18 Stars Who Have Won Hispanic Heritage Awards

The 2013 Hispanic Heritage Awards are taking place on September 5. We shared this year’s winners’ list with you, and now we’re rounding up all the stars who have received this distinct honor since the foundation was launched in 1987.

1. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

In 1990, the legendary West Side Story actress was a Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for the Arts. Moreno has spent her life continuously working on keeping the entertainment door wide open for minorities. She was the first Latina to earn an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and a Tony Award.

2. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos

A multi-generational icon, Olmos was the 1992 Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Performing Arts. The Mexican American actor grew up with the idea that he would one day be a baseball player. Instead, he went on to play music at local Los Angeles bars, and later branched out into the world of acting.

3. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Gloria, Emilio Estefan

Gloria & Emilio Estefan

In 1993, the highly successful couple was named Hispanic Heritage Award Honorees for Performing Arts. These two lead and performed in one of the most successful Hispanic bands (Miami Sound Machine) in the history of American pop culture.

4. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Tito Puente

Tito Puente

The year was 1994 when the King of Mambo was the Hispanic Heritage Award Honoree for Performing Arts. Sadly, we lost Puente in May of 2000, but he left behind music that continues to inspire listeners and fans all around the globe.

5. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

It was 1996 when this Boricua was named the Hispanic Heritage Award Honoree for Performing Arts. Smits co-founded the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in 1997. He is considered to be one of the most recognizable Hispanic faces in television and film.

6. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia

Garcia was the 1997 Hispanic Heritage Award Honoree for the Arts. The Cuban has appeared in huge Hollywood movies such as The Godfather III and The Untouchables.

7. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz

¡Azúcar! That phrase will live on forever! In 1998, Cruz was named the Hispanic Heritage Award Honoree for Lifetime Achievement. It is a near fact that the Queen of Salsa is the best-known and most influential mujer the Latin music industry. Unfortunately, the entertainment world lost Cruz in 2003, but her memory will live in our hearts forever!

8. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

In 1998, Sheen was the Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Arts. Besides having an extensive acting career, the Spanish star keeps busy through political activism and philanthropy work.

9. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin

The megastar was the Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Arts in 2002. To this day, Martin is still one of the most popular and widely loved Latino stars in the world.

10. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo

The year was 2004 when the hilarious Colombian American star was named the Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Arts. Leguizamo started out as a stand-up comic in New York before launching his acting career.

11. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas

In 2006, the Zorro actor was the Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Arts. Banderas became one of the most recognized and distinguished actors of his generation, and he is still a household name today.

12. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Jose Feliciano

Jose Feliciano

If you sing “Feliz Navid” during the holidays, then Feliciano is certainly no stranger to you. It was in 2006 that this dearly beloved artist was named the Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Lifetime Achievement. Feliciano was one of the very first Latino artists to successfully cross over into the English music market.

13. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

The critically-acclaimed actress was named Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Vision in 2007. Dawson is the co-founder for Voto Latino, and although she is one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading ladies, she remains a dedicated advocate for young men and women.

14. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Wilmer Valderrama

Wilmer Valderrama

The Venezuelan actor was the 2007 recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Inspira Youth Award for his representation of Latinos in the entertainment industry.

15. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Adam Rodriguez

Adam Rodriguez

The Goodwin Games star was honored with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Inspira Youth Award in 2008 for being a role model and positively portraying Latinos in the media. The following year, Rodriguez was named the official spokesman of the Youth Awards program.

16. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Mana


In 2009, the Mexican rock band was presented with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s first Green award. The Green award is given to those who are focused on improving the environment to benefit the children of the world.

17. Hispanic Heritage Award Winners: Olga Tanon

Olga Tañon

The Puerto Rican cantante was the 2009 Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Arts. Tañon kicked off her music career singing merengue and over the years broadened her appeal into salsa, pop and baladas.