puerto rican actress

This year, Disney premiered its first Latina princess: Elena Castillo Flores, better known as Elena of Avalor. She sings and plays guitar, she goes on adventures, rules her kingdom and has her own highly rated animated TV show.

The 16-year-old crown princess had been trapped in an amulet for 41 years (so technically, she’s 57 — which might make her one of Disney’s oldest princesses, but that’s another story). Her backstory begins when another animated Disney princess, Sofia the First, sets her free. Elena confronts the evil sorceress Shuriki, voiced by Jane Fonda, who killed her parents and took over the kingdom.

Elena avenges her parents, drives Shuriki out, and begins her reign over the port city of Avalor. “She is the first princess actively ruling her kingdom, and I think that’s new,” says Aimee Carrero, the Dominican-Puerto Rican actress who lends her voice to Elena. “So she has a day job. You know, there’s no Prince Charming, she’s her own hero. She’s learning that leadership is about sacrifice, and not about this sort of totalitarian control over the people she rules — and sort of resembles more of a president than princess. There’s never been a better time to tell this story.”

‘Elena Of Avalor’ Takes The Throne As Disney’s First Latina Princess

Image: Disney Channel

April Lee Hernandez (born January 31, 1980) is an American film and television actress. She has also been credited as April L. Hernandez and April Hernandez Castillo. She is a born-again Christian.

Hernandez grew up near the Grand Concourse in The Bronx. She is of Puerto Rican descent and has described herself as a “strong Latina”. Went to Aquinas High School in the Bronx, New York then Hernandez studied nutrition in Hunter College, but dropped out to pursue a comedy career after being inspired by John Leguizamo’s off-Broadway production Mambo Mouth. Hernandez is married to Jose Castillo. The couple welcomed a daughter, Summer Rose, on September 30, 2012.

Aside from performing stand-up comedy, she has also appeared in several commercials, as well as on the television series ERLaw & Order, and 30 Rock. In June 2010 she was cast for the American cult series Dexter. She appeared in the television series Person of Interest episode Legacy, which aired on January 18, 2012, in which she played an attorney who had turned her life around after a checkered childhood.

She is known for her role in the 2007 drama Freedom Writers, in which she played Eva, based on real-life high school student Maria Reyes. Hernandez has said that she was “determined” to be cast in Freedom Writers. She admires Jennifer Lopez, and has stated that Lopez “opened the door for me so that I don’t have to take certain roles” as a Hispanic-American actress.

Katarina M. Boné-Tsokolati
I’ve been told that I should Americanize my name when I start auditioning and for a while it tormented me because sure my name is harder to remember than Stacy McGee but… my name gives me a reaction I enjoy and it always is a conversation starter, people become curious of my ethnicity… I want more people to know about my family’s roots than to get forgotten among the Robinson and Smiths in the world.
Remember my name.

ADRIA ARJONA GIF HUNT.

Below the cut you will find 127 small/medium HQ gifs of the beautiful Puerto Rican & Guatemalan-American actress, Adria Arjona - as requested by @juliawickxer. She is best known her roles as Dorthy Gale in Emerald City, Dani Silva in Person of Interest, and Emily in True Detective. None of these gifs were made by me, they are all textless, and there are no repeats.

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See, Hamilton is SO FUCKING GOOD, that no one even begins to question how George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison are all black, Alexander Hamilton is Puerto Rican, and two black actresses, and a half Chinese-half white actress play sisters. Seriously, IT’S. THAT. FUCKING. GOOD.

Christina Abbi Vidal (born November 18, 1981) is an American film/television actress, and singer. She is best known for her roles in the films Life with MikeyBrink!Freaky FridaySee No Evil, and the Nickelodeon sitcom Taina, in which she played the title character.

