Young Latinos in Entertainment

In TV and film, from Alexa (Vega) to Zoe (Saldana), a cultural shift is under way as more first-, second- and third-generation actors and actresses -- all 35 and under -- seize the spotlight.

Christina Aguilera, 31

For more than a decade, from her start on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1993, the "Genie in a Bottle" singer has churned out hits. "When I hear mainstream radio playing songs with portions all in Spanish, it gives me so much pride," says the part-Ecuadorian Aguilera. In 2010, she made her movie debut, starring with Cher in Burlesque. The following year, she landed a coach spot on NBC's The Voice, which garnered 17 million viewers for its season-two premiere and entered its third season Sept. 10. Aguilera's recent single, "Moves Like Jagger," with fellow coach Adam Levine, sold 4.9 million copies; her seventh studio album, Lotus, is due out Nov. 13, with new single "Your Body" just released Sept. 14.

Jessica Alba, 31

In 2000, James Cameron plucked Alba out of 1,200 hopefuls to play supersoldier Max Guevara on Fox's Dark Angel. After two seasons that earned her a Golden Globe nom, the Mexican, French and Danish beauty transitioned to film. In 2005, her Invisible Woman helped Fantastic Four gross more than $330 million worldwide and her exotic dancer $158 million for Sin City. She joined other Hollywood heavyweights in 2010's Valentine's Day, which grossed more than $216 million. The married mom of two has taken time off of late, but 2013 will see her in two sequels, including Machete Kills, in which she reprises her U.S. immigration agent Sartana Rivera alongside Lady Gaga.

Camilla Belle, 25

Born in Los Angeles, the half-Brazilian actress grew up speaking Portuguese and Spanish in Brazil, Spain, Mexico and Argentina. Since a stint as a baby model, she has fed a gang of Compsognathus in 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park and fended for her life in 2006's When a Stranger Calls. After 2011's From Prada to Nada, a Latina Sense and Sensibility, Belle (who played the sensible Elinor role) says Latino parents approached her to say the film gave kids pride in their culture. Often cited as a best-dressed red-carpet feature in Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren, Belle stars with Andy Garcia as a Brazilian-American girl -- "just like me," she says -- in the upcoming indie Open Road.

Gael Garcia Bernal, 33

A soap heartthrob on Mexican TV until age 19, when he became the first Mexican accepted to London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Bernal gained global acclaim for 2001 films Y Tu Mama Tambien and Amores Perros. He played Argentina's Che Guevara in Showtime's Fidel and again in Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries, which grossed more than $57 million. Recently, his Cannes Film Festival favorite No was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. Next: starring with Robert De Niro in 2013's boxer biopic Hands of Stone; 2014 will see Bernal take over for Antonio Banderas in Zorro Reborn.

Alexis Bledel, 31

Like her Argentinian father and mother raised in Mexico, Bledel grew up speaking Spanish as her first language. Although the Houston native admits to not having a "stereotypically Latina" look, she is proud of her heritage. "I could just keep this to myself rather than confusing people about my background," says Bledel, "but I think people from Latin American countries look very different." Of her best-known role on The WB's Gilmore Girls, Bledel says: "My show was about a mother and daughter who were close. That's a common dynamic in a lot of cultures but very much so in Hispanic culture." Since then, she has tackled 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Sin City and a three-episode arc on Mad Men's season five. This summer, Bledel traveled to Honduras with Traveling Pants co-star America Ferrera for aid group One, stopping in Charlotte, N.C., on behalf of Voto Latino at the Democratic National Convention. Her thriller The Brass Teapot recently was acquired by Magnolia Pictures in Toronto.

Diego Boneta, 21

In his first major film, Boneta took the lead opposite Julianne Hough in this summer's adaptation of Broadway hit Rock of Ages, which got the Mexican actor nominated for an Alma Award (set to air Sept. 21 on NBC) alongside Benicio Del Toro and Andy Garcia. "The most pride would come from hopefully doing a project with one of those actors," he says. Boneta made a name for himself with roles on The CW's 90210 and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. On Oct. 16, MTV's Underemployed from producer Craig Wright (Dirty Sexy Money) will premiere with Boneta co-starring. The actor also is a successful singer in Latin America and is working on his first English-language album with The Voice's Adam Levine, scheduled for release this year or in early 2013.

