List of some notable Hispanic and Latino Americans, citizens or residents of the United States with ancestry or origins in Hispanic America
Eduardo Catalano, architect (Argentina)
Eduardo Fernando Catalano (born 1917) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to the United States on a scholarship to the Universities of Pennsylvania and Harvard. In 1945, after earning his second Master’s Degree in architecture, Catalano taught at the Architectural Association in London until 1951, when he came back to the U.S. as a Professor of Architecture at the School of Design in Raleigh, North Carolina State University. In 1956 he began teaching in the graduate program for MIT, until 1977, when he moved on “to discover and participate in other endeavors as rewarding as teaching”
Catalano had an “understanding of the indivisible relationship between space and structure”, which earned him praise from Frank Lloyd Wright, who wrote to House and Home magazine when he saw the publishing of the “Raleigh House” AKA the Catalano House to say “It is refreshing to see that the shelter, which is the most important element in domestic architecture, has been so imaginatively and skillfully treated as in the house by Eduardo Catalano” Catalano sold the house when he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to teach at MIT. Years of neglect at the end of the 20th century culminated in the house’s demolition in 2001.
Other buildings designed by Catalano include the US embassies in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Pretoria, South Africa, the Juilliard School of Music at New York City’s Lincoln Center, Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Stratton Student Center at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Rafael Moneo, architect (Spain)
José Rafael Moneo Vallés (born May 9, 1937) is a Spanish architect. He was born in Tudela, Spain, and won the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1996. He studied at the ETSAM, Technical University of Madrid (UPM) from which he received his architectural degree in 1961. From 1958 to 1961 he worked in the office in Madrid of the architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza. He has taught architecture at various locations around the world and from 1985 to 1990 was the chairman of Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he is the first Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture. In 1997, he became Academic Numerary in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid in May 1997.
Spanish constructions of his design include the renovation of the Villahermosa Palace (Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum) in Madrid, the National Museum of Roman Art in Mérida, Spain, an expansion of the Atocha Railway Station (also in Madrid), the Diestre Factory in Zaragoza, Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Majorca the headquarters of the Bankinter (again, in Madrid), Town Hall in Logroño. He also designed the annex to the Murcia Town Hall, which was completed in 1998. His latest work is the enlargement of the Prado Museum, its greatest expansion in 200 years of history.
Some of Moneo’s prominent works in the US include the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, the Davis Art Museum at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the Audrey Jones Beck Building (an expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston). Moneo also designed the Chace Center, a new building for the Rhode Island School of Design. He is currently working on an Interdepartmental Science Building at Columbia University in New York City.
José Limón, modern dancer and choreographer (Mexico)
José Arcadio Limón (January 12, 1908 – December 2, 1972) was a pioneering modern dancer and choreographer. He was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, the eldest of 12 children. He moved to New York City in 1928 where he studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In 1946, Limón founded the José Limón Dance Company. His most famous dance is The Moor’s Pavane (1949), based on Shakespeare’s Othello and set to music by Henry Purcell.
Danielle Polanco, dancer and choreographer (Puerto Rico)
Danielle Polanco (born October 26, 1985) is an elite dancer and choreographer. She is probably best known for being the leading lady in Omarion’s music video Touch and for playing in the 2008 movie Step Up 2 the Streets, in which she portrayed Missy Serrano. Polanco has an impressive resume; she has choreographed for Beyonce and Janet Jackson and has also appeared as a dancer in numerous music videos for top artists such as Beyonce, Amerie, Janet Jackson, and Usher. Danielle is a member of the House of Ninja. She is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent. She’s from and still lives in the Bronx borough of New York City. Most recently, she can be seen in the Broadway revival of West Side story as one of the Shark girls. She is the dance captain for the show.
Gisele Bündchen, model (Brazil)
Gisele Caroline Bündchen (born July 20th, 1980 in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) is a Brazilian model and occasional film actress. According to Forbes, she is the highest-paid model in the world and also the sixteenth richest woman in the entertainment world, with an estimated $150 million fortune.
