Ariel Winter and 31 MORE Stars You Thought Were Latino—But Aren't!

Ariel Winter, 14, may play Dora The Explorer for the College Humor spoof and star as Princess Sofia in the new Disney series Sofia The First, but you would be surprised to know that the Modern Family star, who plays Alex Dunphy, is not Latina!

Still, Ariel is hardly the only non-Latino celeb who people mistake for being Latin. Here are 30 other celebs you thought were Latino—but aren’t!

101 Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!

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. 15 Stars Aren't: Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito, 53

Giancarlo has a common Latino last name (Esposito) and he’s played Latino characters in several movies and television shows. He was the Nuyorican poet Miguel Algarin in the biopic, Piñero (2001) and starred as the Puerto Rican father of Omarion Grandberry's character in Feel the Noise (2007). But Esposito—who currently stars as Gustavo "Gus" Fring on AMC's critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad, has no Latin roots to speak of. Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to an Italian father and an African-American mother.


3. 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.

 

 


4. 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. 


5. 15 Stars Aren't: Jesse Metcalfe

Jesse Metcalfe, 32

Jesse Metcalfe starred as Mexicano Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald on the daytime soap, Passions, and when we saw Jesse on the show, we thought: "that is one hot Latino!" But the actor—who is best known for his role as Gaby Solis’ (Eva Longoria) gardener John Rowland on Desperate Housewives—isn’t Latino. His father Scott Metcalfe is of French and Italian descent and his mother (Nancy DeMaio) is of Italian and Portugese descent. Still, the toned and tanned actor is pretty dreamy!


6. 15 Stars Aren't: Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle, 30

When we first saw Meghan Markle as Junior Agent Amy Jessup on FOX’s hit show Fringe, we wondered if the tan-skinned beauty was Latina. Then we heard that Markle had worked for the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires in the Public Affairs Department and we figured: she’s got to be! But a rep for the talented actress tells Latina.com that she's half-African American, Dutch and Irish. 

 


7. 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). 


8. 15 Stars Aren't: Cassie Steele

Cassie Steele21

She played Manuella “Manny” Santos on the hit TV series, Degrassi: The Next Generation for nine seasons (2001-2010), but Canadian-born actress Cassie Steele is of British-Canadian descent on her father’s side and Filipino descent on her mother’s side. 


9. 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. 

 

 


10. 15 Stars Aren't: Shiloh Fernandez

Shiloh Fernandez, 26

With a last name like Fernandez, it’s not surprising that people think that Shiloh Fernandez—who is best known for his role in 2011’s Red Riding Hood—is Latino. But a rep for the actor (who also played Latino Owen Campos in the Gossip Girl prequel, Lily), confirms to Latina.com that Shiloh isn’t. “He is not Latino,” says the rep. “He is Portuguese.”


11. 15 Stars Aren't: Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano, 25

Christian Siriano is best known as the fabulous Latino designer who won season four of Bravo's hit reality series, Project Runway. There's only one problem with that. The talented designer—who went on to launch his own successful fashion line post-Runway), isn’t actually Latino! Despite his Latin-sounding last name, the openly gay Siriano is half-German and half-Italian. 

12. 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.

 

 

 

 

13. 15 Stars Aren't: Ali Landry

Ali Landry, 38

When Ali Landry starred in a certain Doritos commercial during the 1998 Super Bowl, hombres everywhere forgot all about the big game and started asking themselves: who is that sexy Latina? But Landry, a former Miss USA (1996) who was briefly married to Mario Lopez in 2004, is of French (Cajun) descent.

 

14. 15 Stars Aren't: Darren Criss

Darren Criss, 24

Even though he plays a gay character on FOX’s hit show, Glee, Darren Criss isn’t gay in real life. And although he looks Latino to us—his thick triangle-shaped eyebrows had us hoping!—Criss isn’t Latin, either. A rep for the talented actor/singer confirms to Latina.com that Criss is half Filipino and half-Irish. 

15. 15 Stars Aren't: Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens, 22

We will forever love Vanessa Hudgens for her endearing performances in the High School Musical series—and part of us always hoped the beautiful young star was part-Latina! But Hudgens' mixed background seems to include everything except for Latin roots. Her father is of Irish and Native American descent and her mother, a native of Manila, is of Chinese, and Filipino descent.

 

16. 15 Stars Aren't: Blair Redford

Blair Redford, 28

He’s best known for his role as sexy Mexicano Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald in the daytime soap, Passions (2007-2008)—and for his role as Latino Tyler Mendoza on ABC Family’s hit show, Switched At Birth—but in real life, Blair has no Latino roots. He's Irish, French, German and Native American. 

 

 

17. 15 Stars Aren't: Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth, 38

She may have starred as Spanish singer Enrique Iglesia’s love interest in the video for his third American single “Be With You," but Shannon Elizabeth—who is best known for her role as the sexy foreign exchange student Nadia in American Pie (1999)—isn’t Latina. She’s the daughter of a Syrian/Lebanese father and a mother who's English, Irish, German and Cherokee.

18. 15 Stars Aren't: Diana Degarmo

Diana DeGarmo, 24

When Diana DeGarmo appeared as a contestant on the third season of FOX’s singing competition American Idol, we were convinced the Snellville, Georgia native was Latina. But Diana—who came in second place that season to Fantasia Barrino—tells Latina.com that's not the case. “The "part-Mexicana" side of me is actually by marriage!" she says. "I'm honestly a "little bit of everything," adds DeGarmo, who is reportedly of Italian, French and Native American descent. 

 

19. 15 Stars Aren't: Vanessa Ferlito

Vanessa Ferlito, 30

She played Roxanna—Freddy Rodriguez’s high-maintenance Latina sister in the Latino family movie, Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)—and had a recurring role as Claudia Hernandez (Jack Bauer's love interest) on the third season of FOX's hit show, 24. But Ferlito is 100% Italian. 

 

 

 

20. 15 Stars Aren't: Karina Smirnoff

Karina Smirnoff, 33

She’s a two-time Latin ballroom champion, she dated Mexican-American TV host Mario Lopez, and every time there’s a Latino celebrity on Dancing with the Stars (Lopez, J.R. Martinez), she becomes their partner. But despite her affinity for all things Latino, Karina Smirnoff was born to a Russian mother and a Jewish/Greek father. Still, to us, Karina will always be an honorary Latina! 

 

 

21. 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. 

 

 

22. 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. 

23. 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.

24. 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). 

 

25. 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

26. 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. 

27. 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. 

 

28. 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. 

 

29. 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.

 

30. 15 Stars Aren't: Octomom

Nadya Suleman, 36

Because she was married to a Latino named Marco Gutierrez and has a Latino-sounding last name (Sulerman), a lot of people think “Octomom” (Nadya Suleman) is Latina. But Suleman, who famously gave birth to octuplets in 2009, is actually the only child of Assyrian Iraqi Americans. 

31. Joe Jonas

Joe Jonas, 22

A lot of people think Joe is Latin, but the teen pop star is actually of a mix of Italian, German, Irish, Cherokee, and French-Canadian descent. 

32. Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter, 14

The teen star has been in the acting business since she was the tender age of 7, landing guest roles on ER, Monk, and Criminal Minds. Now Ariel co-stars with Sofia Vergara on the ABC comedy hit, Modern Family. While she has been dealing with some family drama in the headlines recently, her career shows no signs of slowing down. She plays Sofia in the new Disney animation Sofia The First and stars as Dora in the College Humor Dora The Explorer parody. Ariel identifies as Caucasian.