Santiago Cabrera, 34

Before pursuing acting in London, Cabrera grew up in Venezuela, Chile and Madrid, so he knows firsthand that "Latinos kind of get put into the same melting pot," he says. "Latino is a culture made up of many different races. I think it's important to be able to see more diversity." The actor, who played painter Isaac Mendez on NBC's Heroes and Lancelot on the BBC's Merlin, next appears on Showtime's Dexter as an investigative writer. Cabrera has noticed an increase in Latino roles: "I wouldn't say it's been a huge leap, but Javier Bardem won an Oscar, Salma Hayek has done a lot, and Demian Bichir was nominated. People are more open; there's more of a sense of who we are."

Jencarlos Canela, 24

The Cuban-American telenovela actor and singer started at age 12 as the lead singer of Boom Boom Pop. Twelve years later, Canela's "Suena" ("Dream"), in collaboration with Emilio Estefan, was featured in Telemundo's coverage of the London Olympics and will serve as the official song for Miss America next year. Canela has appeared in numerous Telemundo productions including Mi Corazon Insiste (My Heart Insists), Pecados Ajenos (Sins) and, in 2011, Mas Sabe el Diablo (The Devil Knows Best), which drew more than 1 million viewers a night.

Rosario Dawson, 33

The Afro-Cuban, Irish and Native American Dawson, raised on New York's Lower East Side, made her film debut in 1995 with the gritty Gus Van Sant-produced Kids. Since then, she has played Mimi Marquez, an HIV-infected exotic dancer, in 2005's Rent; Gail, a dominatrix, in 2005's Sin City; and Will Smith's terminally ill love interest in 2008's Seven Pounds, which earned more than $168 million. She recently beat Scarlett Johansson and Zoe Saldana for the role of Elizabeth in Danny Boyle's 2013 thriller Trance, in which she'll play opposite James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel.

Ximena Duque, 27

Duque became an immediate Telemundo star after her appearance on the second season of the network's reality show Protagonistas de Novela (Soap Stars), in which contestants compete for a spot on a telenovela. Even though Duque did not win, she went on to appear in several Telemundo original productions including Corazon Valiente (Fearless Heart), which draws more than 1 million viewers a night. Her long-term plan? "I want Ximena Duque to be a household name in Middle America."

America Ferrera, 28

The youngest daughter of Honduran parents, Ferrera earned her first TV role on Disney's Gotta Kick It Up! in 2002. That same year, she nabbed attention with her star turn in the indie film Real Women Have Curves, sharing a special jury prize with co-star Lupe Ontiveros at Sundance. Her visibility increased with 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the lead on ABC's Ugly Betty. During the show's six-season run, she earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe. On the big screen, she has roles in the upcoming End of Watch and Chavez. In addition to a recent arc on CBS' The Good Wife, she provided voice-overs for Nickelodeon's Dragons: Riders of Berk, a role she originated in DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon.

Selena Gomez, 20

The Disney pop princess, of Mexican and Italian heritage, got her start in 2007 on the Disney Channel hit Wizards of Waverly Place. She traded in her squeaky-clean image for a frisky role alongside James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens in Spring Breakers, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in September, and saw her 2011 album, When the Sun Goes Down, peak at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. Gomez's next album, which will include songs written by boyfriend Justin Bieber, is due in 2013.

Oscar Isaacs, 32

Born to a Guatemalan mother and Cuban father, Isaac graduated from Juilliard in 2005 and launched his career in the Catherine Hardwicke-directed The Nativity Story. These days, most audiences identify the Miami native with Carey Mulligan's abusive ex-con husband in last year's Drive, the sadist bully in 2011's Sucker Punch and fellow rogue to Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy. He'll display a softer side as Maggie Gyllenhaal's love interest in the education reform drama Won't Back Down this fall and will reunite with Mulligan for Ethan and Joel Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis as the title 1960s-era folk singer opposite Justin Timberlake.

Victoria Justice, 19

Playing a teen at a performing arts high school in Victorious, Justice has helped the Nickelodeon show win a William Levy Kids' Choice Award for favorite TV show (it also was nominated for an outstanding children's program Emmy) and garner the most viewers (5.7 million) of any live-action premiere on the network. The actress-singer, whose mother is Puerto Rican, soon will release her debut album and be seen with Chelsea Handler in the comedy Fun Size, out Oct. 16.

