Over the years, many trailblazing Latinas have paved the path for future Latinx stars to step into Hollywood with confidence and pride in who they are. At this year’s Golden Globes, Argentinean American star Anya Taylor-Joy won Best Actress for her work in Netflix’s hit drama The Queen’s Gambit. Mexican actress Eiza González also earned praise for her performance in the dark comedy thriller I Care a Lot. What’s more, Afro-Latina stars, including 9-1-1: Lone Star’s Gina Torres and Roswell, New Mexico’s Heather Hemmens, continue to be Hollywood powerhouses who exemplify the beauty, talent and diversity within the Latinx community.
Keep on scrolling to learn about 15 famous actresses who are helping redefine what it means to be Latinx on and off the red carpet.
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After Anya was born in Miami, her family moved to Argentina where the majority of their relatives lived. Anya called the Latin American country home until she was six. Due to political tensions, her family relocated to London where she discovered her passion for acting. Now, the 25-year-old Spanish-speaking actress is a Golden Globe winner for Netflix’s drama miniseries The Queen’s Gambit. She was also a nominee for the period dramedy film Emma. Previously, Anya starred in BBC’s popular series Peaky Blinders and the supernatural horror movie The Witch.
Best known for starring in the short-lived but beloved sci-fi series Firefly and the legal drama Suits, Gina is a New York native born to Cuban American parents. Throughout her nearly 30-year career, the Afro-Latina star has also appeared in 24, Revenge, Hannibal and Westworld. While she portrays strong female characters on the small screen, like Tommy Vega on 9-1-1: Lone Star, Gina is also a talented vocalist. The 52-year-old artist is a gifted mezzo soprano and professionally trained in opera and jazz.
Born and raised in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents, Justina took an interest in acting from a young age. After moving to New York City in the ’90s, she had several guest roles until she starred in the Emmy-winning HBO drama series Six Feet Under. Although Justina was originally cast as a supporting character, she eventually became part of the main cast. The crew went on to win a SAG Award in 2004. Over the years, the Latina actress has continued to guest star in popular TV shows, like Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Jane The Virgin, Queen of the South and Superstore. Most notably, Justina earned praise for playing the lead in Netflix’s family comedy One Day at a Time.
For more than a decade, Michelle has been making a name for herself in Hollywood. Most recently, the 28-year-old actress starred in the first season of ABC’s crime thriller show Big Sky. Previously, the New York native of Ecuadorian descent was applauded for her performance in the Latinx romantic dramedy The Beauty and the Baker. She first gained recognition for portraying Firefly in Fox’s crime drama Gotham. Fans may have also spotted her in The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and NCIS: New Orleans.
When Mishel made the decision to go into TV and film, she went after it. But she never expected a spontaneous audition for The Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead: Passage to change her life. After the online series was nominated for an Emmy, the 31-year-old actress took another risk by telling the creators of Starz’s dramedy Vida how much the project meant to her during the audition process. With that, she booked the lead role of Emma. In the midst of playing the Mexican American character from L.A., Mishel also portrayed Hermosa Lodge in The CW’s Riverdale. Speaking on the Latina-to-Latina podcast, Mishel shared that she has a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father with traces of Mexican and French ancestry in her.
While many folks may remember seeing Roselyn in the 2001 action comedy movie Rush Hour 2, the Puerto Rican actress had other credits to her name at the time. After moving to New York City in her early 20s, she started off her career in the longtime CBS soap opera As the World Turns and then the spinoff drama Fame L.A. She went on to land other roles in Without a Trace, Devious Maids and Grand Hotel. Later, this summer, Roselyn will be the lead in Fox’s reboot of the drama Fantasy Island.
Best known for portraying Evie in Disney’s fantasy drama franchise Descendants, Sofia is continuing to branch out as an actress. After guest starring in Freeform’s drama Famous in Love, the Colombian American artist returned to the network as part of the main cast for Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. Last year, the 28-year-old star showed off her dance skills in Netflix’s Feel the Beat. Most recently, fans saw her in the coronavirus pandemic-inspired thriller Songbird. In addition to acting, Sofia enjoys releasing new music.
As the beloved comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine comes to an end after eight seasons, Stephanie will go down in history as the mysterious Detective Rosa Diaz. Since 2013, the Argentinean-born actress has starred in the TV show, but she’s also made time for other projects. The 40-year-old star has appeared as a guest in Modern Family, One Day at a Time and Reno 911! among others. She’s also lent her voice for characters in BoJack Horseman, Central Park, Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy. Most recently, Stephanie was part of the Latinx cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s movie In the Heights, a film adaptation of his Tony-winning musical.
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