Seguro. His father had Mexican-American background.

5. Andrew Keegan

Source: Andrew Keegan. Digital Image. The Huffington Post. August 18, 2014. 

We all know Andrew Keegan appeared on Party of Five, 10 Things I Hate About You and Independence Day, but did you know he is Colombian on his mother’s side?

6. Frankie Muniz

Source: Frankie Muniz. DIgital Image. Famous Birthdays. 

Star of Agent Cody Banks , Malcolm in the Middle and Emmy Award Nominee, is Puerto Rican on his father side. His real name is Francisco!

7. Raquel Welch

Source: Raquel Welch. Digital Image. 

Raquel Welch’s maiden name is Tejada! Her father was born in La Paz, Bolivia.

8. Ted Williams

Source: Ted Williams. Digital Image. Doc Stull. September 19, 2016. 

Former professional baseball player and later manager Ted Williams was born in California, but had Mexican background. Some claim he was the first Latino baseball star.

9. Linda Christian

Source: Linda Christian. Digital Image. The Guardian. July 26, 2011.

The first Bond Girl was born actually born in Tampico, Mexico. Her real name is Blanca Rosa Welter.

10. Bruno Mars

Source: Bruno Mars. Digital Image. UK Mix. January 2, 2017.

Bruno Mars’ real name is Pete Gene Hernandez. He was born in Hawaii but he is half Puerto Rican on his father side!

11. Bella Thorne

Source: Bella Thorne. Digital image. The Hollywood Gossip.

Bella Thorne’s father, who passed away in a traffic accident, was Cuban.

12. Q’orianka Kilcher

Source: Q’orianka Kilcher. Digital Image. Image Event. 

The actress who portrayed Pocahontas was born in Germany, but her father is Peruvian.

13. Aubrey Plaza

Source: Aubrey Plaza. Digital Image. Advocate. July 7, 2016.  

Known for her role in Parks and Recreation, Aubrey Plaza is half Puerto Rican! She has even said she has big part of her family in Puerto Rico.

14. Helena Christensen

Source: Helena Christensen. Digital Image. Pop Sugar. 

Former Victoria’s Secret model, Christensen, born in Denmark, is half Peruvian on her mother’s side!

15. Heather Hemmens

Source: Heather Hemmens. Digital image. FCBA History.

Heather Hemmens, known for her role in Hellcats, was born in Maine but has Costa Rican background. She is very proud of her Latin roots!

16. Jordana Brewster

Source: Jordana Brewster. Digital Image. Beauty Banter. 

Known for her role in the Fast and Furious series, gorgeous Jordana Brewster was actually born in Panama City!

17. Alexis Bledel

Source: Alexis Bledel. Digital Image. Gazette Review . January 5, 2017. 

Gilmore Girls’ star Alexis Bledel, born in Houston, Texas, is half Argentinian on her father’s side.

18. David Blaine

Source: David Blaine. Digital Image. Biography. 

World known magician who owns multiple world records, David Blaine’s father was half Puerto Rican, which makes him one quarter Latino!

19. Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi

Source: Snooki. Digital Image. Hawt Celebs. September 14, 2015.

Former Jersey Shore participant Snookie was born in Santiago, Chile and was later adopted by an Italian-American family. Doesn’t she look great nowadays?

20. David Gallagher

Source: David Gallagher. Digital Image. Ethnic Celebs. August 9, 2009.

Model and actor, Noel Gallagher, was born in New York. However, he is Cuban descent on his mother’s side.

21. Odette Yustman

Source: Odette Yustman. Digital Image. Ethnicelebs. June 17, 2010. 

Gorgeous Odette Yustman , known for her role in House, has a very strong Latino background! Her father was born in Bogota, Colombia and her mother is Cuban.

22. Vanessa Marcil

Source: Vanessa Marcil. Digital Image. Bartcop.

Born Sally Vanessa Ortiz, known for her role on General Hospital, is half Mexican on her father’s side.

23. Victoria Justice

Source: Victoria Justice. Digital Image. Famous Birthdays. 

Victorious superstar, Victoria Justice, is Puerto Rican descent on her mother’s side.  Beautiful!

24. Howie Dorough

Source: Howie D. Digital Image. Bands In Town. 

Yes, one of the Backstreet Boys has Latino roots! Howie D’s mother is Puerto Rican.

25. Ryan Cabrera

Source: Ryan Cabrera. Digital Image. Gazette Review. January 14, 2017.  

Remember Ashlee Simpson’s ex-boyfriend Ryan Cabrera? Well, he was born to a Colombian father which makes him half Latino.

26. Pedro Pascal

Source: Pedro Pascal. Digital Image. Aqui lo mire. September 10, 2017.

Known for his starring role in Netflix series Narcos and his appearance on Game of Thrones, Pedro Pascal was born in Santiago, Chile. Can you guess how much is this hottie and other Latino celebrities worth?

27. Hulk Hogan

Source: Hulk Hogan. Digital Image. Flickering Myth. July 24, 2015. 

Considered by some as the greatest professional wrestler ever, Hulk Hogan, born in Georgia, has Panamanian roots.

28. Fergie

Source: Fergie. Digital Image. Z1035. January 26, 2016. 

Black Eyed Peas’ singer Stacy Ann Ferguson, better known as Fergie, is known to have Mexican background.

29. Uma Thurman

Source: Uma Thurman. Digital Image. El Heraldo. November 24, 2017.

World famous actress for her roles in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, Uma Thurman, has mexican roots as her mother was born in Mexico City.

30. Nicole Richie

Source: Nicole Richie. Digital Image. Hello Magazine. May 2, 2014. 

Nicole Richie is known to be adopted by singer Lionel Richie, but did you known she has Mexican ancestry from her biological family?

31. Harry Shum Jr.

Source: Harry Schum Jr. Digital Image. Billboard. March 3, 2011. 

Known for playing Mike Chang on Glee, Harry Shum Jr. was actually born in Costa Rica.

32. Nina Garcia

Source: Nina Garcia. Digital Image. Marie Claire. August 25, 2015.

Alright, maybe we all know Nina Garcia is Latina, but did you know she is Colombian and was born in the same town as Shakira and Sofia Vergara?

Test your Latino roots knowledge now! 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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