William Levy, 31

Born in Cuba to a single mother, Levy started modeling with Next before appearing in Telemundo reality shows and rising through the Mexican telenovelas ranks with Acorralada (Trapped) and Pasión. He broke through to U.S. audiences with a role in Jennifer Lopez's music video for "I'm Into You," showcased his moves on season 14 of ABC's Dancing With the Stars and recently signed on for a lead role in the Western feature Boom Town. Levy cites actress Sofia Vergara as a role model, admires Pedro Almodovar for his "entertaining and real" films and looks forward to seeing more leading-man roles for Latinos. "Being an ethnic actor has become more accepted," he says. "Latino actors have so many opportunities within the current climate of film and TV." When he's not working, Levy watches James Bond movies and focuses on his No. 1 priority: his two kids.

Demi Lovato, 20

Lovato has had her share of tabloid drama, including a 2010 stint in a treatment facility for an eating and self-injury disorder. Proving she's better than ever, Lovato just finished a tour with pop rockers Hot Chelle Rae and joined The X Factor as a judge for its second season. After breaking into acting in 2008 with Disney's Camp Rock (alongside the Jonas Brothers), Lovato, who has Mexican roots, went on to star in Sonny With a Chance, promoting a music career that includes three albums and sales of 1.3 million units.

Diego Luna, 32

Born in mexico city, Luna -- whose British costume-designer mother died when he was 2 -- got an early introduction to sets by his Mexican set-designer father. The married father of two came to fame as a confused teen in Y Tu Mamá También, which won the 2001 Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice Film Festival. He also has appeared as a school sweetheart in Frida, a suicidal lover in Milk and Katy Perry's love interest in her 2011 music video for "The One That Got Away." Next year, he'll fight Matt Damon in Elysium, directed by Neill Blomkamp.

Chiquis Marin, 27

Marin is the daughter of Mexican-American music icon Jenni Rivera, who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. Marin stars in the mun2 reality series Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis 'n Control, a spinoff from the network's highest-rated reality series, I Love Jenni, which followed the Rivera family. The new series shows her in Los Angeles launching her first business. "My ethnic heritage enforces the importance of hard work and persistence," she says. "It's that foundation that has driven me to achieve my goals." Chiquis 'n Control is the No. 1 Hispanic cable program in its time slot.

Cote de Pablo, 32

Pablo stars in a little show you might have heard of: NCIS. The Chilean actress, born and raised in Santiago, has played Ziva David on the CBS smash since 2005. Pablo credits a big part of her success to her South American upbringing. "Being exposed to different languages, a different set of social rules, strict religion gave me another perspective on life," she says. As the show heads into its 10th season, Pablo, when not working, will be watching edgy Chilean series Profugos (Fugitives) and Game of Thrones. "It appeals to the classically trained actor in me," she says. "Drastically different yet equally satisfying."

Lana Parrilla, 35

Growing up, Parrilla looked up to Rita Moreno in West Side Story. "She was sexy and beautiful," she says. "But beyond that, she was a strong woman with a powerful voice." Before starring in ABC's hit fantasy drama Once Upon a Time, she guest-starred on such shows as Six Feet Under and landed a recurring role on 24 in 2005. Parrilla feels fortunate "to portray such an independent leading woman" as the evil queen on Once, which returns for its second season Sept. 30. The actress also is looking forward to watching HBO's new doc, The Latino List, which will debut Sept. 28 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Aubrey Plaza, 28

Fast becoming one of Hollywood's top straight-faced comedians, Plaza says her "Latino-ness" contributed to her characterization of Parks and Recreation's deadpan intern April Ludgate on NBC. "When I was cast, I had the idea of making April half Puerto Rican like me," she says. "I love the Puerto Rican side of my family and I am so grateful to them for a lifetime of hilarious stories they have given me -- and now Parks and Rec fans!" In 2009, Plaza co-starred in the $71 million-grossing Funny People, playing Seth Rogen's love interest. Her comedic chops will be on display in two February releases: The To Do List, which co-star Bill Hader has dubbed "a raunchy Sixteen Candles," and A Glimpse Into the Mind of Charles Swan III with Bill Murray and Charlie Sheen.

