After creating the historic 15th anniversary cover featuring a diverse list of Latinas we love, we realized we couldn’t forget the men who have been blazing a trail for Hispanics in every field from music to acting to journalism.
Strong, smart, funny, sexy, socially conscious. Those are just some of the traits that we admire in these Latinos who make us proud.
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NAME: Ricky Martin
ROOTS: Puerto Rican
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Forget about the fact that Ricky is so gorgeous that straight chicas would love to be able to blink and make him switch teams. At the end of the day, his sexiness is only part of what makes him great. There’s that voice, those onstage moves, his philanthropy and his integrity, displayed in his soul-baring biography, Me. What’s not to love?
ROOTS: Cuban American
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Well, do we have a choice? Pitbull has been everywhere this year, from American Idol to just about every station on your radio. That would seem like flirting with over-exposure, but in fact, Pit’s just giving us more of what we want: Pit, the vivacious, hilarious, charming bad boy who genuinely loves being Latino and reps his gente wherever he goes.
WHY WE LOVE HIM: He’s the total package, a rock legend not likely to keel over from an overdose or get caught in something shady. The man writes gorgeous love songs, socially-conscious-but-not-preachy songs and infectious dance songs—talk about multi-faceted. Aside from that, he has gotten several awards for advocating for peace and justice worldwide and is probably the sexiest Latino dad alive. He has three adorable children with wife, former model Karen Martinez.
NAME: Daddy Yankee
ROOTS: Puerto Rican
WHY WE LOVE HIM: We love El Cangri’s new slimmer bod and music, (he’s appeared in over 70 albums, including his own and collaborations with other artists) but we extra-love that he’s been with his wife, with whom he shares three kids, since age 17 and has talked openly about why their marriage works: friendship above all, which helps him stay away from other women and drugs.
ROOTS: Puerto Rican and Haitian
WHY WE LOVE HIM: That voice, that silky, sexy voice—and a sweet face to go with it. Maxwell can take a song about hairy construction workers eating egg-salad sandwiches and make you want to go out and buy satin sheets just so you can writhe on them.
NAME: Andy Garcia
ROOTS: Cuban American
WHY WE LOVE HIM: He’s aging like a fine wine, both in looks and in the depth of his career. After all, Garcia has gone from Oscar-nominated young actor to director and producer (The Lost City, City Island, the upcoming Hemingway & Fuentes) in the nearly 30 years he’s been in showbiz. He’s a trailblazer for Latinos.
NAME: Emilio Estefan
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Not only did he help engineer some of the most successful careers in music as a producer (Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Juanes), earning him a boatload of awards, but he’s a Latino leader, as second vice chair of the Commission for the National Museum of the American Latino.
NAME: Marc Anthony
ROOTS: Puerto Rican
WHY WE LOVE HIM: He’s got the best voice in salsa, a big, plaintive one that seems to come effortlessly from a little body. After he and Jennifer Lopez split, he took the high road, telling ABC that he still loved her and respected her.
NAME: Gael Garcia Bernal
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Gael is also one of the gutsiest actors around—he has played a love-struck boy, a gay man, an evil son, Che (twice!), and he’s even gone full frontal. Not content just to make a mark in front of the cameras, he and best buddy Diego Luna teamed up to start Canana Productions, which has made documentaries on important social issues like the murder of Juarez women and is about to release a likely Oscar contender, Miss Bala.
NAME: Antonio Banderas
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Like Andy Garcia, he’s gotten better with age. Just witness his amazing turn as a sadistic-heartbroken plastic surgeon in the upcoming Almodovar film, The Skin I Live In. Like He was also a Hollywood trailblazer and box office success, accent and all, as proved by the fact that his Shrek character, Puss in Boots, was so popular that it got its own move (coming up in October). The sexy español has also been married for eons, sticking by Melanie Griffiths through several trips to rehab.
NAME: Hector Elizondo
ROOTS: Puerto Rican and Spanish
WHY WE LOVE HIM: Like Morgan Freeman, all Hector has to do is walk on to a set and the movie or TV show is instantly better, deeper: Pretty Woman, Tortilla Soup, The Princess Diaries; Grey’s Anatomy, Monk. He may not get the marquee movies or roles that his African American counterpart does, but he most definitely makes each and every one of them count.
NAME: George Lopez
WHY WE LOVE HIM: The funny man rules over syndication, where his George Lopez show is a staple. His Lopez Tonight late night show may have been cancelled, but it marked the first time a Latino helmed a late night TV show. We have a feeling Lopez will be sticking around to knock down boundary after boundary for Latinos on TV.
NAME: Mark Sanchez
ROOTS: Mexican American
WHY WE LOVE HIM: The man is sex in a football uniform—and outside it (hello, those GQ pictures!). Gorgeous eyes, skin, butt, hair pecs. Need we go on? Yes. The Jets quarterback and Cali boy is also a nice, humble guy despite having been a first round NFL draft pick. He’s heavily involved in charity and loved him some Broadway shows, proving that he’s not all gridiron gruff. One of just two Latino QBs (Tony Romo is the other) in the NFL, he consistently champions his Mexican background and obviously loves his familia.
NAME: Wilmer Valderrama
ROOTS: Venezuelan and Colombian American
WHY WE LOVE HIM: He was goofy cute in That 70s Show, but then the famed lady killer matured into, of all things, a presence in children’s TV, voicing Handy Manny and creating the upcoming Nickelodeon show Earth to Pablo. Aww factor: high. Wilmer’s making a big return to TV and film this year, landing the lead role in the remake of CHiPS and a prominent role in the highly anticipated TV show Awake.
NAME: Jorge Ramos
WHY WE LOVE HIM: He may look like Anderson Cooper’s Latino twin, but Univision’s news anchor for 25 years, is much, much more: An eight-Emmy-winning silver-haired, blue-eyed hottie with brains and experience to spare, who has interviewed presidents and written 11 books on the Latino experience in the U.S., including his own experience as an immigrant.