Everyone watches telenovelas. Your mom, your tía, your abuelita. Even your dad can’t keep his eyes off the drama. Not only are telenovelas are incredibly popular, they’ve launched the careers of several actors that are now household names.
Mainstream America met William Levy on Dancing with the Stars…
Photo Credit: ABC
And J.Lo’s “I’m Into You” video.
But you probably remember him as Germán Torres from Olvidarte Jamás.
The Cuban-American hottie started off as a model, then made the jump to the telenovela-themed reality show Protagonistas de Novela 2. In 2006, Levy made his telenovela on Univision’s Olvidarte Jamás. He’s been unforgettable ever since.
You’ve probably seen Eiza González in From Dusk till Dawn: The Series…
Credit: El Rey Network
But the Mexican actress and singer got her start as Lola in the teen telenovela Lola…Érase Una Vez.
Jaime Camil kills it as telenovela actor Rogelio De La Vega on Jane the Virgin…
Because he had plenty of practice on novelas like Mi Destino Eres Tú.
Credit: FrancySlaine Vicenti/YouTube
That’s the one where he got hot and heavy with Lucero.
Credit: FrancySlaine Vicenti/YouTube
Believe it or not, that was 15 years ago. BTW, if you can’t read Lucero’s lips, she’s saying: “Chilllllll… are you trying to swallow me whole?”
Roselyn Sanchez is going strong as Carmen Luna on the show Devious Maids…
But Sanchez’s career really got going when she played Pilar Domingo in the soap As the World Turns.
And everyone knows that soaps are what gringos call telenovelas.
Carlos Ponce’s pecs in the movie Couple’s Retreat are EVERYTHING…
But way back in 1996, people fell in love with his blue eyes when he appeared in Sentimientos Ajenos.
The Puerto Rican actor, singer and composer got his first telenovela role in 1994’s Guadalupe. That’s what led him to get the starring role in Sentimientos Ajenos.
Demián Bichir is all kinds of awesome and in Weeds and The Bridge…
But the Mexican actor is an old school telenovela veteran.
Bichir made his first telenovela appearance in 1977 (!) and went on to do más y más. Here, in La Otra Mitad del Sol, Bichir plays a man who has spent multiple lives falling in love with the same woman.
Everyone thinks of Salma Hayek as the woman who brought Frida to Hollywood…
But Hayek first made a name for herself as a novela star in Mexico.
Credit: ‘Alejandro Rodriguez/YouTube
It’s kinda impossible to see Sofia Vergara as anyone other than Gloria from Modern Family…
But she had minor roles in two Mexican telenovelas before making it on American TV.
Credit: Ava Televisa/YouTube
Vergara was minding her business on a beach in Colombia when she was discovered by a photographer. She ended up in her first telenovela, 1995’s Acapulco, Cuerpo y Alma. After hosting the TV show Fuera de Serie, she appeared in one more novela: Fuego en la Sangre. And, you know, then she became one of the highest paid actresses on TV for her role in Modern Family.
Diego Boneta’s fresh face and talent made him stand out in Rock of Ages…
But he had an ever fresher face when he played Rocco in Rebelde.
Credit: fergy.g g/YouTube
Boneta, who is an actor and a singer, was part of a star-studded cast Rebelde a teen telenovela.
Cristián de la Fuente has been all over TV shows like Ugly Betty, CSI Miami and Devious Maids…
But he perfected his kissing chops on novelas such as Amor Bravio.
Much like Sofia Vergara, de la Fuente’s career started when he was discovered on a beach. Shortly thereafter, the Chilean actor made his way to novelas where became a master of the lip lock.
A lot of people think of Diego Luna as hot and hip now…
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
But he hadn’t even lost his baby fat in the novela El Premio Mayor.
Ana De La Reguera catches Nacho’s eye as Sister Encarnación in Nacho Libre…
But the Mexican actress has been catching the eyes of telenovela lovers since the ’90s.
And not just as supporting characters, we’re talking lead roles in novelas such as Luciana y Nicolás and Desencuentro.
Rodrigo Santoro made plenty people swoon in the movie Love Actually…
Credit: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
But in 1999, he was making Brazilians swoon in the telenovela Suave Veneno.
?Look at that baby face!!! ?