Without a doubt, Sofia Vergara, Eva Longoria Parker and Roselyn Sanchez are the sexiest Latinas on television—but they’re not the cutest. That honor belongs to five adorable niños y niñas, ages 14 and younger! Check out my list of TV’s cutest Latin stars!
1. Madison de la Garza, 7—Those big, pinch-worthy cheeks! That angelic, sweet smile! That “oh-no-she-just-didn’t” diva attitude! Madison, who plays Parker’s frumpy daughter Juanita Solis on Desperate Housewives is without question the most adorable kid actor on television, bar none. I mean, just look at her! She also happens to be one of the most talented child actors around.
At just 7-years-old, Madison (her half-sister is Sonny With a Chance star Demi Lovato) has somehow managed to create a compelling, layered, complex and memorable character that has become as important as the adult main characters on the show. Although Juanita enjoys kid stuff, like putting on her mom’s makeup for fun and playing with the other kids on Wisteria Lane, she’s not exactly your run-of-the-mill kid. She’s willing to go toe to toe with her very manipulative mom, and she’s just as rebellious as Gaby (remember when Gabz tried to home school her and Juanita became outright hostile?). Juanita is also sassy (she likes to snap her fingers and say “oh, snap!”), and she always knows when Gaby is trying to get over on her. She shows us that despite Juanita’s edginess, deep down she is an incredibly innocent, sweet and naïve girl. Madison is so great in this role that I feel compelled to show you not 1, but three, clips of her fantastic work on DH!
Gaby tries to home-school Juanita (the operative word being “tries") in this hilarious scene:
Juanita drinks juice out of her juice-box while watching her parents having “blind sex":
In a heartwarming scene, Gaby teaches Juanita that the only beauty that counts is the one you have on the inside:
2. Rico Rodriguez, 11: In Modern Family, ABC’s critically acclaimed single-camera mockumentary, Rodriguez plays Gloria’s (Vergara) hilarious son, Manny—a chubby, funny little dude with a heart of gold who loves his mom, his Colombian culture and the ladies! In the episode “Run for Your Wife,” Manny wants his classmates to know he’s proud to be from Colombia, so he wears a traditional Colombian poncho to school, which makes his stepdad Jay (Ed O’Neill) worry that kids at school will want to beat him up for being different. The funniest thing about Manny is that he doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks—he’s an individual—and a badass! (You might also remember Rico as a young Guillermo on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show!). Rico is also a hoot in real life.
Check out this interview with Kimmel, in which he talks about how he reluctantly agreed to a career in Hollywood:
3. Jake T. Austin, 14: Since 2007, Austin, who voices the character Diego in the Nickelodeon animated series, Go, Diego, Go, has been starring as Selena Gomez’s little brother, Max Russo, on Wizards of Waverly Place—and people (myself included) find him laugh-out-loud funny in the part. Austin, a New York native who is part Puerto Rican, part Argentinean, and part-Spaniard, is gifted at playing characters who are silly and full of fun and games. Wizards is about a part-Latino family in New York and their three magician children. Last year, Austin told me that his TV family reminds him a great deal of his real family. “The Russo family is sort of like my family in real life," he said. "The mother is Spanish like my mom, and the father is not Spanish—like my dad. I can relate to that." And while he describes his character Max as gullible and a “totally clueless” at times, he’s quick to point out that he and his character don’t share that trait. "I’m very witty," he says. "And I know what’s going on." With a talent for hilarious slapstick and a knack for stealing scenes, we don’t doubt it!
Austin steals a scene from his co-stars Selena Gomez and David Henrie:
4. Madison Pettis, 11: Part-Mexican actress Pettis is best known for her role as the loveable President’s daughter and “America’s Angel” Sophie Martinez on Disney's Cory in the House, and from the Disney channel movie, The Game Plan. The youngest Disney channel star of all-time (and one of the most charismatic), Madison recalls a young Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on Full House. Translation: She’s a cutie!
Madison has her cake and eats it too:
5. Moises Arias, 15: When it comes to comedy, Colombian actor Arias knows no limits. A wonderful physical comedian, this Hannah Montana star will do whatever it takes to get laughs, and that’s why we love him! The Disney channel seems to love him, too. Although he started as a recurring character on the show, Moises was promoted to series regular during the show’s second season.
Check out the funny actor trying to be a “rapper” on Hannah Montana in this clip:
Who are your favorite kid stars? Sound off in the comments section!