Vidal was born and raised in Whitestone, an area in Queens, New York, the daughter of Manny Vidal, a tax consultant and businessman, and his wife Josie, a secretary, both of Puerto Rican ancestry. She attended the Performing Arts School Of New York. When she was 17 she joined a girl group called Gemstone (along with Jade Villalon and Crystal Grant). Vidal later moved to Orlando, Florida, to proceed with the filming of Taina. Her sisters Lisa, and Tanya are also actors and have appeared on TV and in theatre; she also has a brother, Christian.

Vidal’s acting career started when one of her teachers told her there was an audition for the movie Life with Mikey (1993), starring Michael J. Fox. She auditioned and got the part of “Angie Vega”, and was therefore the first Puerto Rican child actress to play a lead in an American film.[4] Since then, Vidal has appeared in numerous films and television series, with her most notable role being Taina Maria Morales in the Nickelodeon show Taina. The sitcom was at first successful and ran for two seasons until its cancellation in the summer of 2002 because Nickelodeon felt that it only appealed to girls.

The next year she starred in the film Freaky Friday alongside Lindsay Lohan. She played the role of Maddie in that film. That same year, she starred in the short-lived ABC action TV series about police officers called 10-8: Officers on Duty until she suddenly left after two months on the show. Also in 2003 she guest starred in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch as Paris Fate. In 2006, she did an untitled sitcom pilot along with her sisters for ABC (which was executively produced by George Lopez). The show was not picked up but later that year she starred in the film See No Evil, along with having a brief stint on the hit sitcom Girlfriends. In recent times, she made cameo appearances in the movies I Think I Love My WifeMask of the Ninja, and the internet comedy short “Love Automatically”, written by Mylinda Royer and directed by Allison Haislip. Most recently, Vidal played a supporting character in the film Magic Man, which was released in 2009.

When Vidal was in the band Gemstone, she recorded songs with herself as well as bandmate Jade Villalon performing vocals. A few of these tracks would surface many years later on albums consisting of demoes, rare tracks, and special songs of Jade Villalon’s music project, Sweetbox. In 2002, she was briefly signed to MCA Records and in that time she was supposed to release her first single “Tropical” and her solo debut album “White” in the summer of 2002, but never did. That same year she provided guest vocals on the remix of Will Smith’s summer hit “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)” from the Men in Black II soundtrack. She was a part of Lupe Fiasco‘s 1st & 15th Entertainment.[6] She also recorded a track for the work out cd called Byou from Sabrina Bryan of the Cheetah Girls. The song she recorded was “Anything Is Possible”. She also sang the song “Take Me Away” in the movie Freaky Friday.

Happy birthday, Shar Jackson!

Sharisse “Shar” Jackson (born September 4, 1976) is an American television and film actress and singer, best known for her role as Niecy Jackson on the UPN show Moesha.

Jackson was born in BostonMassachusetts. Her mother is of African American and Native American descent, and her father is of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent.

In the television show Moesha, Jackson played the title character’s best friend, Niecy Jackson; she has also appeared in The Bernie Mac Show. She co-starred in the Nickelodeon movie Good Burger with Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson. Jackson was also featured on the ABC reality series The Ex-Wives Club with Marla Maples and Angie Everhart. The show aimed to aid men and women who have recently gone through separation or divorce. In 2009, Jackson appeared in the film I Do… I Did!. She also appeared in the dance film Steppin: The Movie

Jackson was a singer in the pop group “Mpulz” and was included on The Princess Diaries soundtrack. The group released one album before disbanding.

She won first place on the MTV reality show Celebrity Rap Superstar on October 18, 2007, beating runner-up Contro. She also appeared on the seventh season of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, which premiered in February 2010.

Shar Jackson was engaged to Kevin Federline , with whom she has daughter Kori Madison Federline (born July 31, 2002) and son Kaleb Michael Jackson Federline (born July 20, 2004). The couple separated shortly before Kaleb’s birth. After the separation, Federline began a relationship with pop singer Britney Spears. Jackson later commented that Federline’s relationship with Spears “wasn’t like just breaking up a relationship. It was like breaking up a family”, but sustained an amicable relationship with Federline, complimenting his parenting. Federline married Spears, but they divorced after two years. She has 2 older children, son Donnie (born October 1993) and daughter Cassie (born June 1995), by her high-school boyfriend.

