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Cuban


CITY/CBS/1990
**(Liz Torres) Anna Maria Batista, outspoken Cuban-born purchasing agent working for the Department of City Services in a metropolis referred to as "The City." Anna Maria, who once played the role of Maria in the production of "West Side Story." still had a revolutionary husband incarcerated in Havana. Gregory Sierra later appeared briefly as her Anna's husband, recently released from a Cuban prison.

FLAMINGO ROAD/NBC/1981-82
**(Fernando Allende) Julio Sanchez, Cuban refugees living in a Cuban Barrio in the steamy Southern Florida city of Truro. Gina Gallego appeared as his sister Alicia.

FRANNIE'S TURN/CBS/1992
*(Miriam Margolyes) Frannie Escobar, Cuban-American seamstress living on Staten Island in New York City. Other cast were members Tomas Milian as Joseph Escobar, her macho Cuban-born husband; Phoebe Augustine as Olivia and Stivi Paskoski as Eddie, Frannie's grown but screwed up children; Alice Drummond as Rosa Escobar, the crazy mother-in-law; and Taylor Negron, as Armando, an insecure dress designer.

GOOD MORNING, MIAMI/NBC/2001+
**(Tessie Santiago) Lucia Rojas-Klein, sassy, self-centered, opinionated Cuban-American TV host of "Good Morning, Miami," [the lowest-rated morning show in America] who shares the spotlight with her dog, Stuey. According to Santiago, “Lucia is very over-the-top and I use a heavy accent as a prop – it brings color to my character. In addition, Santiago was enthralled with the opportunity to portray a fellow Cuban-American, even though as an original honey blonde, she doesn’t fit the traditional Hispanic stereotype away from the set. “My grandfather and grandmother were blondes with light-colored eyes,” she says. “I love that people are seeing that Hispanics don’t have to be associated with a certain look.” Tessie Marie Santiago, a Cuban-American, was born August 10, 1975 and raised in Miami as the oldest of three children. Most of Santiago’s family fled from Cuba after Castro and communism. She attended the University of Miami with a double major in Film and Theater Arts. In 2000, she starred in the syndicated action adventure series QUEEN OF SWORDS about Tessa Alvarado, a Spanish aristocrat in the early 1800s.

I LOVE LUCY/CBS/1951-57
*(Desi Arnaz/costar) Ricky Ricardo, a Cuban bandleader/singer who worked at the Tropicana Club in Manhattan. He was married to Lucy Ricardo, a zany American redhead (Lucille Ball) who was always trying to get into show business, despite her obvious lack of talent. Ricky's most popular catchphrase was "Lucy, I'm Home!" Also featured were Richard Keith as the Ricardo's son, Little Ricky. The Lucy & Ricky characters appeared in LUCY IN CONNECTICUT/CBS/1960 (episodes from the original I LOVE LUCY series) when they relocated from New York City to the Connecticut countryside; and later continued their roles in the expanded hour-long sitcom LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR/CBS/1962-67. The comedy satire IN LIVING COLOR/FOX/1989-93 featured hilarious parodies of Desi Arnaz performed by comedian/impressionist James Carrey in skits entitled I LOVE LOQUITA, which featured Ricky's zany redheaded black wife from Compton who, like the original Lucy, always wanted to get into showbiz. TRIVIA NOTE: Desi Arnaz, the costar of the sitcom I LOVE LUCY was born Desi Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III in Santiago, Cuba on March 2, 1917, Desi began as a vocalist with a band at the age of 17 and later had his own Rumba band. Later traveling to America, he performed on Broadway in Too Many Girls and made his screen debut in its movie spin-off Too Many Girls (1940). His film credits included Father Takes a Bride (1941), Four Jacks and a Jill (1942), Bataan (1943), Holiday in Havana (1949), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), and Forever Darling (1956). Desi Arnaz formerly worked with the Xavier Cugat orchestra soon after he emigrated to Miami from Cuba in 1933. Because of Desi Arnaz's ties with Cuba, he was suspected of being a Communist during the days of the McCarthy Witch Hunts. However, the love and admiration of the American public for Desi and his wife, Lucille Ball helped quell that controversy.

IVAN THE TERRIBLE/CBS/1976
**(Manuel Martinez) Raoul, a Cuban immigrant who lived in a 3 1/2 room apartment in modern day Moscow inhabited by nine people including Ivan Petrovsky, a Russian headwaiter working at Hotel Metropole.

