Saturday, December 31, 2011

Box Office Shocker: Movie Attendance Falls to Lowest Level in 16 Years

Check out this article by Pamela McClintock in The Hollywood Reporter regarding the year in attendance and earnings numbers from the U.S. film market by clicking here.

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to "gossip." In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members who are getting acting and performance gigs. The names of HOLA members are in boldface.

Yanelba Ferreira, shown at left, booked a role in the web series "Happy Cancer Chick." Written by Linda Nieves-Powell and Jenny Lídice Saldaña and directed by Nieves Powell, Ferreira will play the sister of the series lead, played by Saldaña. The webseries will premiere in March 2012. (She booked the gig after reading about the casting notice on one of HOLA's e-mail announcement notices and submitting herself. Coincidentally, her mother auditioned for the role of Saldaña and Ferreira's mother-- and booked the gig as well.)

Caridad De La Luz is scheduled to ring in the new year by performing with Grammy-nominated bandleader Bobby Sanábria and his Quarteto Aché at the famed Nuyorican Poets' Café located in Manhattan's Loísaida neighborhood.

Robin De Jesús is scheduled to act in the production of Two Gentlemen of Verona (a rock opera). Based on Shakespeare's play of the same name, the musical was created by Galt MacDermot, John Guare and Mel Shapiro. It will be directed by Amanda Dehnert, with musical direction by George Fulginiti-Shakar and choreography by Spencer Liff. Scheduled for a late January run, the production will also star Terence Archie, Florrie Bagel, Tom Deckman, Eleasha Gamble, Arielle Jacobs, Javier Muñoz, Manu Narayan, Ken Page, Danny Rutigliano and Juan Carlos Sánchez and will take place at Sidney Harman Hall in The Shakespeare Theatre Company in the North West section of Washington, District of Columbia. For more information, click here.

Mauricio Alexander wrote, directed and stars in the humorous holiday short, called A Special Holiday Digital Short. Also starring Angel Picard-Ami, Leyla Tatiana Rosario and the voice of Anna Lamadrid, it was produced by X-Mas Tequila, in association with Alexander Media and can be seen on the popular website Funny or Die or below.

If you are an HOLA member and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail at If you are not an HOLA member, why not join?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

HOLA on Bronx Journal

Check out HOLA Executive Director Manny Alfaro and HOLA Associate Director A.B. Lugo in this episode of the local New York program "Bronx Journal" (hosted by Miguel Pérez) by clicking below.


Below is a list of new (and returning) HOLA members who joined between November 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. (Note that "returning members" refer those members who have returned to HOLA after having their memberships expire for some time and do not include renewing members.)

(Top row, left to right): Shakira Barrera, Stalin Bocanegra; (second row, left to right): Diana Cano, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ellie Diez; (third row, left to right): Abdel González, Carlos Lobo; (fourth row, left to right): Eddie Marrero, Kevin Martínez Rivera; (fifth row, left to right): Ángel Pastrana, Malena Ramírez, Alfonso Rey; (sixth row, left to right): Ysmael Reyes, Mafer Rodríguez; (seventh row, left to right): Ramiro Sandoval, J.F. Seary; (bottom row, left to right): Stephen Suárez, Raúl Torres.

Not pictured: Nicky Figueredo, Nidia Medina, Melissa Mercado, Marta Lucía Saldarriaga.

Friday, December 23, 2011

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to "gossip." In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members who are getting acting and performance gigs. The names of HOLA members are in boldface.

The Comisionado Dominicano de Cultura en los Estados Unidos recently held their second annual Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado, after which awards were presented. Yanelba Ferreira, Ronald Sarcos and Claudio Marcel Weisz were among the acting nominees. Best Actor honors went to Wilmar Saldarriaga, while Ydaiber Orozco nabbed Best Actress honors.

Abraham Makany is slated to act in the Mac Rogers play Advance Man. Directed by Jordana Williams and presented by Gideon Productions, the show is scheduled for a January run at the Secret Theatre in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. For more information, click here.

Mike Smith Rivera is scheduled to act in the production New Year's Brunchin' Eve. Billed as "five brand new short plays about the end of the old and the beginning of the new," they were written by Dylan Dawson, Meghan Deans, Eric March, Willie Orbison and Erica Saleh, respectively, and directed by R.J. Tolan, John Giampietro, Tom Wojtunik, Collette Robert and Linsay Firman, respectively. Produced by and at Ensemble Studio Theatre (located in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen area), along with Youngblood, it is scheduled for a performance on New Year's Eve (natch). For more information (and how to buy tickets), click here.

José Ignacio Vivero and Susannah Dalton
created the webseries "Wilbur's Wisdom." Produced by PinPuppets, the first episode of the stop-motion animated series features the voices of Paul de Vries and Skylar Osterman and can be seen below. To see more episodes, click here.

If you are an HOLA member and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail at If you are not an HOLA member, why not join?

HOLA Legends: Katy Jurado

Katy Jurado (1924 – 2002), born María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico, was an actress who had a successful film career both in Mexico and in Hollywood. She made seventy-one films during her career. She became the first Latin American actress nominated for an Academy Award, as Best Supporting Actress for her work in 1954's Broken Lance, and was the first to win a Golden Globe. Like many Latino actors, she was typecast to play ethnic roles in American films. By contrast, she had a greater variety of roles in Mexican films; sometimes she also sang and danced.

One of three children, she had a privileged childhood. Both her maternal and paternal families were wealthy, six generations earlier, they had owned much of the land that became the U.S. state of Texas. Both families lost much of their wealth during the Mexican revolution. Family's lands were confiscated by the federal government for redistribution to the landless peasantry. However, she still lived well. Her father was a cattle baron and orange farmer, and her mother was a well-known opera singer who gave up the stage to marry and raise a family. Her cousin, Emilio Portes Gil, was president of Mexico beginning in 1928. Despite the loss of property, the matriarch of the family, her grandmother, continued to live by her aristocratic ideals.