Tyler Posey, 20

Posey, who plays the title role in MTV's Teen Wolf, is proud of his Latino heritage, but when it comes to career choices, "I don't let my Latino background run my life," he says. The California native, who has appeared in such hit shows as ABC's Brothers & Sisters and ABC Family's Lincoln Heights, considers his Mexican and Irish background advantageous, adding, "My racial ambiguity keeps me from being stereotyped." Posey can next be seen in his upcoming Taco Shop, about a war between a food truck and a restaurant, co-starring Eric Roberts. Apparently, it was a fun shoot for Posey, because, he declares, "I love tamales."

Edgar Ramirez, 35

Perhaps the biggest Latino acting heavyweight you've not yet heard of, Ramirez (winner of the award for most promising actor at France's 2011 Cesar Awards for his star turn in the miniseries Carlos) will appear in director Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming Bin Laden thriller, Zero Dark Thirty. Ramirez' most recent role as Simon Bolivar in 2013's Libertador, on which he also serves as executive producer, is an important one for him as a Latino actor. "We're talking about a man who set out to change history, becoming the founding father of my country of origin, Venezuela," Ramirez says. "Bolivar's story is bursting with dreams and possibilities."

Dania Ramirez, 32

She's played a superhero alongside Halle Berry in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, a love interest in this year's American Reunion and most recently Joseph Gordon-Levitt's bike-messenger ex-girlfriend in August's Premium Rush -- and so far has prided herself on not being typecast. (Yet, she says, "I always add a little extra passion into my roles. The Latin passion, you can't get rid of it!") Though next she'll be playing a Beverly Hills Mexican maid in the new Lifetime series Devious Maids, in which her Rosie Falta searches for a better life for her and her family, Ramirez rationalizes that "it's a story that Latinos in general will really relate to." Adds Ramirez, who was raised by her grandmother in the Dominican Republic before joining her parents in the U.S.: "And I'm getting the opportunity to show her having a three-dimensional character."

Sarah Ramos, 21

When asked how the industry has changed for Latinas, Ramos, 21, exclaims: "What hasn't changed for Latinos and Latinas in the industry? I think there was just The George Lopez Show? There was no one super young and cool. And now there is Aubrey Plaza and Selena Gomez!" Ramos, of Spanish, Filipino and Jewish ancestry, broke out in 2002 as the clever kid sister Patty on NBC's American Dreams. She now stars as trying teen Haddie Braverman on Parenthood, which pulls in almost 7 million viewers an episode. In addition to acting opposite Jesse Eisenberg in the August comedy Why Stop Now, Ramos is co-writing "a webseries set in L.A. starring a lot of Mexican-Americans. We're really excited to show how funny and great that culture is."

Naya Rivera, 25

Though she had been modeling and acting from a young age, it wasn't until Rivera landed the role of mean-girl cheerleader Santana Lopez on Fox's Glee that the half Puerto Rican, quarter African-American and quarter German actress really broke out. "My mom was the one who put me in [the business] and being Latin has kept me humble foremost because we work hard at being grounded," she says. "I know I'm representing a larger group of people, and it steers my decision-making." Rivera says she has always hoped her career would emulate Jennifer Lopez's after seeing her in 1997's Selena; with a 2011 Columbia Records deal for a solo album, she's on her way. "We're still recording but we're inching closer to putting something out very soon," she says. Returning to Glee's fourth season in September, Rivera says she hopes the series will delve deeper into Santana's family, which includes a mother played by Gloria Estefan and an abuela who rejects her granddaughter's homosexuality. "If we delved into her family, we could really celebrate the culture -- like we did with her abuela: with traditional food on the table, mixed with Spanish." It's a note she hopes other shows follow as well. "I think one [Latin character] a show is not enough."

Genesis Rodriguez, 25

For Rodriguez, daughterof the famous Venezuelan singer Jose Luis "El Puma" Rodríguez and Cuban model Carolina Perez, entertainment is all in the family. Born and raised in Miami, the actress maintains: "If you would have asked me three years ago if I thought I was 'exotic,' I would have been confused," Rodriguez says. "I always thought I was as American as a cheeseburger!" Best known for her work as a jewelry thief in Man on a Ledge, Rodriguez also starred as Sonia with Will Ferrell in the comedy Casa de Mi Padre. An admirer of Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, she co-stars opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand and also will appear with Melissa McCarthy in 2013's Identity Thief.