Happy Birthday, Zuleyka Rivera!

Zuleyka Jerrís Rivera Mendoza[note 1] Spanish pronunciation: [suˈleika riˈβeɾa]; (born October 3, 1987 in Cayey) is a Puerto Rican beauty queen and actress who held the titles Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2006 and Miss Universe 2006.[1] She made her debut as a telenovela actress in Mexico's Telemundo’s soap opera Dame Chocolate.

Born in Cayey, she was raised in Salinas with her parents Jerry Rivera and Carmen Mendoza, and two brothers, Jerry, Jr. and Jose Rivera Mendoza. Prior to winning the Miss Puerto Rico title she won the local pageant for her hometown of Salinas. She had also placed as the first runner-up in the Miss Teen Puerto Rico pageant. Only eighteen years of age when she was crowned Miss Universe, Rivera is one of the youngest women to win the title. She is also the first winner from Puerto Rico to have noticeable mixed heritage features, different from her four predecessors (Marisol Malaret,Deborah Carthy-DeuDayanara Torres, and Denise Quiñones) that have distinctly European features.

Rivera represented her hometown of Salinas municipality at Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2006, held on November 10, 2005 where she was crowned the winner by outgoing titleholder and Miss Universe 2005 1st Runner-Up Cynthia Olavarría.

Rivera is also the second woman with noticeably mixed features to win Miss Puerto Rico Universe after Alba Reyes in 2004.

Zuleyka Rivera represented Puerto Rico in the Miss Universe 2006 pageant which was televised live internationally from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on 23 July 2006. After competing in swimsuit, evening gown and interview, she was crowned Miss Universe by outgoing titleholder Natalie Glebova of Canada. At the time she was the youngest Miss Universe winner since Amelia Vega in 2003 (until Stefanía Fernández in 2009).

Later that evening, Rivera fainted briefly during a press appearance. The incident was reportedly attributed to heat exhaustion (from the stage lights) coupled with the weight of the heavy, chained dress she was wearing.[2]

Rivera was the fifth Puerto Rican to win the title, which makes the island the third most successful entity in the pageant (behind the United States and Venezuela). Rivera was the third consecutive delegate from Puerto Rico to make the Top 5 at Miss Universe, after Alba Reyes placed 2nd Runner-Up in 2004 and Cynthia Olavarría placed 1st Runner-Up in 2005.

Rivera’s win came only five years after Denise Quiñones, the most recent winner from Puerto Rico, won the crown. As Miss Universe, Rivera represented the Miss Universe Organization, both in the United States and internationally. She was based in New York City, where she shared an apartment with Tara ConnerMiss USAand Katie BlairMiss Teen USA 2006.

At the Miss Universe 2007 pageant she passed her crown to Riyo Mori of Japan in Mexico City, Mexico on May 28, 2007.[3]

After being crowned on July 23, 2006 in Los Angeles, Zuleyka was interviewed by many news teams in Los Angeles and when she arrived at her new home in New York.

From the end of July until early August, Zuleyka traveled to Japan where she presented the Five Star Diamond Award to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo. She also participated in a photo shoot with Kurara Chibana in San Juan, Puerto Rico and in Tokyo, Japan, the girls who became really close best friends and still keep in touch. Miss Universe Japan (and first runner-up), and Zuleyka also visited Mikimoto, the creators of her dazzling crown. In late August, Zuleyka traveled to Indonesia where she attended the opening of a new spa, met with the Minister of Culture, and attended the Miss Indonesia Universe pageant where Agni Pratistha was crowned. While in Indonesia, Zuleyka also visited Bali. On September 4, 2006, Zuleyka returned to her home, Puerto Rico for an official homecoming celebration and parade. The following day, Zuleyka returned to her hometown of Salinas.

