latinos oscars

Latinos who have made history at the Oscars

December 8, 2021

Latin American talent is in all areas, even in the world film industry. Meet our list of 10 Latinos who have made history at the Oscars.

The Oscars are the highest award given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), also known as the Academy Awards. Since 1929, this recognition of the excellence of actors, directors, writers and other professionals in the film industry in the United States has been celebrated.

Despite the fact that it is an eminently American award, the participation of interesting personalities from Latin America is increasingly notorious. Let’s look at some Latin Americans who have stood out at the Oscars throughout their history.

1. José Ferrer

This Puerto Rican became the first Latino to win the Oscar for Best Actor in 1950. It was his role in Cyrano de Bergerac that earned him such a precious statuette. However, this actor also had other nominations for his appearances in Joan of Arc and Moulin Rouge.

2. Rita Moreno

In 1961, Rita Moreno won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film West Side Story. She was born in Puerto Rico and from a very young age lived in New York. This great artist is one of the few to achieve an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). Her contribution to the arts led her to receive the highest civilian honor in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

3. Anthony Quinn

Of Mexican origin, Antonio Rodolfo Oaxaca Quinn is considered the greatest Latin exponent of classic Hollywood cinema. Throughout his important career he was nominated 4 times for the Academy Awards. He won Best Supporting Actor for the feature films Viva Zapata (1952) and El loco del pelo rojo (1956). Likewise, he obtained nominations for Best Actor for Wild Wind (1957) and Zorba the Greek (1964).

4. Andy Garcia

Actor Andrés Arturo García Menéndez, better known as Andy García, was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1990 he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his masterful performance in the film The Godfather III. Francis Ford Coppola cast him for the coveted character Vincent Mancini, son of Sonny Corleone.

5. Benicio del Toro

Of Puerto Rican origin and nationalized in Spain, Benicio is another famous Latin exponent with a couple of awards from the Academy. In 2000, his role in the police drama Traffic earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. In addition, he was nominated in the same category for 21 Grams in 2003, directed by Mexican Alejandro González Iñárritu.

6. Salma Hayek

In 2003 Salma became the first Mexican to obtain a Best Actress nomination. This privilege was achieved by her performance in the film Frida. Hayek is undoubtedly one of the most relevant Latino figures in Hollywood.

7. Jorge Drexler

In the musical field, the Uruguayan Jorge Drexler received the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2005. The song On the other side of the river, composed for the film Motorcycle Diaries, is the first song in Spanish to be awarded by the Academy. Antonio Banderas performed the piece during the awards ceremony, accompanied by Carlos Santana.

8. Guillermo del Toro

In recent times, Guillermo del Toro has been one of the most talked about Latin names in cinema. Besides being a screenwriter and producer, Guillermo is a director. His 2007 film Pan’s Labyrinth was nominated in 6 categories including Best Foreign Language Film. Then in 2018, he won the awards for Best Film and Best Director for The Shape of Water.

9. Alfonso Cuarón

This Mexican was the first Latino to win the Best Director statuette in 2013. His film Gravity, which starred George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, received 10 nominations. In 2019 he returned to the top spots with the movie Roma.

10. Yalitza Aparicio

She is the first indigenous Mexican woman to be nominated for the Oscars. Without being an actress but a teacher from Oaxaca, Yalitza managed to captivate the director of Roma to make the famous character of a domestic worker. Her next step was to make a mark at the 2019 Academy Awards and be on the list of 100 most influential women in the world, according to the BBC.

For this year 2021, the celebration of the Oscars will take place on April 25 at Union Station in Los Angeles. On this occasion, Latin America will be represented through the Chilean film The Mole Agent directed by Maite Alberdi and competing in the category of Best Documentary Feature Film.

If you want to vote in the 93rd edition of the Academy Awards, you can do so until April 21 through this link.