KEY WEST/FOX/1993
**(Geno Silva) Hector Allegria, a Cuban immigrant with money and power who lived in Key West.

THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR/CBS/1957-60
*(Desi Arnaz/costar) Desi Arnaz, Cuban singer and entertainer who co-hosted this one-hour comedy series with his zany red headed wife, Lucille Ball. The program is a continuation of the Lucy and Desi characters as seen on the classic sitcom I LOVE LUCY. The series is also known as THE LUCILLE BALL-DESI ARNAZ SHOW.

MTV TOP 20 COUNTDOWN/MTV/1992-97
*(Daisy Fuentes) Cuban born cable network personality and Veejay who hosted a variety of programs on the MTV Network in the 1990s. Ms. Fuentes left Cuba for Spain at age of three and came to New Jersey at age 7. Before getting her gig with MTV she was a homecoming queen and TV weatherwoman. In addition to her MTV work she operated a chic health-food restaurant in Manhattan and worked as a model for Revlon. Her trademark sign-off is "Ciaocito, baby". She has appeared on the TV show DAISY FUENTES (1994-95; a soap opera character named Tess on LOVING in 1992; the host of HOUSE OF STYLE from 1997-98; hostess of AMERICA"S FUNNIEST VIDEOS from 1997-2000; Kenzie Pearson in the TNT detective movie Shutterspeed (2000); sidekick on TAKE 2: LIVING THE MOVIES TV series in 2002 and the host of the 2002 MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT.

ONE OF THE BOYS/NBC/1989
*(Maria Conchita Alonso/costar) Maria Conchita Navarro, an independent, motorcycle-riding, Cuban/Venezuelan female who left her rich family to come to America. Starting as a waitress, she later landed a job at the Lukowski Construction Co. and eventually fell in love and married owner Mike Lukowski, a widower with three son. Amy Aquino appeared as Bernice DeSalvo, Maria's best friend.

ONE WORLD/NBC/1998-2001
**(Alisa Reyes) Marci, Cuban-born teenager adopted into a multi-racial family supervised by Caucasian Dave Blake and his wife, Karen. Marci is an entrepreneur and determined to live out her own “rags to riches” dream. Born and raised in New York City, actress Alisa Reyes is best known for her role on Nickelodeon’s ALL THAT.

QUE PASA, U.S.A.?/PBS/1975
*Set in Little Havana, this 30-minute bi-lingual comedy series was the first national Hispanic situation comedy/drama series written, directed, produced and starring Cuban Americans. The series was aimed at Anglo and Hispanic teenagers and their families. The thirty nine episodes depicted the lives of three generations (grandparents, parents and teenagers) of an urban American family with the expressed goal of fostering mutual understanding and appreciation between both ethnic groups. The title translated into English as "What's Happening, America?" Cast members included Velia Martinez, Luis Oquendo, Ana Margarita Mendez, Rocky Echevarria (a.k.a. Steven Bauer) and Manolo Villaverde.

SUDDENLY SUSAN/NBC/1996-99
*(Nestor Carbonell/costar) Luis Rivera, a suave Cuban-American photographer working for a trendy San Francisco magazine called "The Gate." Luis was the "kind of guy who thinks he's much sexier that he really is." Luis was a traditional macho Hispanic. His brother, Carlos (Bruno Campos), on the other hand, was a handsome, charming homosexual. On episode "The Me Nobody Nose," Luis studies for his citizenship; and on episode #37 "Car Trouble" Luis is refused a rental car based on his ethnic heritage. Nestor Carbonell was born in New York City and raised in 13 different countries. His native language is Spanish. He also starred in the short-lived show MUSCLE/WB/1995 portraying Giani, the resident gigolo.

THIS OLD HOUSE/PBS/1974-89
*(Bob Vila) Cuban-American host of the popular homeowners do-it-yourself program on the Public Broadcasting System. He was fired in the spring of 1989 and later developed a similar program entitled HOME AGAIN WITH BOB VILA/SYN/1990+. He can also been seen on the reedited version of the THIS OLD HOUSE program entitled THE RENOVATION GUIDE airing on The Learning Channel.

WISEGUY/CBS/1990
*(Steven Bauer) Michael "Miguel" Santana, a disbarred federal prosecutor working undercover with the Organized Crime Bureau, a Division of the Justice Department. Santana was Cuban born. Other cast included Manolo Villaverde as Rafael Santana; and Martika as Dahlia Mendez.


 

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