As of April 2007, Zuleyka has traveled to the Czech RepublicFranceItalyRussiaSpainTurkeyGreeceKazakhstanIndiaMexicoThailandBrazilPuerto Rico,Japan, and Indonesia, in addition to numerous trips around the USA.

On April 1, 2007, Rivera appeared at WrestleMania 23 along with Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith and Miss Teen USA 2006 Katie Blair, supporting Donald Trump in the Battle of the Billionaires match against Vince McMahon.

She passed on her crown at the Miss Universe 2007 pageant to Japan‘s Riyo Mori, which was held in Mexico CityMexico on May 28, 2007.

After finishing her reign as Miss Universe, Rivera expressed her interest in an acting career. She debuted in the 2007 telenovela Dame Chocolate with Carlos Ponceand Karla Monroig.[4] In 2010, she was offered the role of antagonist Rocío Lynch in the telenovela Alguien Te Mira.[5][6] Later that year, she starred in Aurora as another antagonist, Diana del Valle.[7]

After a brief hiatus due to her pregnancy, Rivera returned to acting in 2012, with a lead role in Rosario. Rivera again plays the role of antagonist Sandra Díaz.[8] On an interview, Rivera said that she has acknowledged she has “the skills for this kind of [antagonist] roles… I handle them pretty well.” In 2013, Rivera announced she would play the antagonist lead in the upcoming telenovela Cosita linda, which will start filming in May.[9]

Rivera will also have a small role on the upcoming film Runner, Runner.[10]

Since the fall of 2010, Rivera has been dating Minnesota Timberwolves point guard José Juan Barea.[11] In July 2011, the couple announced they were expecting their first child together.[12] Rivera gave birth to Sebastián José Barea Rivera in Minnesota on February 18, 2012. Barea was present during the birth.[13]

During early 2013, there was much speculation that the relationship between Rivera and Barea had ended. However, she assured on an interview that they were still together. On April 18, 2013, Barea released a statement confirming that the relationship was over. Rivera responded with a statement of her own alleging “false information” on Barea’s statement. On her statement, Rivera says that “ever since I began filming the telenovela Rosario, there weren’t two consecutive weeks where I didn’t travel to Minnesota, a place I considered my home, along with the father of my child.” She added that she still has the satisfaction “as a woman and mother, that I gave all of me in exchange for our happiness. But this is a labor of two. Life goes on and I keep on going with my head held high.”[14]

Nadine E. Velazquez (born November 20, 1978) is an American actress and model known for her roles as Catalina Aruca on My Name Is Earl and Sofia Ruxin on The League. She has also appeared in films such as War and Flight, and is a cast member on the TV series Major Crimes.

Velazquez was born in ChicagoIllinois and is of Puerto Rican descent. After graduating from Notre Dame High School for Girls, she earned a bachelor of arts in marketing from Columbia College Chicago in 2001.

Velazquez has appeared in print ads, television, and film. Her first acting role was a McDonald’s commercial as a drive-through lady.

She was originally cast as Fernando Sucre’s girlfriend, Maricruz Delgado, in the Fox television series Prison Break, but acquired a role in My Name Is Earlinstead.

Her first film roles were in the movie War with Jet Li and Jason Statham, and in the Oxygen Network original television film Husband for Hire. She starred in the NBC series My Name Is Earl as Catalina Aruca. She was one of the actors in the 2006 monologue show Skirts & Flirts In 2006, she was ranked #54 in 102 sexiest women in the world, and was named #39 in the annual Maxim Hot 100 list.

Velaquez was one of the judges in the Miss Universe 2008 beauty pageant and the host for the Miss USA 2009 pageant.

In 2011 Velazquez appeared in the pilot of ABC’s original series Charlie’s Angels as Gloria Martinez, one of Charlie’s hired “Angels”. Her character was killed off after a few minutes of screen time and was replaced by Minka Kelly.

