Happy Birthday to Maria Canals Barrera

Happy Birthday to actress Maria Canals Barrera born on September 28, 1966 in Miami, Florida.  Canals’ heritage is Cuban and Catalonian.  She has starred in numerous television series and several films.  Canals is best known for her roles in the “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Camp Rock” and its sequel.  She won ALMA (American Latino Media Arts Award) Awards in 2002 and 2011.  (Image by UPI Photo collection)

Happy Birthday to Maria de la Soledad O’Brien

Happy Birthday to Maria de la Soledad O’Brien, born on September 19, 1966 in Saint James, New York.  O’Brien’s parents were both immigrants; her mother is Afro-Cuban and her father is Irish-Australian. Her complex interracial heritage has influenced her profession.  O’Brien said of her work at CNN, “One of the things that has been a real strength, and a real value in our ‘Black in America’ and ‘Latino in America’ series is that we push on those uncomfortable questions.”  O’Brien’s breakout project was hosting the Emmy-award-winning cable television program, “The Site”. The globe-trotting anchorwoman hosted CNN’s daily “Starting Point” morning news program.  The Harvard graduate has received many accolades for her work, including the George Foster Peabody award and the President’s Award from the NAACP.  (Image from CNN Starting Point)

Happy Birthday to Salma Hayek

Happy Birthday to beautiful and talented Salma Hayek, born in Veracruz, Mexico on September 2, 1966.  Her mother is Spanish and her father is Lebanese, part of the Lebanese diaspora that has graced Latin America in the 20th century.  Hayek’s initial inspiration for acting was the Hollywood movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Since then she has starred in numerous Hollywood blockbusters and artsy indies including “Frida”, in which she starred as her heroine, Frida Kahlo.  In 2006, Hayek went behind the camera as the executive producer of ‘Ugly Betty’, a widely popular television series. Stay tuned!