Carolina Herrera, fashion designer (Venezuela)
Carolina Herrera (born María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño on January 8, 1939), Marchioness of Torre Casa, is a venezuelan fashion designer and entrepreneur who founded her eponymous company in 1980.
Herrera was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Based in New York City since 1981, throughout the 1970s and 1980s she was named one of the best dressed women in the world. Her empire grew rapidly and steadily and she went on to dress Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the last 12 years of her life.
Herrera is married to Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, Marqués de Torre Casa, an editor at Vanity Fair magazine, with whom she had two daughters. She was previously married to Guillermo Behrens Tello, with whom she had two daughters as well.
Carolina Herrera is a Goodwill Ambassador and Facilitator for the Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition, IIMSAM, and its affirmative action programme, The Right to Food Campaign Initiative Against Malnutrition and Fashion United Against Malnutrition. IIMSAM works to promote the use of micro-algae Spirulina (Spirulina Platensis) to counter malnutrition and its severe negative impacts especially in the Developing and Least Developed Countries (LDC). Carolina states: “If my work at the IIMSAM were to save the life of even one child from the forty thousand children that die of malnutrition and related diseases each day, I would consider it the greatest work of my life.”
Ms. Herrera is a recipient of The International Center in New York’s Award of Excellence.
Film and TV
Jessica Alba, actress (Mexico)
Jessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981) is an American television and film actress. She began her television and movie appearances at age 13 in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994). Alba rose to prominence as the lead actress in the television series Dark Angel (2000–2002). Alba later appeared in various films including Honey (2003), Sin City (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), Into the Blue (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Good Luck Chuck both in 2007.
Alba is considered a sex symbol and often generates media attention for her looks. She appears frequently on the “Hot 100″ section of Maxim and was voted number one on AskMen.com’s list of “99 Most Desirable Women” in 2006, as well as “Sexiest Woman in the World” by FHM in 2007. The use of her image on the cover of the March 2006 Playboy sparked a lawsuit by her, which was later dropped. She has also won various awards for her acting, including the Choice Actress Teen Choice Award and Saturn Award for Best Actress (TV), and a Golden Globe nomination for her lead role in the television series Dark Angel. Her acting has also been criticized, as she has been nominated for numerous Razzie Awards throughout her career. Alba’s offscreen, personal life has been a frequent subject of media, celebrity
Benicio del Toro, actor (Puerto Rico)
Benicio Monserrate Rafael del Toro Sánchez (born February 19, 1967), better known as Benicio del Toro, is a Puerto Rican actor and film producer. His awards include the Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award. He is known for his roles as Fred Fenster in The Usual Suspects, Javier Rodríguez Rodríguez in Traffic, Jack ‘Jackie Boy’ Rafferty in Sin City, Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Franky Four Fingers in Snatch and most recently Che Guevara in Che. He is the third Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award.
Isabel Allende, writer (Chile)
Isabel Allende Llona, (born in Lima, Peru; 2 August 1942), is a Chilean-American writer. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the “magic realist” tradition, is one of the first successful women writers in Latin America. She is largely famous for her contributions to Latin-American literature, novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus) (1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias) (2002), which have been hugely successful. She has written novels based in part on her own experiences, often focusing on the experiences of women, weaving myth and realism together. She has lectured and done extensive book tours and has taught literature at ten American colleges. Having adopted American citizenship in 2003, she currently resides in California along with her husband. Her writings are comparable to those of Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Louise Erdrich and Laura Esquivel. Isabel Allende is of Basque, Spanish and Portuguese descent.
Gabriel García Márquez, author (Colombia)
Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (born March 6, 1927) is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. García Márquez, affectionately known as “Gabo” throughout Latin America, is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. In 1982, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. From early on, he showed no inhibitions in his criticism of Colombian and foreign politics. In 1958, he married Mercedes Barcha; they have two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.
He started as a journalist, and has written many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best-known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magical realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo, and most of them express the theme of solitude.