She appears in a recurring role in FX’s fantasy football sitcom The League and on The CW’s comedy-drama Hart of Dixie.

In 2012, Velazquez appeared in the movie Flight, playing flight attendant Katerina Marquez. In 2013, Velazquez reunited with her former My Name is Earl cast members for a guest appearance in Raising Hope.

Velazquez joined the main cast of the TNT series Major Crimes, beginning with season two.

Velazquez was married to talent agent Marc Provissiero in 2005. They divorced in 2012.

Yolandita Monge (born September 16, 1955) is an international singer and actress from Puerto Rico and the first Puerto Rican female singer to be nominated for the Grammy Music Awards.She has been in the music business since adolescence, and has recorded over thirty albums through her career. She is widely recognized as one of Puerto Rico’s Divas.

Yolandita Monge, was born as Yolanda Rosa Monge Betancourt in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on September 16, 1955. She is the daughter of Iris Delia Betancourt and Hector Monge. She lived the first seven years of her life in New York City and then came back to Puerto Rico. In the beginning of the 70s, she met the Uruguayan Alfredo Lorenzo, in New York, and married him on November 13, 1975. They had a daughter, Noelia, but the marriage ended. In 1983, she married Venezuelan singer Balbino, whom she met in BugaColombia, and is the father of second daughter Paola. Years later they divorced. On December 31, 1989, Yolandita married Puerto Rican former executive of SBS Radio Broadcast Stations in Puerto Rico., Topy Mamery, who is her manager and father to her only son Imanol.

Monge started out by winning a radio contest in 1966 (at the age of eleven). Later on, she made her TV debut on Luis Vigoreaux’s show, Luis Vigoreaux Presenta. She had a regular section in that show. In 1968, she signed with record label Patty Records, which released her first album, named Puerto Rico’s Poignant… Powerful… Incomparable….

It was “El Estornudo” (“The Sneeze”), and her cover of Italian hit “Vida”’ (“Life”), that made her a national star after she released her first album. At that young age, Yolandita would perform with legendary Argentinian singer Libertad Lamarque and then sing at the Festival De La Canción Nueva York (New York Song Festival). Soon, she found another job on TV, this time on Tommy Muñiz’s show, El Show Del Mediodía.

She followed up with some other hits in Puerto Rico, but then she moved to Mexico, where she signed with TECA records and had hits such as “Vete de Aqui” (“Get Out of Here”), “Dos Caminos Diferentes” (“Two Different Ways”), “Por qué Papá?” (“Why, Dad?”) and “La Voz Del Silencio” (“The Voice of Silence”).

1975 was a big year for Monge because she released a song named “Cierra Los Ojos” (“Close Your Eyes”), which earned her wild fame in such South American countries as ColombiaChile,EcuadorVenezuelaPeru, and Argentina, and also in the Dominican Republic. Yolandita was now an international star.

Soon after, she would be signed by Coco Records of New York, and her career kept going on a steady rise internationally. She sang at the Carnegie Hall and was backed up by her artistic godmother, legendary Argentinian singer and actress, Libertad Lamarque.

More information on Monge’s career

Happy birthday, Marquita Rivera!

Marquita Rivera (May 18, 1922 – October 21, 2002), a.k.a. “Queen of Latin Rhythm”, was a Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Dubbed the “Queen of La Conga”, “Queen of Latin Rhythm” and “Latin Hurricane” during various stages of her career, Rivera, went on to enjoy a strong musical career both in the United States and in her native Puerto Rico.

Born Maria Heroina Rivera de Santiago in FajardoPuerto Rico, she was the youngest in a family of seven sons and five daughters. The de Santiagos moved to New York City when Rivera was a young child and it was there that she started a musical career. Studying dance and flamenco at an early age (6), she originally studied with Rita Hayworth’s father, Eduardo Cansino. Rita herself gave Rivera a set of castanets as a gift.