She moved with her family to Mexico City in 1927 and studied journalism. Discovered by Director Emilio Fernández when she was sixteen, she went against family wishes and began pursuing a career in acting. To get around her family's objections, she slipped from the grasp of her family's control by marrying the Mexican actor and writer Víctor Velázquez against her parents' wishes. Together, they had a son and a daughter, Victor Hugo and Sandra. The marriage ended in divorce in 1943, and the children remained with her family in Mexico when she traveled to the United States to work.

She began acting in Mexican films starting in 1943, with the movie No matarás (Thou Shalt Not Kill), and went on to appear in sixteen more films over the next seven years during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Her very particular features were the key of her notable success. Blessed with a stunning beauty and an assertive personality, she specialized in playing determined women in a wide variety of films. Her looks, evocative of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, allowed her to carve a niche for herself in the Mexican cinema. However she typically was cast as a dangerous seductress/man-eater, a popular type in Mexican movies.

During her early years in the Mexican cinema she appeared with stars like Carmen Montejo, María Elena Marqués, David Silva and others. In 1943, she had her first success with her third film La vida inútil de Pito Pérez, for which she received an Ariel, the Mexican equivalent of the Oscar. In 1948, her performance in Nosotros los pobres, opposite the well-known Mexican actor Pedro Infante, brought her fame. She worked with Infante once again in El seminarista (1949). In 1951, she starred in Cárcel de mujeres, with the Spanish star Sara Montiel. Her popularity with audiences also landed her a radio show in Mexico.

In addition to acting, she worked as a movie columnist, radio reporter and bullfight critic to support her family. She was on assignment when Director Budd Boetticher and actor John Wayne spotted her at a bullfight. Neither knew at the time that she was an actress. However, Boetticher, who was also a professional bullfighter, cast her in his 1951 film Bullfighter and the Lady, opposite Gilbert Roland as the wife of an aging matador. At that time, she had very limited English language skills. She memorized and delivered her lines phonetically. Despite this handicap, her strong performance brought her to the attention of Hollywood producer Stanley Kramer. Kramer cast her in the classic Western High Noon, starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. She quickly learned to speak English for the role, studying and taking classes two hours a day for two months, delivering a powerful performance as the saloon owner Helen Ramírez, former love of reluctant hero Will Kane, in one of the most memorable films of the era. She earned a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and gained widespread notice in the American movie industry. Only two other Mexican actresses have been nominated for Golden Globes (and Oscars) since then: Salma Hayek in 2002 for Frida and Adriana Barraza for Babel.

Already established herself as an actress in Mexico in the 1940s when she came to Hollywood, she became a regular in Western films of the 1950s and 1960s. She worked with many Hollywood legends, including Gary Cooper in High Noon, Spencer Tracy in Broken Lance, and Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks, and such respected directors as Fred Zinneman (High Noon), Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) and John Huston (Under the Volcano).

In 1954 she replaced Dolores del Río in the film Broken Lance for which she received an Academy Award nomination, playing Spencer Tracy's Comanche wife and the mother of Robert Wagner.

Despite her notable Hollywood success in the early 1950s, she continued with some performances in Mexico. In 1953 she starred in the Luis Buñuel's box-office success El bruto, for which she received an Ariel Award. The same year she starred in Arrowhead with Charlton Heston and Jack Palance, playing a Comanche. In a 1955 interview with Louella Parsons, shecommented on the mostly American indigenous roles she was given: " I don't mind dramatic roles. I love to act, any character at all. But just once I would like to be my Mexican self in an American motion picture."

On the set of The Badlanders (1958), she met her costar Ernest Borgnine, who became her second husband on December 31, 1959. The couple founded the movie production company SANVIO CORP. With her husband's support, she starred in Dino de Laurentis Italian productions like Barabbas and I braganti italiani. However her tumultuous marriage with Borgnine ended in divorce in 1963. He called her "beautiful, but a tiger."

In 1958 she starred in Broadway in the Tennessee Williams play The Red Devil Battery Sign, with Anthony Quinn and Claire Bloom. She had a torrid affair with the actor Marlon Brando. Brando, who was involved at the time with Movita Castañeda and was having a parallel relationship with Rita Moreno, was smitten with Katy Jurado after seeing her in High Noon. He told Joseph L. Mankiewicz that he was attracted to "her enigmatic eyes, black as hell, pointing at you like fiery arrows." She recalled years later in an interview that "Marlon called me one night for a date, and I accepted. I knew all about Movita. I knew he had a thing for Rita Moreno. Hell, it was just a date. I didn't plan to marry him." However, their first date became the beginning of an extended affair that lasted many years and peaked at the time they worked together on One-Eyed Jacks (1960), a film directed by Brando. "Marlon asked me to marry many times, but for me my children were first," she said. She also maintained a close friendship with stars like Anthony Quinn, Burt Lancaster, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Sinatra, Dolores del Río, John Wayne and many others. Early in her career in Hollywood, she had an affair with John Wayne; she later claimed that he wanted to marry her.

As her career in the U.S. began to wind down, she was reduced to appearing in the movies Smoky (1966) with Fess Parker and Stay Away, Joe (1968), playing the half-Apache mother of Elvis Presley. In 1966 she reprised her role from High Noon (1952) in a TV pilot called "The Clock Strikes Noon Again" which co-starred Peter Fonda as the son of Will Kane. In 1968, she became depressed and attempted suicide by ingesting sleeping pills. She had left a suicide note for her family and was discovered in time to save her life. After her suicide attempt, she moved back to Mexico permanently, though she continued to appear in American films as a character actress. She revived both her personal and professional lives and, in 1972, married again, on a private island she owned off the coast of southern Mexico.

