In the beginning, Cinco de Mayo was meant as a way to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over French forces during their fight for independence in 1862. These days, however, it’s evolved into a) an opportunity for Mexican-Americans to celebrate their heritage and b) an opportunity for Americans to go to Mexican restaurants and enjoy many fine tequila-inclusive products.
Seeing as how this is just a TV column, you’re pretty much on your own if your preference is the latter. However, if you’re more interested in the former, this is definitely the place. Primetime television has featured several actresses with a Mexican heritage over the years, and courtesy of Streampix, here is a look at a few of the very best.
“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Beat Your Heart Out”
As doctor Callie Torres, (Sara Ramirez) has been not only one of the best physicians at Seattle Grace. She’s also had one of the most complex personal lives (which is really saying something, given the games of musical beds that go on in her workplace). Whether it’s with plastic surgeon Mark (Eric Dane), cardiothoracic surgeon Erica (Brooke Smith) or pediatric surgeon Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), she’s shown excellent bedside manner. Including in this fifth season episode, where Callie kisses Arizona for the first time.
“Desperate Housewives,” “Pilot”
No Hispanic actress has generated more laughs, tears and crushes than Eva Longoria. Her role as Gabrielle Solis on “Desperate Housewives” made her a major star, and you could tell right from this very first episode. Anyone who can pull off wearing an evening gown while mowing the lawn is going to be hard to forget. (Quick bit of trivia: the infamous outfit was actually given to a high school student in Philadelphia after Longoria was done with it because the girl wanated the design in order to make a copy for her prom.)
“30 Rock,” “Senor Macho Solo”
Okay, so she was only an occasional guest star on this comedy series, but Salma Hayek still made quite an impression as the nurse Jack (Alec Baldwin) hires to take care of his mom (Elaine Stritch) during Season Three. For someone generally regarded as one of the world’s most glamorous women, it was impressive that she took time out from her busy career as a TV producer (see below) to have some fun. (That’s what she’s known for, right?)
“Ugly Betty,” “Pilot”
First things first. It’s fashion magazine assistant Betty Suarez who is of Mexican descent, not the actress who played her – America Ferrera (her heritage is Honduran) – in this Salma Hayek-produced series. Second things second. Even though the title makes it clear that Betty is not exactly the most glamorous gal to grace an office, Ferrara was so strong yet sweet in the role that she became a fan favorite from the first time we saw her braces in this pilot episode.
“Wizards Of Waverly Place,” “Who Will Be the Family Wizard?”
Not that there’s anything wrong with purple dinosaurs, but things have certainly improved for Selena Gomez since her first show biz job as a small sidekick on “Barney & Friends.” The actress eventually cast a spell over Disney executives, who cast her as a precocious teenage wizard in this highly successful series that culminated with this finale episode. Since then, she’s become a movie star, a singing sensation and a regular magazine cover girl. Not that all that hasn’t also happened to a certain purple dinosaur….