A childhood friend of bandleader Tito Puente, Rivera, accompanied by her costume designer mother, went on to earn a featured role as a dancer with “George White’s Scandals of 1936”, but it was her performance before King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the 1939 New York World’s Fair during their respective royal visits in 1939 that she considered the highlight of her nascent career. She also toured BostonChicago and Philadelphia in bands headed by Paul Whiteman and Noro Morales. Appearing in many New York venues, including The Apollo, Roxy, Paramount, Loews State, Strand and Radio City Music Hall, Rivera shared their stages with [(Ella Fitzgeald)}, Frank SinatraMickey RooneyAnn MillerDean Martin and Jerry LewisKathryn GraysonVictor BorgeEd SullivanMerv Griffin and Betty Hutton.

Rivera put together her own show and performed it at the Latin Quarter (nightclub) and Havana-Madrid in New York. She was also a marquee name back in her homeland where she entertained at venues such as Zero’s Nightclub and El San Juan Theatre. In the mid-1940s Rivera was signed by Azteca Studios in Mexico City. She acted for director Fernando Solerin both the film drama Me perigue una mujer (1947) with Jose Torvay and David Silva, and the comedy El Conquistador (1947), also starring Torvay and Enrique Herrera.

After her contract ended at Azteca, Rivera went on to sign a Hollywood contract with a Paramount Pictures, and made her American movie debut as lead singer and specialty performer in the Hope-Crosby-Lamour comedy The Road to Rio (1947). Rivera was selected (in a popularity poll by Mexican filmgoers themselves) to star in a Hollywood film biography of the late Mexican spitfire Lupe Vélez. The film was shelved when legal issues involving Ms.Vélez’s estate arose. She continued to work in “hot spots” such as the famous Ciro’s nightclub with Desi Arnaz’s band.

In 1948, Marquita Rivera was honored with the Key to the City of San Juan by Mayoress Felisa de Rincon, for her achievements on Broadway, Mexico, and in Hollywood. Today she is being honored with a huge event in Puerto Rico …November 29, 30 and Dec 1. Marquita Rivera will be given some special honors: a proclamation given by the Senators and House of Representatives of Puerto Rico and then a separate Award by all the Mayors of Puerto Rico to commemorate her achievements as one of the first Latin/American actresses. This was all made possible by Eugene Biscardi, a widely-known photographer and one of The Latin Queen’s sons.

Rivera was married to business tycoon Albert Vernon Ashbrook from 1946 to 1949 and had one child, Marquita, her namesake. In 1951, she married physician Eugene N. Biscardi II in New York City. They eventually became a family of seven children. Of their children, eldest son Eugene Biscardi III is a one-time model-turned-fashion photographer who has appeared occasionally as an actor on film and TV, and daughter Jessica Biscardi is a former model/actress and former “Miss New York”.

By the 1950s, Rivera had phased out her career in order to concentrate on raising her large family. In 1963, however, she made a special appearance at Carnegie Hall that featured an all-star lineup, including opera performers Thomas Hayward, Rina Telli, Dino Formichini and James Boxwill, led by Philharmonic conductor Warner S. Bass. She did not appear again publicly until 1977 when she returned to the stage in a limited engagement of her own off-Broadway revue, “The Marquita Rivera Show”.

In the 1980s her husband, Dr. Biscardi, retired and the couple relocated to Los Angeles where Rivera would occasionally make TV appearances, including “Sanford” with Redd Foxx. She also traveled frequently throughout the South on the beauty pageant circuit as a judge. Following the death of her husband in 1988, Rivera chose to retire completely from the limelight.

On October 21 in 2002, Rivera died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, California after suffering a stroke. She is survived by her 7 children - daughters Marquita Press, Jessica Biscardi-Wolford and Lucrezia Silver, and sons Eugene Biscardi III, Louis Biscardi, Robert Biscardi and Joseph Biscardi, as well as 17 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

Happy birthday, Sylvia del Villard!