She again appeared on television and in films during the 1970s. Tragedy stuck when her son died in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 35. In the following years she worked on television both in The United States and in Mexico. She did guest appearances on "Playhouse 90" and "The Rifleman." She also co-starred in the short-lived television series "a.k.a. Pablo" in 1984, a situation comedy series for ABC, with Paul Rodríguez.

In 1984, she acted in the Mexican-American production Under the Volcano, directed by John Huston. In 1985, she was named film promotion commissioner for the Mexican state of Morelos. In that position, she issued filming permits, found locations for movies, and arranged accommodations for film crews. The position provided her with the opportunity to arrange and develop national and international motion pictures in her beloved Mexico. Her last American film appearance was in Stephen Frears's Western The Hi-Lo Country, capping a half-century-long American movie career. In 1992 she was honored with the Golden Boot Award for her notable contribution to the western movies. In 1998, she completed a timely Spanish-language film for director Arturo Ripstein called El evangelio de las maravillas about a millennium sect. She won the best supporting Actress silver Ariel for this role. In 2002, she appeared in her last movie Un secreto de Esperanza.

Towards the end of her life, she suffered from heart and lung ailments. She died of kidney failure and pulmonary disease on July 5, 2002, at the age of 78 at her home in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. She was buried in Cuernavaca, at the Panteón de la Páz cemetery. She was survived by her daughter.

With Pina Pellicer and Karl Malden in One-Eyed Jacks (1960, directed by Marlon Brando)

Trailer of High Noon (1952)

With Pedro Infante in Nosotros los pobres (1947)


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to "gossip." In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members who are getting acting and performance gigs. The names of HOLA members are in boldface.

Marcelino Feliciano, shown at left, booked a role in the play Jackson Heights, 3AM. Conceived and directed by Ari Laura Kreith, the series of plays were produced by Theatre 167 and written by Jenny Lyn Bader; J. Stephen Brantley; Ed Cardona, Jr.; Les Hunter; Tom Miller; Melisa Tien; and Joy Tomasko. Scheduled for a January and February run, it is scheduled to take place at Public School 69 at the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens and then in Queens Theater in the Flushing Meadows Park of Queens. The cast also features Roberto Araujo, Varín Ayala, Farah Bala, Cynthia Bastidas, Rajesh Bose, J. Stephen Brantley, Arlene Chico-Lugo, Ross DeGraw, Nick Fehlinger, Kevin Hoffman, John P. Keller, Alex Kip, Ephraim López, Neal Mayer, Nina Mehta, Sergey Nagorny, Flor De Liz Pérez, Indika Senanayake, Josie Whittlesey and Shivantha Wijesinha. For more information, click here. (Mr. Feliciano booked the gig after the casting director saw his headshot on the HOLA online talent directory.)

Sarah Elizondo and Gloribell Mercado, shown at right, from left to right, booked roles in a Del Exilio music video after the director saw their headshots on the HOLA online talent directory.

Yanelba Ferreira was cast as the lead for the short film For Granted (written by Gabe Walkinshaw and scheduled to be directed by Joe Williams; produced by Amago Productions). It is slated to shoot the first weekend of January.

Ismael Cruz Córdova can be seen in the recurring role of Jimmy Patrick on "The Good Wife" (CBS).

Mel Nieves announced that his play Undertow is an official selection of the 2012 Downtown Urban Theater Festival (DUTF), to be presented at Here Theater in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood in March 2012. The play will be directed by Walter J. Hoffman and star Karen Sours and Kevin Prowse. For more information, click here.

If you are an HOLA member and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail at If you are not an HOLA member, why not join?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Betcha Didn't Know...?

Some of the most notable names from the dawn of film and television are of Latino descent. Here are some of them.

In this edition, a famous game show hostess, a wrestler, an heiress, a newsman, and two actors.

Vanna White (1957- ), born Vanna Marie Rosich, is a television personality and film actress best known as the hostess of "Wheel of Fortune" since 1982. Born in Conway, South Carolina, U.S.A. to a Puerto Rican father and a mother of Italian-German descent. When her parents divorced, her mother remarried and she took the last name of her stepfather. After "Wheel of Forune" hostess Susan Stafford left in October 1982, White was chosen as one of three substitute hostesses (along with Vicki McCarty and Summer Bartholomew) to co-host the show. On December 13, 1982, she became the show's regular hostess, where her popularity grew. Her 1987 autobiography, Vanna Speaks!, was a best-seller. She also has made cameo appearances on television shows such as "227," "Simon and Simon," "Married... With Children" and "Full House"; and in films such as Naked Gun 33: The Final Insult. On April 20, 2006, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She married restaurant owner George San Pietro in December 1990 and they divorced in November 2002. They had two children, a son born in 1994 and a daughter born in 1997. She is an avid crochet and knitting enthusiast and has a line of yarns called "Vanna's Choice" through Lion Brand Yarns.

Hulk Hogan (1953- ), born Terrence Gene Bollea, is a professional wrestler, actor, television personality, and musician. Born in Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A. and raised in Tampa, Florida, U.S.A., he enjoyed mainstream popularity in the mid-1980s through the early 1990s as the all-American character "Hulk" Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF—now the WWE), and was notable in the mid-to-late 1990s as Hollywood Hogan, a villain, in World Chanmpionship Wrestling (WCW). Following WCW's fold, he made a brief return to WWE in the early 2000s, revising his heroic character by combining elements of his two most famous personas. The son of an Italian father and a mother of French-Italian-Panamanian heritage, he was a wrestling fan and also a skilled musician, spending ten years playing bass guitar in several Florida-based rock bands. He started training with wrestler Hiro Matsuda in 1976 and made his professional wrestling debut the following year. He was later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. He is a 12-time world heavyweight champion (six titles with WWF/WWE and six titles with WCW), as well as a former WWE World Tag Team Champion with Edge. In his first reign as WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Hogan held the title for 469 days from July 17, 1994 to October 29, 1995—the longest reign of all time for this championship. His crossover popularity led to several television and movie roles. Early in his career he played the part of Thunderlips in Rocky III (1982). Other film credits include No Holds Barred (1989), Suburban Commando (1991), Mr. Nanny (1993), Santa with Muscles (1996), and 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998). He starred in the television series, "Thunder in Paradise" and "Hogan Knows Best," the latter of which was a reality television series that followed the lives of his family. He released a music CD, Hulk Rules, as Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band.

