Say What?! 15 MORE Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!

American Idol contestant Scotty McCreery’s recent revelation that he’s part-Puerto Rican made more than a few jaws drop – but not ours. We’ve always known that Latinos come in all shapes, sizes and complexions. We continue to celebrate the rich diversity of Latinos with a look at 15 more stars you never knew were Latino.

1. Another 15: Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter, 44 

Best known for her role as Marla Singer in Fight Club, and her Oscar-nominated turn in this year’s The King’s Speech, Helena Bonham Carter was born in Golders Green, London to a British father named Raymond Bonham Carter and a French-Spanish mother named Elena Propper de Callejon. Helena’s maternal grandfather, Spanish diplomat Eduardo Propper de Callejón, saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during World War II, for which he was recognized as Righteous among the Nations. He also served as Minister-Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Talk about having a place in Spanish history!


2. Another 15: Andrew Keegan

Andrew Keegan, 32

Andrew Keegan has made a career out of playing all-American pretty boys in films like Camp Nowhere (1994), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), O (2001), and the TV shows 7th Heaven and Party of Five. But who would’ve guessed that Keegan—born Andrew Keegan Ocampo— is the son of a Colombian hairdresser named Lana? Even though he’s never played a Latino, rumor has it Andrew speaks fluent español.


3. Another 15: Heather Hemmens

Heather Hemmens, 21

Though some people might think she’s African American, Heather Hemmens, who played fan-favorite Alice Verdura on the CW’s hit series Hellcats is 100% Latina and proud of it! The part-Costa Rican actress—whose father is White, recently told Latina.com: "When someone says ‘Tell me about yourself,’  I wish I could answer simply, ‘I'm Latina!’ There's not much more to it. I love dancing, eating and I have sass that I make no apologies for."


4. Another 15: Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman, 40

She may have starred in Pulp Fiction, but here’s a fact for you: Uma Thurman’s mother Nena von Schlebrügge was a model born in Mexico City in 1941.  

 


5. Another 15: Noomi Rapace

Noomi Rapace, 31

Many know actress Noomi Rapace from her breakout role as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish/Danish film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), but few know that Noomi—whose mother Nina Norén is Swedish—has a Spanish father, a Flamenco singer named Rogelio Durán.


6. Another 15: Edward Furlong

Edward Furlong, 33

With a name like Edward Furlong, it’s safe to say nobody pegged this former child actor—who is best known as John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)—as Latino. But Furlong, the son of Mexicana Eleanor Tafoya Torres has never kept his Latin background a secret. “I know I’m part Mexican and part Russian, but I’m pretty sure there’s [also] some Native American in there,” he has said.  The actor, who is also a former model for Calvin Klein, is set to star in the 2011 Mexican film, “This is Not a Movie,” which was written and directed by Olallo Rubio.


7. Another 15: Jo Frost

Joanne “Jo” Frost, 39

We know what you’re thinking: TV’s British Supernanny, the lady with the thick British accent, is Latina? – no way! But in fact, Joanne “Jo” Frost is the daughter of an English father and a Gibraltar-born mother.


8. Another 15: Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls (22)

One of the newest faces of Estée Lauder is model Joan Smalls, who hails from the Puerto Rican town of Hatillo and rose to fame when she was chosen to walk exclusively for Givenchy’s Fall 2010 couture show in Paris.  Estée Lauder Global Brand President Jane Hertzmark Hudis said, “She truly reflects Estée Lauder’s modern vision of global beauty.”


9. Another 15: Helena Christensen

Helena Christensen, 42

Supermodel Helena Christensen was born in Denmark to a Danish father and a Peruvian mother. In 2009, she traveled to her mother’s homeland for an exhibition on climate change and completed a photo series called “Portraits of Peru,” where she learned about the country’s problems—both economic and environmental. “Throughout my childhood we made trips to Peru, but it wasn't until I returned about three years ago that I felt a sense of belonging,” Helena has said. “I'm grateful that by taking photographs of what I see I have the opportunity to raise a tiny bit of awareness about what is happening.”


10. Another 15: Vanna White

Vanna White, 54

You know her as the legendary hostess of Wheel of Fortune, but White – whose very last name hints that she’s Caucasian— is actually part-Latina! You see, “White” is not Vanna’s real apellido—it’s the name she took from her stepfather Herbert Stackley White Jr., a former real estate agent in North Myrtle Beach.  Not much is known about Vanna’s real father whose name is Miguel Angel Rosich, except that he was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and abandoned the family when she was a child. Fun fact: Rumor has it that one of White's ancestors, whose last name was Barnes, was one of the first mayors of the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico.


11. Another 15: Mike Catherwood

Mike Catherwood, 31

After his charming appearance on Live! With Regis and Kelly, we checked out this California radio VJ’s background, and were thrilled to discover that he’s Mexican! “Psycho Mike,” as he’s affectionately known to his listeners on KROQ-FM’s Kevin and Bean, is known for his impersonations of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and he’s muy caliente! Perhaps that’s why Kelly Ripa gave him the nickname Mark Consuelos 2.0!

12. Another 15: Sarah Shahi

Sara Shahi, 31

We asked Fairly Legal star Sara Shahi (born Aahoo Jahansouz Shahi) if people peg her as Latina when they meet her and here’s what she dished: “I get everything – I’ve gotten everything from Latin to Italian to Polynesian,” said Shahi, whose mom is part Spanish and dad is Iranian. Fun fact: Sarah also played Mexican-American DJ Carmen de la Pica Morales on the second season of Showtime's hit series, The L Word (2004).

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14. Another 15: Sabrina Bryan

Sabrina Bryan, 26

Most people know that Adrienne Bailon of The Cheetah Girls is Latina, but with a last name like Bryan, not everyone knows that her fellow cheetah Sabrina is also Latina. Born Reba Sabrina Hinojos, Sabrina’s father is Mexican and her mother is Caucasian. Maybe they should have been called “Las Chicas Cheetah” instead?

15. Another 15: Daniella Monet

Daniella Monet, 22

Best known for playing Katrina “Trina” Vega in the Nickelodeon sitcom, Victorious, most people don’t believe that Daniella Monet is half-Chilean.

16. Another 15: Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery, 18

Is it true that American Idol contestant Scotty McCreery, a cowboy from Garner, North Carolina whose music idols include Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, is part-Latino? All we can say to that is, “Yes ma’am!”

17. Another 15: Related Links