15 Stars You Thought Were Latino—But Aren’t!

How can you tell if someone’s Latino? As our popular series on the stars you never knew were Latino points out, you can’t! It’s true that Latinos don’t fit into any one mold—we come in all shapes, sizes and complexions—but the same can be said of celebs who are not of the Latino persuasion. Here's a look at 15 celebs that people assume are Hispanic, but aren’t.

1. Aren't Latino: Jennifer Esposito

Jennifer Esposito, 38

In Crash (2004), Paul Haggis’ Oscar-winning film about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, Esposito played Ria, a Latina detective who has tense relationships with Asian and Black characters in the movie. But despite playing a proud Latina on screen (convincingly we might add!), Esposito is actually Italian American. 



2. Aren't Latino: Antonio Sabato Jr.

Antonio Sabato Jr., 39

The hunky actor first rose to fame as a Calvin Klein underwear model and later, as fan favorite Jagger Cates on the long-running soap, General Hospital. While most people think of the toned and tanned actor as a Latin lover, Antonio was born in Rome, Italy to an Italian father and a Czechoslovakian mother, and he doesn't have Latin roots. Still, that hasn't stopped him from taking on Latino roles, like his role as Pablo Alesandro, an Argentinean Latin lover in the independent film, Testosterone (2003). 

3. Aren't Latino: Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos, 33

This television correspondent (Today, Access Hollywood) and sometimes actress (One Tree Hill, Entourage), is 100% Greek, but she says people constantly mistake her for Latina. “Fred Berry (What’s Happening!!), said the only reason he came on to my first film — In the Land of Merry Misfits was because he thought I was Latina,” Menounos tells Latina.com. “Magazines and stars always thought I was Latina — everyone has thought this,” she adds. 

4. Aren't Latino: Daniel Sunjata

Daniel Sunjata, 39

Daniel Sunjata is best known for his role as the smoking hot Latino firefighter (and ladies man), Franco Rivera, on the hit FX series Rescue Me (2004-2010). But the multi-racial actor, who currently stars as Eli, a nurse who's a love interest for Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) on ABC's hit show, Grey's Anatomy, is African-American, Irish and German.



5. Aren't Latino: Lindsay Hartley

Lindsay Hartley, 33

Lindsay Hartley has played a Latina on three different soap operas. She played Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald Crane, a working-class Latina in love with a rich man on the NBC soap Passions (1999-2008), starred as Ariana Hernandez on Days of Our Lives (2009-2010), and played Cara Castillo on All My Children (2010-2011). But despite her many Latina roles, Lindsay is not Latina — she’s part-Greek and part-Italian.





6. Aren't Latino: Mark Salling

Mark Salling, 28

In November of 2009, Wendy Williams asked Glee star Mark Salling point blank what his ethnicity is. “When I look at pictures of you, I’m very confused as to what your origin is — because you’re tan so I thought you were half Black and half White,” Wendy said. “Or I thought you had a little Hispanic in you. What is your ethnic origin?” Salling dodged Wendy’s question, saying: “Whatever you want me to be, Wendy.” While Salling refused to reveal his ethnic background, a rep for the actor tells Latina.com that even though Salling speaks Spanish (and sings in Spanish too) — the actor isn’t Latino. 

7. Aren't Latino: Michael Copon

Michael Copon, 28

He played a proud Latino named Felix Taggaro, Brooke’s (Sofia Bush) love interest on the second season of the CW’s One Tree Hill, but Copon is the son of a Filipino father and a German-American mother.

8. Aren't Latino: Katerina Graham

Katerina Graham, 21

“I wish!” That’s what Vampire Diaries star Katerina Graham said when we asked her if she’s part-Latina. Katerina’s father, Joseph, is African, and her mother, Natasha, is of Jewish (half Russian and half Polish) ancestry and she herself was born in Geneva, Switzerland. Earlier this year, Katerina played a Latina named Maria Ramirez in Universal Pictures' dance film, Honey 2 (a follow-up to the 2003 movie starring Jessica Alba). 


9. Aren't Latino: Chad Ochocinco

Chad Ochocinco, 33

There’s a reason people think Chad Ochocinco is Latino — well, actually, there are multiple reasons. In October of 2006, during Hispanic Heritage Month, Chad announced that he would prefer to be called “Ocho Cinco” (which means 8, 5 in Spanish) instead of by his last name, "Johnson." Two years later, the NFL star had his name legally changed from Chad Johnson to Chad Javon Ochocinco, making it abundantly clear to us that he was obsessed with Latino culture. His obsession has continued to this day, and in November of 2010, Chad got engaged to..wait for it...a Latina! — Puerto Rican Basketball Wives star, Evelyn Lozada

10. Aren't Latino: Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel, 43 

Vin Diesel has starred opposite several Latino stars in The Fast & The Furious franchise (Eva Mendes, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, etc), he spends most of his free time at his house in the Dominican Republic and he’s a close friend of President Leonel Fernandez — the current president of the DR. But Vin, who calls himself "definitely a person of color," has Italian and Black ancestry. 



11. Aren't Latino: Carmen Electra

Carmen Electra, 39

Her former marriage to a Latino (Mexican guitarist Dave Navarro) aside, Carmen Electra isn’t Latina. The beautiful actress (Scary Movie), is of Irish, German and Cherokee ancestry. 

12. Aren't Latino: Vanessa Minnilo

Vanessa Minnilo, 30

This former Miss Teen USA might seem Latina to some (especially since she resembles Latina celebs like Eva Longoria and Daniella Alonso) but Mrs. Nick Lachey is part-Italian, part-Irish and part-Filipina. 


13. Aren't Latino: Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto, 34

Best known for playing the super powered psychopathic serial killer, Sylar on the NBC show, Heroes, Zachary Quinto’s Latino-sounding last name, combined with his tan skin, might make some think he’s Latino — but the actor is actually part-Italian and part-Irish. 



14. Aren't Latino: Brooke Burke

Brooke Burke, 39

Brooke Burke is a mix of Irish, French and Portugese and she's Jewish on her mother's side, but the multi-ethnic actress isn't even part Latina. 


15. Aren't Latino: Yasmine Bleeth

Yasmine Bleeth, 42

When Yasmine Bleeth made a splash on Baywatch in 1993 — as Caroline Holden — a lot of people thought the stunning actress was Latina. Alas, her father is Jewish of Russian and German descent while her mother Carina was of French and Algerian descent.


16. Aren't Latino: Related Links