Latinos who have made history at the Emmy Awards

October 28, 2021

Latinos have been a part of the American television industry for decades. Discover the fabulous personalities who have made history at the prestigious Emmy Awards.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences of the United States, together with other sister organizations, manage to oversee the highest recognition of excellence in regional television. These are the Emmy Awards, whose first delivery took place in 1949. Since then, Latinos have been present leaving their mark in the industry, however few have won the precious award.

From black and white television to current streaming, Latinos have participated in American productions. Be it behind the cameras or before them, Latin American talent has been part of the history and evolution of this important medium in one way or another.

For example, in the 1950s, Cuban Desi Arnaz paved the way by forming an empire around the famous show I love Lucy that he performed with his wife, the comedian Lucille Ball. In addition to becoming the first Latino to appear on the American small screen, he created a production company and contributed to the development of television by making innovative contributions to that time.

However, it took a few years for a Latino representative to win an Emmy Award statuette. Let’s see some artists who have been taking part in this important award over time.

  1. Rita Moreno

Puerto Rico is the birthplace of the legendary Rita Moreno. In 1977 she won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for her participation in The Muppet Show. The following year she took home the Best Actress in a Dramatic or Comedy Series award for her portrayal of Rita Capkovic in The Rockford Files.

It should be noted that throughout her professional career Rita has been nominated 6 times, she has won 2 Emmy and in 2008 she received an honor award of this same organization.

  1. Ricardo Montalbán

The memorable host of the Island of Fantasy was played by the great Ricardo Montalbán. This prestigious Mexican actor won the Emmy for Best Guest Actor Performance in 1978. The award was obtained for his masterful participation as Satangkai in the series How the West Was Won.

  1. Edward James Olmos

Another actor with Mexican blood won an Emmy in 1985, he was Edward James Olmos. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, Edward is remembered for his role in the famous series Miami Vice. Playing Lieutenant Castillo made him win the Best Supporting Actor award.

  1. John Leguizamo

1999 was the year of recognition by the Emmy Awards for Colombian John Leguizamo. The statuette for Best Actor in a Variety or Musical Program was received for his autobiographical standup comedy Freak, brought to screen, and originally broadcast on HBO.

  1. America Ferrera

Ugly Betty is a famous ABC series that many are familiar with. In 2007, América Ferrera’s prominent role as the lead earned her the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Her parents are from Honduras and she was born in Los Angeles.

  1. Louis C.K

This American comedian and writer with a Mexican father, has won 6 Emmy Awards, between 1999 and 2015. Among his statuettes are the awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and Best Script of Variety Programs.

  1. Stephanie Zelaya

In another sense, the Guatemalan Stephanie Zelaya became the first Latina to sing at the Emmy Gala in 2019. The artist had the privilege of delighting the actors of her favorite series until she made them dance. The opportunity was given to interpret very popular Latin songs in the United States, as well as to launch her single Ring Ring 

Latinos are undoubtedly gaining ground in the American television world, yet there is still a long way to go. There are many established players who continue to work to gain space and promote emerging talents in the entertainment industry, where their participation accounts for 25% of the box office.

In 2021, the Emmy Awards will be held during the month of September. Among his list of nominees are 6 Latinos in acting categories. They are: Alexis Bledel, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rosie Pérez, Mj Rodríguez, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Ramos. Anya Taylor-Joy, of Argentine descent, is a favorite for her outstanding performance as Beth Harmon in the Netflix series Gambito de Dama.

Another Latina who just made history in 2021 Emmy nominations is Mj Rodríguez, of Puerto Rican descent. She is the first transgender woman to be nominated for the category of Best Actress in a drama series. Her brilliant performance as the lead in FX’s Pose series has earned her this important nomination.

The growth of the Latino community is unstoppable, as well as their contributions to the countries where they develop. Born in Latin America or carrying the heritage in their veins and demonstrating their roots with pride, Latinos are increasingly making themselves felt in all areas, including at the Emmy Awards and on television in the United States.

Did you know the trajectory of Latinos at the Emmy Awards? We await your comments on our social networks.