Gina Rodriguez, 27

She emerged out of this year's Sundance Film Festival, starring in the acclaimed Filly Brown opposite Lou Diamond Phillips, and landed a lead role in Sleeping With the Fishes. Rodriguez grew up in inner-city Chicago in a household where she says education, not arts, was at the top of the list. "My dilemma," she says, "was to follow a dream that seemed unfathomable in an industry where my culture wasn't portrayed in a positive light." Luckily for Rodriguez, her parents supported her as she trained at NYU's Tish School of the Arts. Recently honored by A Better Life's Demian Bichir at the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, she says the one place she'd like to see more Latinos is AMC's The Walking Dead: "If the zombie apocalypse hit, Latinos would be alive and whooping butt!"

Michelle Rodriguez, 34

Tough-girl Rodriguez broke into the industry in 2000 with her role in the critically acclaimed indie Girlfight. Rodriguez says that a career marked more by warrior women than pin-up girls is by design: "I steer away from sexually subversive content because it is the most exploited facet of filmmaking and television for Latina women." The half-Puerto Rican, half-Dominican actress earned roles in some of Hollywood's biggest franchises, including Fast & Furious and Avatar. She's particularly proud of "Machete, because I get to make fun of stereotypes in an exploitation film with talented and respected people." Adds Rodriguez: "Channels like [Robert Rodriguez's] El Rey and the American spinoff of Univision will help with evolving the Latin market." Rodriguez will appear in the next Fast & Furious installment and Robert Rodriguez's sequel Machete Kills.

Rico Rodriguez, 14

Playing Manny on the ABC hit Modern Family, which has earned two best comedy Emmys, is all about fun for Rodriguez, but his goals don't end there. "There are not that many Latino superheroes out there, and I would love to be the first one that kids could look up to," he says. The Mexican-American actor hosted Red Carpet Live for the Oscars in 2011 and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for break- out male in 2010. He'll continue on Family in the fall and has written a book, Reel Life Lessons ... So Far, due out in November.

Zoe Saldana, 34

With her movies' box office totaling more than $3 billion worldwide, Saldana ranks as the highest-grossing actress on this list because of her savvy choice of global action franchises. New Jersey-born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father, she moved to the Dominican Republic when she was 10 and back to Queens at 17. Since then, Saldana has starred in Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Star Trek. The actress has several films in the works, including Nina, in which she plays the late jazz vocalist Nina Simone, and sequels to Avatar and Star Trek, with the latter set to be released in 2013.

Kiele Sanchez, 34

When Sanchez was cast in a six-episode arc during season three of ABC's Lost, she didn't know her character's last name was Fernandez. Although she found out toward the end, she says: "I wouldn't have changed any of my choices or played her any differently. Having that last name doesn't dictate who you are as a person or how you behave." For her, the goal is seeing more Latino actors playing characters unspecific to their ethnicity. Sanchez now stars as mother and nurse Callie Cargill on A&E's The Glades, which recently wrapped its third season and reached a peak viewership of 3.2 million.

Blanca Soto, 33

Soto always admired Mexican actress Adriana Barraza, an Oscar nominee for her work in Babel. So when Soto was approached by Barraza in 2010 about starring on a Univision telenovela she was directing, Eva Luna, the answer was simple. As the title character, Soto played a woman who immigrated to California with her father and sister; the two-hour series-ender in 2011 was the highest-rated U.S.-produced telenovela finale to date with 6.9 million viewers. During its run, Eva Luna drew more viewers in the 18-to-49 demo than shows like CBS' How I Met Your Mother. Says Soto: "People could identify with my character. She was a mark on the community in a good way."

Michael Trevino, 27

Born in Montebello, Calif., to parents of Mexican descent, Trevino began his career in 2005 with a steady stream of appearances on CSI, Bones, 90210 and The Riches. In 2009, he landed the role of vampire-werewolf hybrid and heartthrob Tyler Lockwood on The Vampire Diaries. While he concentrates on season four of the popular CW series (whose pilot attracted the largest premiere viewership since the network bowed in 2006), he hopes to have opportunities to explore his roots. "I would love to dive into an indie film based on the streets of East Los Angeles where I grew up. If that doesn't come my way soon," says Trevino, "I think I just might have to write it myself."

