Did you know that by 2014, Hispanics will be the largest group in California? It's true! And sure, many of your favorite Latino stars now call California home, but which celebs can say they resided in The Golden State before they chose a career in the spotlight? Many of us start California dreamin’ when the skies turn grey. Check out which of your favorite Latino stars never had to dream because they always called paradise home.
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Cameron Diaz, Born in San Diego and Raised in Long Beach
California was good to big screen actress Cameron Diaz. The blonde beauty was born in San Diego before moving to Long Beach where she attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School. She was only 16-years-old when she was discovered at a party and offered a chance to model for some of the most prominent clients in the world. After auditioning for The Mask on a whim, Diaz landed a starring role alongside actor Jim Carrey, and the rest, as they say, is Hollywood history!
Danny Trejo, Born and Raised in Echo Park
Mexican actor Danny Trejo’s road to stardom wasn’t all smooth sailing. Born in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park, Trejo found himself in and out of jail, including some time spent in San Quentin Prison, before cleaning up his act and discovering his true talent. The fact that he’s a bit rough around the edges makes him one of our favorite actors to watch in films like Machete and Desperado.
Madeleine Stowe, Born in Hollywood and Raised in Eagle Rock
The mother we love to hate on ABC’s Revenge seems so natural as a wealthy Hamptonite that we have to remind ourselves that Madeleine Stowe was actually born and raised on the opposite coast. The talented actress was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised not far away in the suburb of Eagle Rock. Stowe studied cinema and journalism at USC before being discovered at the Beverly Hills theater Solaris.
Sara Paxton, Born and Raised in Woodland Hills
Actress Sara Paxton certainly looks the part of the California blonde. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, the only child fell in love with performing at a young age. She began her career with small roles in television and movies before hitting her stride and starring in movies like Sleepover and Aquamarine. She even landed the lead role in the Discovery Kids show Darcy’s Wild Life.
Freddie Prinze Jr, Born in Los Angeles
Even though one of our favorite dads, Freddie Prinze Jr, didn’t grow up in The Golden State, California can still claim the talented actor as their own. After spending his younger years in New Mexico, Prinze returned to his birthplace in 1994 to pursue a career in show business. This move proved to be the right decision both for Prinze and those of us who adore him! The actor went on to star in more movies than we can count including I Know What You Did Last Summer, She’s All That, Summer Catch and Scooby Doo. Now married to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, Prinze has two children.
America Ferrera, Born and Raised in Woodland Hills
Honduran actress America Ferrera was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Growing up in LA allowed Ferrera the opportunity to audition for roles without venturing too far from home. After graduating as valedictorian from El Camino High School, the talented (and intelligent!) Ferrera attended USC. She’s had starring roles in Real Women Have Curves, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Ugly Betty to name a few!
Naya Rivera, Born and Raised in Valencia
We know multi-talented Naya Rivera from Ohio’s fictional William McKinley High School, but the part-Puerto Rican hails from an entirely different state. Born and raised in Valencia, California, Rivera pursued her dream of stardom through small roles and modeling before landing a role as Santana Lopez on the hit show Glee.
Eva Mendes, Raised in Glendale
The effervescent Eva Mendes may have been born in Florida, but from a young age she called California home. Raised in the suburb of Glendale, Mendes attended California State University, Northridge before dropping out to see if she could make it big in movies. We think the Cuban actress definitely made the right decision. Mendes has starred in a plethora of movies like Training Day, Hitch and most recently The Place Beyond the Pines alongside boyfriend Ryan Gosling.
Nicole Richie, Born in Berkley and Raised in Los Angeles
Actress, author and fashion designer Nicole Richie was born to her biological parents in Berkley, California, but she was raised by her father’s bandmate Lionel Richie. Richie left her home state for college and work, but she always returns to her California home. The famous fashionista is currently married to singer Joel Madden and has two children.
Alexa Vega, Raised in California
Actress Alexa Vega called Florida home for four years before her family relocated to sunny California. Stunning Vega started her acting career as a youngster and caught her big break at the tender age of 12 becoming a worldwide sensation in in the film Spy Kids. The Colombiana went on to star in other movies and television programs like Sleepover and Ruby & the Rockits.
Francia Raisa, Born and raised in Los Angeles
The actress we love as the hard as nails Latina cheerleader in Bring It On: All or Nothing hails from The Golden State. Francia Raisa was a cheerleader in real life at her Los Angeles high school Bishop Alemany. The part-Honduran, part-Mexican beauty has had roles in The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream.
Eddie Cibrian, Born in Burbank
Cuban cutie Eddie Cibrian calls California home. Though Cibrian has been most recently linked to the LeAnn Rimes and Brandi Glanville drama, longtime fans of this actor can catch up on his career by watching episodes of shows like The Young and the Restless, Baywatch and Sunset Beach.
George Lopez, Born and Raised in Mission Hills
Actor, comedian and television host George Lopez was raised in the community of Mission Hills chiefly by his grandmother and step-grandfather. After graduating from San Fernando High School, Lopez hosted an LA morning show and performed stand-up comedy before being approached by actress Sandra Bullock about a Hispanic sitcom. This funny guy is best known for his work on George Lopez and Lopez Tonight.
Ryan Guzman, Raised in Sacramento
Step Up Revolution hottie Ryan Guzman was born in Texas before moving with his parents to Sacramento, California. The part-Mexican actor attended Sierra College before finding success in show business. Most recently, Guzman fans have found him sizzling as Aria Montgomery’s love interest on ABC Family’s hit Pretty Little Liars.
Mario Lopez, Born and Raised in San Diego
We’re pretty sure California is happy to take credit for being the birthplace of the most adorable dimples known to man. Mario Lopez was born and raised in San Diego, California, graduating from Chula Vista High School. Lopez captured the hearts of teen girls everywhere as A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell and has since gone on to enjoy a successful hosting career on shows like America’s Best Dance Crew, Pet Star and The X Factor.
Mark Sanchez, Born in Long Beach and Raised in Rancho Santa Margarita
Football star Mark Sanchez is now a quarterback on the opposite coast, but he got his start in sunny California. The athlete graduated from Mission Viejo High School in California and went on to play ball for USC where he shot to stardom. He led his team to a Rose Bowl win in 2008 where he earned the title of Most Valuable Player. Sanchez currently plays for the New York Jets.
Constance Marie, Born and Raised in Los Angeles
The actress we love on shows like George Lopez and Switched at Birth got her start in Los Angeles, California. Stunning actress Constance Marie created her own clothing line, “The Constance Marie Collection”, and has a daughter with fiancé Kent Katich.
Fergie, Born and Raised in Hacienda Heights
Multi-talented new mother Fergie was born and raised in Hacienda Heights, California. The singing superstar found success with popular group The Black Eyed Peas and as a solo artist. Fergie’s also done work as an actress, fashion designer and host. She is currently married to actor Josh Duhamel.
Kat Von D, Raised in Colton
Kat Von D’s rise to fame is attached to the great state of California. The well-known tattoo artist was born in Mexico but moved to Colton, California, around the age of 4. Von D and her talent for tattooing were first introduced to the world on TLC’s Miami Ink, but when she had a falling out with a fellow artist she acquired her very own Hollywood-based show, LA Ink.