Sylvia del Villard (February 28, 1928-February 28, 1990), was an actress, dancer, choreographer and Afro-Puerto Rican activist.

Del Villard was born in Santurce, a section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a young child, Del Villard would entertain her parents, Agustin and Marcoline Del Villard, with her dances. Her family considered her very talented and she was also a good student at school. She received her primary and secondary education in Santurce and when she graduated from high school the government of Puerto Rico awarded her with a scholarship to attend college.

Del Villard studied Sociology and Anthropology at Fisk University in Tennessee. However, Del Villard had to deal with the anti-black discrimination which was rampant in the southern regions of the United States at that time. She returned to Puerto Rico and enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico where she earned her degree.

Upon graduating, Del Villard traveled to New York City and enrolled in the City College of New York. It was during this period that she was to develop a passion and love for Africa. She joined the song and ballet group called the “Africa House”. She was also able to trace her African roots to the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Del Villard took dance and voice lessons with Leo Braun at the Metropolitan Opera.

Among the theater productions in which Del Villard has participated in Puerto Rico and abroad are: La Muerte (Death), La Tempestad (The Storm) and Let My People Go. She danced as a bailarina in the following American productions: Valley Without EchoWitches of SalemThe BoyfriendThe Crucible and Kwamina. In Puerto Rico she joined the Afro-Boricua Ballet. With the ballet she participated in the following Afro-Puerto Rican productions, Palesiana y Aquelarre and Palesianisima.

In 1968, she founded the Afro-Boricua El Coqui Theater, which was recognized by the Panamerican Association of the New World Festival as the most important authority of Black Puerto Rican culture. The Theater group were given a contract which permitted them to present their act in other countries and in various universities in the United States.

Del Villard’s favorite poet was Luis Palés Matos. In 1970, she established a theater/school in San Juan and named it after him. However, it wasn’t long before she closed the theater because of the continuous complaints she received from her neighbors. Although many, including herself, felt the complaints were politically motivated and marked the beginning of a voluntary exile that eventually brought her to Hollywood, California.

She moved back to New York where she founded a new theater group which she named Sininke. She made many presentations in the Museum of Natural History in that city. In 1981, she became the first and only director of the office of the Afro-Puerto Rican affairs of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture. She was known to be an outspoken activist who fought for the equal rights of the Black Puerto Rican artist.

In 1989 in California, Del Villard was diagnosed with lung cancer and returned to the island to receive treatment for her condition. Sylvia del Villard died on February 28, 1990 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In 1993, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico produced a musical with the participation of many noted artists titled Ocho Puertas: Un Especial para la historia (Eight Doors: A Historical Special), which paid tribute to Del Villard among other artists. In the East Village of New York City, there is the Sylvia Del Villard Program of the Roberto Clemente Center, a Spanish day treatment program named after her. In Chicago, there is a Sylvia Del Villard Hall at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.

Rita Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress. She is the only Hispanic and one of the few performers to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards, which include an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony, and was the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award.

Moreno was born Rosa Dolores Alverío in the hospital at Humacao, Puerto Rico to Rosa María (née Marcano), a seamstress, and Francisco José “Paco” Alverío, a farmer. Moreno, whose mother was 17 at the time of her birth, was raised in nearby Juncos. Rita’s mother moved to New York City in 1936, taking her daughter, but not her son, Rita’s younger brother, Francisco. Rita would later adopt the surname of her first stepfather, Edward Moreno, Rosa Maria’s second husband.

Rita began her first dancing lessons soon after arriving in New York with a Spanish dancer known as “Paco Cansino”, who was a paternal uncle of film starRita Hayworth. When she was 11 years old, she lent her voice to Spanish language versions of American films. She had her first Broadway role — as “Angelina” in Skydrift — by the time she was 13, which caught the attention of Hollywood talent scouts. She appeared in small roles in The Toast of New Orleans and Singin’ in the Rain, in which she played the starlet “Zelda Zanders”.