Alexa Vega, 24

Vega launched her career at age 12 with 2001's Spy Kids, directed by Robert Rodriguez. The franchise spawned three sequels and grossed nearly $350 million domestically. The 2006 HBO Films movie Walkout, based on the true story of a 1968 racial protest in L.A., has given her the most pride as a Latina actress. "It was really nice to be a part of a movie that can educate other people," says Vega, whose father is Colombian. Vega's new project is reteaming with Rodriguez for his sequel to cult hit Machete. In Machete Kills, she will play a hit woman named KillJoy alongside Modern Family's Sofia Vergara. Says Vega, "I've never done anything like this!"

Written by Jane Aquino, Jennifer Lynn Exley, Lesley Goldberg, Brandon Kirby, Megan Singson, Valerie Swayne and Sijie Wang.


MUSIC'S STANDOUTS: Superlatives among Latino and Latina recording artists

Prince Royce, Miquel: New York City's Royce, 23, and Miguel, 25, based in L.A., both released debut albums in 2010: Miguel's All I Want Is You and Royce's eponymous album, which went platinum and earned two Latin Grammy noms and four Latin Billboard Awards. Royce's Phase II, out in April, became the top-selling Latin album on iTunes; Miguel's "Sure Thing" topped Billboard's R&B chart.

Pitbull: Miami-born Cuban-American Armando Perez, aka Pitbull, has had a phenomenal year, including seeing his single "Give Me Everything" become his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pitbull, 31, has endorsement deals with Budweiser, Kodak and Dr Pepper, had the big single on the Men in Black 3 soundtrack and has worked with Usher, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez.

Shakira: Born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia, music-giant Shakira, 35, proves she still has it with her just-announced judgeship on The Voice. Following on the heels of her Person-of-the-Year Latin Grammy for philanthropy, Shakira released her ninth album in Spanish, Sale el Sol (more than 1 million unit sales in six weeks) in 2010, and in 2009, performed at President Obama's inauguration.

Eugenio Siller: Straddling the line between actor and singer is Siller, 31, who starred on the Telemundo telenovela Una Maid en Manhattan (based on 2002's Maid in Manhattan), which ranks among the five most-watched telenovelas in the network's history. Siller also starred in Aurora, for which he performed the theme song, and began singing in 1998 with a group called Klishe.


ON-AIR TALENT TO WATCH: The Latinos and Latinas who make news and sports compelling

News With the Views: Satcha Pretto, Enrique Acevedo and Pamela Silva Conde are the faces of Univision's morning, afternoon and evening news programs. Pretto, 32, is an anchor on Despierta America, and Acevedo, 34, since April has been the face of Edicion Nocturna, which routinely beats time-slot rival Late Show With David Letterman. "Not long ago, it would've been hard to find more than a few examples of Mexican immigrants in positions like the one I'm privileged to be in," he says. Silva Conde, 30, who co-anchors Primer Impacto, which draws more viewers in the 18-to-34 demo than Access Hollywood, says "Latino is in, and everyone wants a piece of the pie."

Host With the Most: Lourdes Stephen, 36, co-hosts Sal y Pimienta (Salt and Pepper), an entertainment show that drew 2.5 million viewers to its premiere, helping Univision take the No. 3 spot among adults 18-to-34, beating ABC in the time slot. "We have an economic power that can determine the next president -- that's powerful," says Stephen.

Sports Knight: A big name in the Latino sports world is Francisco X. Rivera, 30, who grew up in Mexico City, graduated from Long Beach State and has been Fox Deportes' Major League Baseball announcer since 2006.

Youth Vote: Melissa "Crash" Barrera, Guad Venegas and Yarel Ramos are among the rising stars on Univision's mun2 network. California native Venegas, 30, is co-host of 18 & Over, a music countdown show, along with Barrera, 27, who also hosts The mun2 Shift: Late Night. Ramos, 26, is the host of Reventon con Yarel and was a moderator at April's New Generation Latino conference, sponsored by mun2.

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