14 Latino Oscar Winners!

Here’s a look back at those who have already grabbed the ultimate prize in Hollywood in major categories.

And the Oscar went to...

1. Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

Best Director, The Shape of Water, 2018 

Best Picture, The Shape of Water, 2018 

The Mexican director made headlines during the 90th Academy Award show when he took home two trophies for his film, The Shape of Water. Despite being nominated back in 2007 for his work on Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro brought home his first Oscars in 2018. 

2. Alejandro González Iñárritu

Alejandro González Iñárritu

Best Director, Birdman, 2014

Best Original Screenplay, Birdman, 2014 

Best Director, The Reverent, 2015 

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Inarritu won back-to-back Oscars for his amazing films Birdman and The Reverent. During his speech, Inarritu celebrated his win as a victory for Mexico. 

3. Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron

Best Director, Gravity, 2014

Remember the 3-D space thriller that featured Sandra Bullock and George Clooney? Well, Alfonso Cuaron was the mastermind behind this academy award-winning film. The movie earned the Mexican director the trophy for Best Director and Best Film Editing. 

4. Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

Best Supporting Actress, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2009

Having been nominated but passed over for her spunky turn in Volver the year before, the Spanish actress nabbed the prize for her scene-stealing role as mentally unstable artist who comically haunts her ex-husband and his new love.

5. Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem

Best Supporting Actor, No Country for Old Men, 2008

As the scariest bad onscreen guy to come along in a long time, Bardem hardly said much (his purposely terrible haircut, on the other hand, said plenty) in the Coen brothers’ crime epic, but he didn’t need to. His presence said it all and he became the first Spanish thespian to take home an Oscar.

6. Claudio Miranda

Claudio Miranda

Best Cinematography, Life of Pi, 2013

Back 2013, the Chilean cinematographer took home the award for his work on Ang Lee's Life of Pi.


7. Gustavo Santaolalla

Gustavo Santaolalla

Best Original Score, Brokeback Mountain, 2005, Babel, 2006

Juanes collaborator and composer Santaolalla displayed mastery of his art when he turned in a simple, haunting score Brokeback and then turned around and endowed Babel with music that had layers and layers of cultural influence and meaning. 

8. Jorge Drexler

Jorge Drexler

Best Original Song, “Al Otro Lado del Rio,” The Motorcycle Diaries, 2004

Oscar show producers made a major faux pas when they asked Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana to sing this pean to freedom over the Uruguayan singer who wrote it. But Drexler got his revenge when he won—and sang a stanza of his song as part of his acceptance speech.

9. Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar

Best Original Screenplay, Talk to Her, 2002

While the iconic Spanish director’s movie All About my Mother won an Oscar for Best Foreign film, those awards go to the country that the movie is from, not the director or producers. The only award that Almodovar can call his own is one for his writing on this twisted, bittersweet film about a girl in a coma and an obsessed male nurse who cares for her.

10. Benicio del Toro

Benicio del Toro

Best Supporting Actor, Traffic, 2000

Hands down the best thing about this drug war epic is the Puerto Rican actor’s Mexican cop fighting massive corruption in his own force. That last scene in the movie, in which he watches over kids as they play baseball in a field lighted by bulbs he got for them, was, well, pure gold.

11. Mercedes Ruehl

Mercedes Ruehl

Best Supporting Actress, The Fisher King, 1992

The actress won a boatload of awards for her role as the firecracker Anne Napolitano, girlfriend of a suicidal radio host in this heartwarming drama, but none were as special as the Oscar, which she became the first Cuban American to win.

12. Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

Best Supporting Actress, West Side Story, 1961

It might have burned real-life Puerto Rican Moreno to see the lead role of Maria go to Natalie Wood, but then again, Wood was a huge star and Moreno was just starting out. So she got the much more fun role of spirited Anita and walked away with the Oscar.

13. Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn

Best Supporting Actor, Zapata! 1952, Lust for Life, 1956

The strapping Mexican-born actor, long a Hollywood go-to actor for ethnic roles, took home back-to-back golden boys for real-life personages: Mexican revolutionary leader Zapata’s brother Eufemio (the lead role somehow went to Marlon Brando) and painter Paul Gauguin in the latter Van Gogh biopic.

14. Jose Ferrer

Jose Ferrer

Best Actor, Cyrano de Bergerac, 1950

The boricua actor became the first Latino to win an Academy Award for this classic role as a man with a big nose whose poetry wins over the woman he secretly loves—for a friend.