In March 1954, Moreno was featured on the cover of Life Magazine with a caption, “Rita Moreno: An Actresses’ Catalog of Sex and Innocence”. In 1956, she had a supporting role in the film version of The King and I as Tuptim, but disliked most of her other work during this period.

In 1961, Moreno landed the role of Anita in Robert Wise’s and Jerome Robbins’ film adaptation of Leonard Bernstein’s and Stephen Sondheim’s groundbreaking Broadway musicalWest Side Story, which had been played by Chita Rivera on Broadway. Moreno won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for that role.

After winning the Oscar, Moreno thought she would be able to continue to perform less stereotypical film roles, but was disappointed.

“Ha, ha. I showed them. I didn’t make another movie for seven years after winning the Oscar…. Before West Side Story, I was always offered the stereotypical Latina roles. The Conchitas and Lolitas in westerns. I was always barefoot. It was humiliating, embarrassing stuff. But I did it because there was nothing else. After West Side Story, it was pretty much the same thing. A lot of gang stories.”

Moreno went on to be the first Hispanic to win an Emmy (1977), a Grammy (1972), an Oscar (1962) and a Tony (1975). In 1985, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago.

Besides appearing in Singin’ in the RainThe King and ISummer and Smoke (1961), West Side StoryThe Night of the Following Day (1968) and Carnal Knowledge (1971), Moreno appeared on the PBS children’s series The Electric Company in the 1970s, most notably as Millie the Helper. In fact, it was Moreno who screamed the show’s opening line, “HEY, YOU GUYS!” She also had roles as the naughty little girl Pandora, and as “Otto”, the very short-tempered director. Moreno appeared in the family variety series The Muppet Show, and she made other guest appearances on television series such as The Rockford FilesThe Love BoatThe Cosby ShowGeorge LopezThe Golden Girls, and Miami Vice. She was also a regular on the first season of the sitcom version of Nine to Five(based on the film hit) during the early 1980s.

Moreno’s Broadway credits include The Last of the Red Hot LoversGantryThe Ritz, for which she won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress, and the female version of The Odd Couple. In 1993 she was invited to perform at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration and later that month was asked to perform at the White House. During the mid-1990s, Moreno provided the voice of Carmen Sandiego on the animated Fox show Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? In 1995, she co-starred with Charlton HestonMickey RooneyDeborah Winters and Peter Graves in theWarren Chaney docudrama, America: A Call to Greatness.

In the late 1990s, she gained exposure to a new generation of viewers when she played Sister Pete, a nun trained as a psychologist in the popular HBO series, Oz. She made a guest appearance onThe Nanny as Coach Stone, Maggie’s (Nicholle Tom) tyrannical gym teacher, whom Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) also remembered from her school as Ms. Wickavich.

Moreno continues to be active on stage and screen. In 2006, she portrayed Amanda Wingfield in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s revival of The Glass Menagerie. She had a recurring role on Law and Order: Criminal Intent as the dying mother of Detective Robert Goren. She was a regular on the short-lived TV series Cane, which starred Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo. In 2011 she accepted the role of the mother of Fran Drescher’s character in the TV sitcom Happily Divorced.

In September 2011, Moreno began performing a solo autobiographical show at the Berkeley Rep (theater) in Berkeley, California, Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup written by Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone after hours of interviews with Moreno.

Moreno dated Marlon Brando for eight years, and attempted suicide in his home in 1962.

On June 18, 1965, Moreno married Leonard Gordon, a cardiologist who was also her manager. He died on June 30, 2010. They have one daughter, Fernanda Luisa Fisher, and two grandsons, Justin and Cameron Fisher.

In an interview with Good Day LA, Moreno stated that Elvis Presley was not a good lover. They dated for quite some time, but each time when the opportunity presented itself to take the relationship to another level, Elvis always backed off.