Gloria Vanderbilt (1924- ), is an American artist, author, actress, heiress and socialite most noted as an early developer of designer blue jeans. Born the only child of railroad heir Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and his second wife, Gloria Morgan in New York, New York, U.S.A., she is a member of the prominent Vanderbilt family of New York. She became heiress to a half share in a five-million-dollar trust fund upon her father's death from cirrhosis when she was 18 months old. Her maternal great-grandfather, Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836–1881), was a Union Army general during the American Civil War who also served as the U.S. minister to Chile. Her maternal grandmother, Luisa Kilpatrick, née Luisa Valdivieso Araoz, was a member of a wealthy Spanish family that settled in Chile in the 17th century. Her mother's twin sister, Thelma, pronounced her name the Spanish pronounciation (TEL-ma). She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse with teacher Sanford Meisner and studied art at the Art Students League of New York. She became known for her artwork, giving one-woman shows of oil paintings, watercolors, and pastels. This artwork was adapted and licensed, starting about 1968, by Hallmark Cards (a manufacturer of paper products) and by Bloomcraft (a textile manufacturer), and Vanderbilt began designing specifically for linens, china, glassware and flatware. During the 1970s, she ventured into the fashion business, first with Glentex, licensing her name for a line of scarves. In 1976, Indian designer Mohan Murjani's Murjani Corporation, proposed launching a line of designer jeans carrying her name embossed in script on the back pocket, as well as her swan logo. Her jeans were more tightly fitted than the other jeans of that time. The logo eventually appeared on dresses and perfumes as well. Along with her jeans, she launched a line of blouses, sheets, shoes, leather goods, liqueurs, and accessories. Jones Apparel Group acquired the rights to Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans in 2002. She was one of the first designers to make public appearances, which was a difficult thing for her because of her shyness. In 1978, Gloria Vanderbilt sold the rights to her name to the Murjani Group. She then launched her own company, "GV Ltd.," on 7th Avenue in New York. In the period from 1982 to 2002 L'Oreal launched eight fragrances under the brand name Gloria Vanderbilt. In 2001, she opened her first art exhibition, "Dream Boxes," at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. A critical success, she launched another exhibition of 35 paintings at the Arts Center in 2007. Two years later, she returned to the Arts Center as a panelist at its Annual Fall Show Exhibition, signing copies of her latest novel, "Obsession: An Erotic Tale." She is the author of four memoirs and three novels, and is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle. Today, Vanderbilt is not involved in the fashion or home furnishings business, and is in no way affiliated with the clothing and accessories company that uses her name. She has been married four times (to agent Pasquale DiCicco, conductor Leopold Stokowski, director Stanley Lumet and author Wyatt Emory Cooper, respectively) and has four children (Leopold Stanislaus Stokowski, Christopher Stokowski, Carter Cooper and CNN newsman Anderson Cooper) and three grandchildren from her eldest son. She maintained a romantic relationship with photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks for many years until his death in 2006.

Anderson Cooper (1967- ) is an American journalist, author and television personality. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the host of his own eponymous syndicated daytime talk show "Anderson." Born in New York, New York, U.S.A., he is the son of writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and artist-designer-writer-heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. On his mother's side, he is a great-great-grandson of Major General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and his wife Luisa Valdivieso de Kilpatrick (who was Chilean-born and of Spaniard heritage). He was a child model. He cites his brother Carter's suicide when he was 21 as a catalyst for sparking his interest in journalism. A graduate of Yale University with a degree in political science, he worked first for small news agency Channel One. He later became a correspondent for ABC News, eventually rising to the position of co-anchor on its overnight "World News Now" program on September 21, 1999. He moved to CNN in 2001, first as a co-anchor on "American Morning" and later as a weekend primetime anchor in 2002. His show "Anderson Cooper 360°" debuted in 2003. In early 2007 Cooper signed a multi-year deal with CNN, which would allow him to continue as a contributor to "60 Minutes" on CBS while concurrently serving as a CNN correspondent. Warner Bros. and Telepictures (both corporate siblings of CNN) announced in September 2010 that Cooper had signed an agreement to host a nationally syndicated talk show. The New York Times' Brian Stelter reported on Twitter that the new Warner Bros. daytime talk show would be named "Anderson." The show premiered on September 12, 2011 and, as part of negotiations over the talk show deal, he signed a new multi-year contract with CNN to continue as the host of "Anderson Cooper 360°."

Odette Yustman
(1985- ), also known as Odette Annable, is an actress. Born in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., her mother is Cuban and her father, who is of Italian-French descent), was born in Colombia and raised in Nicaragua. Spanish was her first language. She made her acting debut at an early age, playing a young, Spanish-speaking student named Rosa in the film Kindergarten Cop, and later moved on to various television shows such as "South Beach" and "October Road." In 2007, she starred in the Lifetime original movie Reckless Behavior: Caught on Tape and followed it quickly with a lead role in J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield (2008) and the horror film The Unborn (2009). She starred as Melanie in the Fox series "Breaking In," which was cancelled and then renewed for another season. Between the cancellation and the renewal of that series she began starring in Fox's "House" as Dr. Jessica Adams, one of Dr. Gregory House's newest recruits. When "Breaking In" was renewed, Fox allowed her to work on both series simultaneously. She is married to actor Dave Annable (from ABC's "Brothers & Sisters"). In their wedding vows, she made him promise to learn Spanish and plans to pass down the language to her kids one day.

