Honoring Latino Emmy Winners Over the Years

The 2012 Emmy Awards are this Sunday! While we are crossing our fingers for nominated stars Sofia Vergara and Louis C.K., we also thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and honor our Latino Emmy winners through the years!

1. A Look at Latino Emmy Winners: Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno (1977 & 78)
The Puerto Rican legend—who’s also the first and only Hispanic to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony—won back-to-back Emmys for two very different guest starring roles. She won Outstanding Supporting Actress for the children’s song and dance variety show, The Muppet Show (1977), and Outstanding Lead Actress for her guest appearance on the NBC drama series, The Rockford Files. (1978).

2. Emmy Winners - Ricardo Montalban

Ricardo Montalban (1978)
In 1978, legendary Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban won an Emmy for his critically acclaimed guest-starring role in the miniseries How the West Was Won, an ambitious Western made for television about a Native American family that suffers many setbacks as they try to migrate to Oregon.

3. Emmy Winners - Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos (1985)
He may have almost won an Oscar for his riveting portrayal of teacher Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver (1989), but Mexican actor Edward James Olmos—a three-time Emmy nominee—did manage to win the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama series award! He won for his work as the head of the OCB, Lt. Martin “Marty” Castillo—a soft spoken badass with a troubled past who always rocked a thin black tie—in the classic TV series, Miami Vice.

4. Emmy Winners - Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits (1990)
From 1987-2009, the Puerto Rican Smits earned a record 12 Emmy nominations—more than any other Latino, ever!—for his work on shows like NYPD Blue, L.A. Law and Dexter. In 1990, the man who was nominated six times for lead actor and five times for Best Supporting Actor won his first and only Emmy for his supporting role as Victor Sifuentes—the firm’s pro-bono lawyer—in the drama series, L.A. Law.

5. Emmy Winners - John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo (1999)
John Leguizamo
is a freak—we know this, and that’s why we love him. But did you know that the part-Colombian, part-Boricua actor was actually given an Emmy for being a freak? In 1999, Johnny Legs won a well deserved Emmy for his hilarious one man variety  show, Freak—a gritty, balls to the wall, semi-autobiographical riotfest that premiered on HBO.

6. Emmy Winners - Kenny Ortega

Kenny Ortega (2006)
Ortega
might be best known for choreographing the classic film Dirty Dancing, but the Spanish director and choreographer actually won an Emmy for his choreography on the teen Disney movie, High School Musical. That same year, Ortega was also nominated for his work as a director on the film.

7. Emmy Winners - America Ferrera

America Ferrera (2007)
In 2007, America beat out stiff competition, including Desperate Housewives scene-stealers Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross, and became the first Latina to win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her touching portrayal of Betty Suarez in ABC’s Ugly Betty.