Latinas became somewhat of a trend in American cinema and television in the 1980's. Many actresses landed big roles that were specifically written for a Hispanic actress while others, broke down stereotypes. We even saw a faux Latina in the blockbuster film, Aliens. Here's a rundown of the Leading Latinas (and one honorary Latina) of the 80's.
Maria Conchita Alonso - The Running Man (1987). The Cuban beauty, who was crowned Miss World Teenager 1971, starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger as Amber Mendez in this blockbuster film about a police helicopter pilot who is framed for murdering hundreds of civilians and sent to fight to the death in a Hunger Games like death match. Amber Mendez is a musician and gets pulled into the chaos when Richards (Schwarzenegger) breaks into her apartment and is taken hostage. Her character is eventually forced into the games as well where she fights for her life. The beauty queen has had steady work throughout the years and can be seen next in The Portrait's Secret (2017).
Daphne Zuniga- Spaceballs (1987). The half Guatemalan actress stars as Princess Vespa in this cult comedy film directed by comedy legend, Mel Brooks. The Star Wars parody features Zuniga as a Princess Leia knockoff who runs out on her wedding day and is tracked down by Lone Starr and his furry companion, Barf. She is eventually kidnapped by Dark Helmet and must fight for her freedom and the galaxy. The blue eyed stunner has gone on to star in the successful television series Melrose Place and One Tree Hill. She currently has 4 upcoming projects to be released in 2015 and 2017.
Elpidia Carrillo- Predator (1987). Mexican actress Elpidia also starred alongside action star Arnold Schwarzenegger as Anna, a survivor of the Predator attack in the jungles of South America. Schwarzenegger and his group of military men take her into custody and after a gruesome and bloody battle in the jungle, she and Schwarzenegger are the lone survivors. The actress has also starred in Law and Order, the feature film Seven Pounds and the television series Nashville.
Rita Moreno- The Love Boat (1983). Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno was the first performer ever to win an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy which to this day, is something very few artists have achieved. Most known her for her memorable performance as Anita in West Side Story (1961), Moreno has continued to work throughout the decades. In the 80's she appeared in a number of television shows such as The Love Boat, Nine to Five, Miami Vice, Sesame Street and many more. Miss Moreno is still working and has made appearances on the hit show, Jane the Virgin.
Honorary Latina Jenette Goldstein-Aliens (1986). American actress Jenette Goldstein was born to Jewish parents in California and attended drama classes at an early age. Jennete auditioned and won the role of Pvt. Vasquez in James Cameron's Aliens while performing at a theater in London. With her flawless accent and altered appearance (thanks to the makeup department), Goldstein was so convincing that many believed she was in fact, a Latina. Pvt. Vasquez was a badass and the Marines Smart Gun Operator who was sent to investigate the loss of contact of the colony, Hadley's Hope. After a battle with the alien lifeforms and running out of ammunition, the injured Vasquez was rescued by Lt. Gorman however they were surrounded and committed suicide with a grenade, taking many of the enemies with them. Jenette was last seen in the feature film, Under the Hollywood Sign (2014).
Contact me on my Official Facebook Page