Edward Furlong (1977- ), born Edward Furlong Tafoya al estilo latino, is an actor whose best known film roles are John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Daniel Vinyard in American History X. He was born in Glendale, California, U.S.A. to a Mexican-American mother and a father of Russian and Native American descent. He began his career with the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a role that earned him a MTV Movie Award and a Saturn Award for his performance. He followed this role with a string of moderately successful high-profile films and independent films, such as Before and After, Little Odessa, Pet Sematary II, Brainscan and The Grass Harp. In 1998, he starred in American History X alongside Edward Norton and appeared in his first comedy role in Pecker, directed by John Waters. Later film credits include Detroit Rock City, Animal Factory, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, Jimmy & Judy and Night of the Demons. He had a five-episode stint on the CBS series "CSI: NY." Most recently he acted in the 2011 Seth Rogen film, The Green Hornet.

• Wanna see other editions of "Betcha Didn't Know...?" Click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Does race and ethnicity matter in casting?

Does race and ethnicity matter in casting? Find out what the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles opines by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Rita Moreno!

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) wishes a happy 80th birthday to the trailblazing, vibrant pioneer-- actor-singer-dancer-- and winner of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony-- Ms. Rita Moreno.

Thank you for busting down the doors that helped Latinos in the arts and for helping us realize our limitless potential.

To find out more about Ms. Moreno and to see her in action, click here and here.

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to "gossip." In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members who are getting acting and performance gigs. The names of HOLA members are in boldface.

Kamar de los Reyes has a guest-starring role in an episode of "Reed Between the Lines" (BET).

Joel Luna booked a role in the short film Last Bullet (directed by Rafael Boelter).

Yanelba Ferreira, shown at left, e-mailed us to let us know that she finished filming the short film The Day That Was (written and directed by Edgar De La Vega). In addition, she booked a role in the short film Seizure (written and directed by Loui Terrier) through an HOLA casting referral.

R.Evolución Latina presented An Evening of Celebration. Directed and conceived by Luis Salgado (with musical direction by Zach Dietz and orchestrations by Jaime Lozano), the evening of music and dance featured performances by Andrea Patterson, Charles D'Amato, Doreen Montalvo, Eliseo Román, Taharq, Daniel J. Watts, Olga Merediz and Salgado and took place in December at the Engelman Recital Hall in the Baruch Performing Arts Center in the Gramercy area of Manhattan. Additional performers included Karina Alós, Mónica Delgado, Anthony Michael Martínez, Marisel Polanco, Yvette Quintero, Reza Salazar and Mônica Steuer.

Madres y comadres, the "webnovela" presented by Kmart and starring Loren Escandón and Mafer Rodríguez and directed by Alberto Ferreras, is featured in a Solpersona article by Frankie De Soto.

Marcela Landres wrote "The Latinidad List: Best Latino Books of 2011" on ¡LatinoLA! Under the category of poetry collection, her pick was Me No Habla With Acento (edited by Emanuel Xavier and published by Rebel Satori Press/El Museo Del Barrio), which features the work of A.B. Lugo and Caridad De La Luz. To see who else made the list, click here.

Lucio Fernández
premiered his new music video "Choza de amor" off his new collection of tunes, Enamorado (available on iTunes). The video, directed by Lucio and Megan Fernández, was shot on location in Mexico and can be seen below.

If you are an HOLA member and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail at If you are not an HOLA member, why not join?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to "gossip." In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members who are getting acting and performance gigs. The names of HOLA members are in boldface.

Marco Antonio Rodríguez was the feature in an article for Latino Leaders magazine. To see the article, click here.

Gabriel García booked a role in an industrial video for the North Shore-LIJ Health System on health literacy. He also booked a role in the short film Patchogue (directed by Ougie Pak).

Danisarte is presenting their latest The New Treasures/Los nuevos valores Theater Festival. Produced by Alicia Kaplan, it took place in December at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in Manhattan's El Barrio neighborhood. The festival included plays by Masha Kuznetsov, Julio Ortega, Sonia Suárez Schwartz and Juan Guzmán, respectively, and were directed by Franco Galecio, Kaplan, Cecill Villar and Guzmán, respectively. Actors in the festival included América Barrera, Estela Orosco, Galecio, Carolina Cruz, Nestor Carrillo, Kaplan, Guzmán, Josue Vargas, among others. For more information, click here.

Indie Theater Blog presented the Best of 2011 collection, a list of the top five theater productions. In the list is Día de los Muertos, written by Anthony P. Pennino and directed by Alberto Bonilla, presented by Teatro LATEA and Core Creative Productions this past July. The cast included Bonilla, Javier E. Gómez and Ydaiber Orozco. For more information, click here.

Ydaiber Orozco
and Ron Sarcos acted in the Ricardo Prieto play Los disfraces. Directed by José Bonilla, it took place at the end of November in the Sala Don Iván García Guerra in the Casa de la Cultura de Navarrete USA in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood.

If you are an HOLA member and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail at If you are not an HOLA member, why not join?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Stephen Adly Guirgis in The New York Times Regarding the Controversial TheaterWorks Hartford production of THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, shown at left, writes in The New York Times about the recent casting controversy in the TheaterWorks Hartford production of his play The Motherf**ker With The Hat. Read it by clicking here.

