Top 5 Most Awarded Hispanic People in Film!

¡No hay negocio como el del espectáculo! (There’s no business like show business!) With Hispanic Heritage Month coming to a close, we decided to do one last celebration of Hispanic Heritage by going over the top 5 most awarded Hispanic people in film. Hopefully, in the near future, we can see more cultures in film and TV and make sure everyone has a place in show business.

Hilary Swank


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The talented Hilary Swank has no limit to her skills as an actress. Having roots in multiple different cultures, Hilary Swank is also of Mexican descent thanks to her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Clough who was born in El Centro, California. Hilary Swank is the first American actress of Hispanic descent to win the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, scoring wins for her performance in Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry. Taking a break from acting, Hilary Swank now spends her time being a mom to twins and being an animal rescuer. If/when she returns to acting best believe we will all be seated for her return to the big screen!

Jonas River


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Don’t worry! We would never forget animation when it comes to movies! Introducing Jonas Rivera, a film producer of Mexican descent who took home two Academy Awards for Best Animated Features not once but twice. His first win was in 2015 for Inside Out and he would return just four years later for his second win for 2019’s Toy Story 4. On top of working on those two masterpieces, Rivera has worked on the likes of Monsters, Inc., Up, and Soul. There is no shortage of talent when it comes to his passion for animation.

Ariana DeBose


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Our first Boricua (a person from Puerto Rico by birth or descent) on the list, Ariana DeBose is the first Afro-Latina and open queer woman of color to be nominated for and win an Oscar for acting. She scored the award for her performance in 2021’s, West Side Story but she is far from a one-trick pony as she can also be seen in the hit musical Hamilton. She is a delight to watch on screen and a massive advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, specifically LGBTQ+ youth. DeBose will also be throwing her hat into the superhero movie business with a role as Spider-Man villain Calypso in 2024’s Kraven the Hunter.

Phil Lord


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Speaking of Spider-Man, Phil Lord was 2018’s winner for Best Animated Feature for his work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Being of Cuban descent, Lord got to have a hand in bringing the story of Miles Morales to the big screen and will be returning in 2024 for Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse to end his animated web-slinger trilogy. In the immortal words of Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee, we find Lord’s Spider-Man work to be “Excelsior!”

Mercedes Ruehl


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Getting to be in a film with the revered Robin Williams is an achievement in and of itself, but being the only person to walk away with an award for the comedy-drama The Fisher King is something only Cuban actress, Mercedes Ruehl could accomplish. Her award-winning performance in The Fisher King set the tone for what Hispanic women can do if given the chance to shine on the big screen.

With more Hispanic people joining the world of film, it’s only a matter of time until we see more taking names and receiving awards. ¡Feliz Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana! (Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month!)

About the Author

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Michael Coppola

Michael Coppola is a digital media student, an intern for AfterBuzz, and most importantly a kid who loves shows and movies more than anything.