HOLA Legends: Ramón Novarro

Ramón Novarro (1899–1968), born José Ramón Gil Samaniego on February 6 in Victoria de Durango, Durango, Mexico, was a leading man actor in Hollywood in the early 20th century. He was the next male "sex symbol" after the death of Rudolph Valentino. The son of a doctor, the family (with 12 children) moved to Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. to escape the after-effects of the Mexican Revolution in 1913.

A second cousin of the actresses Dolores del Río and Andrea Palma, he entered films in 1917 in bit parts; and he supplemented his income by working as a singing waiter. His friends, the actor and director Rex Ingram and his wife, the actress Alice Terry, began to promote him as a rival to Rudolph Valentino, and Ingram suggested he change his name to "Novarro." From 1923, he began to play more prominent roles. His role in Scaramouche (1923) brought him his first major success.

In 1925, he achieved his greatest success in Ben-Hur, his revealing costumes causing a sensation, and was elevated into the Hollywood elite. With Valentino's death in 1926, Novarro became the screen's leading Latin actor, though ranked behind his MGM stablemate, John Gilbert, as a model lover. He was popular as a swashbuckler in action roles and was considered one of the great romantic lead actors of his day. He appeared with Norma Shearer in The Student Prince of Old Heidelberg (1927) and with Joan Crawford in Across to Singapore (1928). He made his first talking film, starring as a singing French soldier, in Devil-May-Care (1929). He also starred with the French actress Renée Adorée in The Pagan (1929). He also starred with Greta Garbo in Mata Hari (1932) and was a qualified success opposite Myrna Loy in The Barbarian (1933).

When his contract with MGM Studios expired in 1935, the studio did not renew it. He continued to act sporadically, appearing in films for Republic Pictures, a Mexican religious drama, and a French comedy. In the 1940s, he had several small roles in American films, including John Huston's We Were Strangers (1949) starring Jennifer Jones and John Garfield. A Broadway tryout was aborted in the 1960s, but he kept busy on television, appearing in NBC's "High Chaparral" as late as 1968.

At the peak of his success in the late 1920s and early 1930s, he was earning more than US$100,000 per film. He invested some of his income in real estate, and his Hollywood Hills residence is one of the more renowned designs (1927) by architect Lloyd Wright. After his career ended, he was still able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

He had been troubled all his life as a result of his conflicting views over his Roman Catholic religion and his homosexuality, and his life-long struggle with alcoholism is often traced to these issues. He was a friend of adventurer and author Richard Halliburton, also a celebrity in the closet, and was romantically involved with journalist Herbert Howe, who was also his publicist during the late 1920s.

He was murdered on October 30, 1968, by two brothers, Paul and Tom Ferguson (aged 22 and 17, respectively), whom he had hired from an agency to come to his Laurel Canyon home for sex. According to the prosecution in the murder case, the two young men believed that a large sum of money was hidden in his house. The prosecution accused them of torturing him for several hours to force him to reveal where the nonexistent money was hidden. They left with a mere 20 dollars they took from his bathrobe pocket before fleeing the scene. He allegedly died as a result of asphyxiation, choking to death on his own blood after being brutally beaten. The two brothers were later caught and sentenced to long prison terms but were quickly released on probation. Both were later re-arrested for unrelated crimes, for which they served longer terms than for their murder conviction.

He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, in Los Angeles. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard.

Singing the song "Lonely"

With Greta Garbo in Mata Hari (1932)

In Ben-Hur (1925) [subtitled in Spanish]

Tribute to Ramón Novarro

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cinematic Tough Guys Who Love Latinas

John Wayne (1907—1979), born Marion Robert Morrison and also known as Marion Mitchell Morrison and "The Duke," was an American film actor, director and producer. An Academy Award-winner, he is one of the biggest box office draws of all time. An enduring American icon, he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height. Born in Winterset, Iowa, U.S.A., his family relocated to the greater Los Angeles area when he was four. He found work at local film studios when he lost his football scholarship to the University of Southern California as a result of a surfing accident. Initially working for the Fox Film Corporation, he mostly appeared in small bit parts. His acting breakthrough came in 1939 with John Ford's Stagecoach, making him an instant star. He would go on to star in 142 pictures, primarily typecast in Western films. He won the Academy Award for the film True Grit (1969). For more information, click here.

He married three times and divorced twice. All of his wives were Latina: Josephine Alicia Sáenz, Esperanza Baur and Pilar Pallete, the latter two of whom were actresses. His wives were Panamanian, Mexican and Peruvian, respectively. He had four children with his first wife: Michael Morrison (1934—2003), Mary Antonia "Toni" Morrison LaCava (1936—2000), Patrick Morrison (1939— ), and Melinda Morrison Muñoz (1940— ); no children with his second wife; and three children with his third wife: Aissa Morrison (1956— ), John Ethan Morrison (1962— ), and Marisa Morrison (1966— ). Three of his sons (under the names Michael Wayne, Patrick Wayne and John Ethan Wayne, respectively), pursued careers as actors.

Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. (1930— ) is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Born in San Francisco, California, U.S.A., he first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series "Rawhide" (1959–1965). He rose to fame for playing the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy of spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) during the 1960s, and as San Francisco Police Department Inspector Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films (Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool) during the 1970s and 1980s.

He won Academy Awards for Best Director and Producer of the Best Picture, as well as receiving nominations for Best Actor, for his work in the films Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004). In addition to directing most of his own star vehicles, he has also directed films in which he did not appear, such as Mystic River (2003) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received Academy Award nominations, and Changeling (2008). These roles, along with several others in which he plays tough-talking no-nonsense police officers, have made him an enduring cultural icon of masculinity. In 2000 he was awarded the Italian Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. Since 1967, Eastwood has run his own production company, Malpaso, which has produced the vast majority of his films. He also served as the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, U.S.A., from 1986 to 1988. For more information, click here or here.

He has had a passion for music all his life. He particularly favors jazz and country and western music and is a pianist and composer. He developed as a ragtime pianist early on and had originally intended to pursue a career in music by studying for a music theory degree after graduating from high school. He has his own Warner Bros. Records-distributed imprint Malpaso Records, as part of his deal with Warner Brothers, which has released all of the scores of his films from The Bridges of Madison County onward.

He has seven children by five different women, and has married twice. He married Maggie Johnson on December 19, 1953. While separated from Johnson, he had an affair with dancer Roxanne Tunis, with whom he had his first child, Kimber Tunis (1964— ). After a reconciliation, he had two children with Johnson: Kyle Eastwood (1968— ) and Alison Eastwood (1972— ). He filed for divorce in 1979 after a long separation which was finalized in 1984. He then entered a relationship with actress Sondra Locke in 1975, and they lived together for fourteen years despite the fact that she remained married (in name only) to her gay husband, Gordon Anderson. They co-starred in six films together: The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can, and Sudden Impact. The couple separated acrimoniously in 1989. During his cohabitation with Locke, he had an affair with flight attendant Jacelyn Reeves. From this union is his son, Scott Reeves (1986— ) and Kathryn Reeves (1988— ). In 1990, he began living with actress Frances Fisher, whom he had met on the set of Pink Cadillac (1989). They co-starred in Unforgiven and had a daughter, Francesca Fisher-Eastwood (1993— ). The couple ended their relationship in early 1995, but remain friends and later appeared together in True Crime. His son Kyle is a jazz bassist and his daughter Alison is an actor.

He subsequently began dating Dina Ruiz, an anchorwoman 35 years his junior, whom he had first met when she interviewed him in 1993. They married on March 31, 1996, when he surprised her with a private ceremony at his home. Ruiz is of African American-Japanese-Irish-German-English descent, but was adopted by a Latino family named Ruiz. The couple has one daughter, Morgan Eastwood (1996— ). He has two grandchildren: Clinton (1984— ) and Graylen (1994— ), by Kimber and Kyle respectively.

Marlon Brando, Jr. (1924—2004) was an American actor and political activist. He was the only professional actor, aside from Charlie Chaplin, named by Time magazine as one of its 100 Persons of the Century in 1999. He had a significant impact on film acting, and was the foremost example of the Method acting style and is widely considered as one of the greatest and most influential actors of the 20th century. Director Martin Scorsese said of him, "He is the marker. There's 'before Brando' and 'after Brando'." Actor Jack Nicholson once said, "When Marlon dies, everybody moves up one." He was ranked by the American Film Institute as the fourth greatest screen legend among male movie stars.

An enduring cultural icon, he became a box office star during the 1950s, during which time he racked up five Oscar nominations as Best Actor. He initially gained popularity for recreating the role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a Tennessee Williams play that had established him as a Broadway star during its 1947-49 stage run; and for his Academy Award-winning performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954), as well as for his iconic portrayal of the rebel motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (1953), which is considered to be one of the most famous images in pop culture. He was also nominated for the Oscar for playing Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata! (1952); Mark Antony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; and as Air Force Major Lloyd Gruver in Sayonara (1957), Joshua Logan's adaptation of James Michener's 1954 novel. He won his second Academy Award for playing Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972), a role critics consider among his greatest. His final nomination was for the role of Paul in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (1972). As an activist, the Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.-born actor supported many issues, notably the African American Civil Rights Movement and various American Indian Movements. For more information, click here or here.

He had numerous children. Some historians put the number of children he had as fourteen, including three of whom he adopted. He married Indian-Welsh-Irish actress Anna Kashfi in 1957; they had a son Christian Brando (1958—2008), divorcing in 1959. He then married María Movita Castañeda, a Mexican-American actress; they were divorced in 1962. They had two children together, Miko Castañeda Brando (1961— ) and Rebecca Brando (1966— ). His third wife was Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipia, who played his love interest in the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty. They married in 1962. Teriipia became the mother of two of his children, Simon Teihotu Brando (1963— ) and Tarita Cheyenne Brando (1970-1995). He also adopted Teriipia's daughters Maimiti Brando (1977— ) and Raiatua Brando (1982— ), even though they divorced in 1972.

He had a longterm relationship (roughly between 1988 and 1996) with his housekeeper María Christina Ruiz, by whom he had three children, Ninna Priscilla Brando (1989— ), Myles Jonathan Brando (1992— ), and Timothy Gahan Brando (1994— ). He had three more children by unidentified women, Stefano Brando (1967— ), Dylan Brando (1968—1988), and Angelique Brando (?— ). He also adopted Petra Brando-Corval (1972— ), the daughter of his assistant Caroline Barrett and novelist James Clavell.

Of his children, only Stefano, using the stage name Stephen Blackehart, is an actor. Tuki Brando, one of his numerous grandchildren (some estimates say as many as 36), is a famous Tahitian fashion model in his own right. The current exact number of Brando's descendents is unknown.

More People Weigh In On the Casting Controversy With the TheaterWorks Hartford Production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' The MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT

More people are weighing in on the casting controversy regarding TheaterWorks Hartford and their decision to cast non-Latinos in Latino specific roles in the Stephen Adly Guirgis play The Motherf**ker With the Hat. The roles were specified as Latino by the playwright but not posted as such on the casting breakdown sent out by the theater. While the production itself closed on Sunday, December 4, 2011, the controversy continues. Click on the links below to read more.

• Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis attended the production in its closing weekend, as reported by Frank Rizzo of the Hartford Courant.

• Playwright (and HOLA Award winner) Quiara Alegría Hudes defended Guirgis, taking umbrage at TheaterWorks Hartford Artistic Director Steve Campo's comment that "It is a tribute to his skill that Stephen Adly Guirgis, though not Hispanic, is able to so credibly depict a culture not his own, as he does in The Mother[expletive] With the Hat. How gracious it would be of him to allow that actors (of whatever heritage) might succeed in acting, much as he has in writing.”

• Actor/playwright (and HOLA Award winner) Carmen Peláez wrote about the controversy on her blog Peacock Chronicles.

Pioneer Actress Marquita Rivera Honored By The Puerto Rican Senate

The late Marquita Rivera, a Puerto Rican pioneer on Broadway and in Hollywood, was honored by the Puerto Rico Senate on Thursday, December 1, 2011 for her career achievements as the first native Puerto Rican actress to dance on Broadway and to appear in a major Hollywood motion picture when she made her American movie debut as a specialty performer in Road to Rio (1947) with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

The activity included films of Rivera, an acclaimed actress, singer and dancer. The Fajardo-born, New York-raised entertainer studied dance and flamenco at an early age and was a childhood friend of bandleader Tito Puente.

The ceremony, attended by two of Rivera’s seven children, Eugene Biscardi III and Jessica Wolford, included the unveiling of a portrait of the multi-talented entertainer. The painting, by local artist Juan Cuevas, takes its title from one of Rivera’s nicknames, "Queen of La Conga."

Rivera toured the country as a dancer and produced her own shows on Broadway. She also had a successful acting career in Mexico before taking her talents to Hollywood.

Marquita Rivera, born María Heroína Rivera de Santiago on May 18, 1922 to Don Jesús Rivera de Pérez and Doña Clara Asunción Castro de Santiago in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, was an actress, singer, and dancer who rose to international prominence in the 1940s and became notably known as the "Queen of Latin Rhythm." She enjoyed a strong musical career in the United States, Mexico, and in her native Puerto Rico.

The youngest in her large family, she began to study flamenco and castanets at the age of six with Eduardo Cansino, the father of Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth.

She became the featured dancer in the original "Cuban Pete" soundie with her childhood friend, Tito Puente playing the drums and the Puerto Rican bandleader Noro Morales playing the piano.

At the age of sixteen, Marquita Rivera was chosen to dance before Britain's King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, during their visit to the 1939 New York World's Fair. This was an honor that she would remember for the rest of her life.

Marquita also shared stages with such illustrious stars as Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Merv Griffin, and Betty Hutton. She was also a marquee name back in her homeland of Puerto Rico where she entertained at popular venues such as Zero's Nightclub with orchestra leader Miguelito Miranda and the El San Juan Theatre. She was dubbed "The Latin Hurricane" for her rapid and fiery dance routines.

In the mid-1940s, Marquita headlined at the infamous Lírico Theatre in Mexico City and was noticed by legendary film director Fernando Soler, who offered Rivera a movie contract with Azteca Studios. She acted for him in both the film drama Me persigue una mujer (1947) with José Torvay and David Silva, and the comedy El conquistador (1947), also starring Torvay and Enrique Herrera.

In 1948, Marquita Rivera was awarded the Key to the City of San Juan by Mayor Felisa de Rincón. in recognition of her achievements on Broadway as a dancer, and as an actress in Mexico, and Hollywood.

Marquita married and had seven children, Marquita, her namesake, Eugene, Jessica, Louis, Robert, Joseph, and Lucrezia.

In 1963, Marquita Rivera made a special appearance at Carnegie Hall at an International Mother's Day Gala Concert, to represent Puerto Rico.

Marquita Rivera, legendary performer and Latin icon, was the collective spirit and embodiment of her people.

Singer, actress, castanet player, flamenco dancer - all of these facets and more made up the lovely and talented "Latin Hurricane" Marquita Rivera, a trailblazing musical performer in her time and a legend in ours.

Through her legacy, people will remember Puerto Rico's contribution to the Arts in mainstream America.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Marquita Rivera gained international notoriety in the name of her beloved Puerto Rico that she always represented with pride in her heart and love in her soul for the island she called home.

She died in Los Angeles, California in 2002. In addition to her seven chilren, she left behind 17 grandchildren and a great grandchild.

For more information on Marquita Rivera, click here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to "gossip." In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members who are getting acting and performance gigs. The names of HOLA members are in boldface.

Ramírez recently played Minerva Mirabal in the Caridad Svich play En el tiempo de las mariposas at Repertorio Español in the Rose Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. She followed this up with a role in the production Mujeres de par en par. Written by Indira Páez and directed by Alfonso Rey, the "café-concert" is scheduled for a December run in the Roy Arias Theaters in the theater district of midtown Manhattan and also features Beatriz Castillo, Mariana Buoninconti and Zulema Clares in the cast. She most recently wrapped up a role opposite Venuz Delmar in the short film In One's Blood (written and directed by Pepper Negrón).

Eduardo Ramos
booked the modeling campaign for Ecko watches, where he was shot by famed photographer Peter Ruprecht.

Around the Block/Al Doblar La Esquina, in collaboration with The New York Public Library (NYPL), is presenting Clicks and Bricks. The series of short plays written by Emily Cohen, Nina Howes, Julius Landau, Thomas Eddy Moran and Paula Wolff are to be directed by Don Bill, Camille Monet and Gloria Zelaya. Scheduled for a December run, the production features Sandra Duque, Joe Albert Lima, Antonio Rubio and Mónica Walter in the cast and is slated to perform at the NYPL Grand Central Branch in Manhattan's Murray Hill neighborhood.

Teatro SEA and Manuel Morán is presenting La cucarachita Martina/Martina, the Little Roach. Written and directed by Morán, based on the work by Pura Belpré, the show is scheduled for a December run in its namesake theater in the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center (home to HOLA) in Manhattan's Loísaida neighborhood and features Indra Palomo, Ana Campos, Miron Gusso, Héctor Palacios, Daisy Payero, Enrique Suárez Olmos and Rolando Zúñiga in the cast.

If you are an HOLA member and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail at If you are not an HOLA member, why not join?