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Top 10 Stars You Didn’t Know Were Puerto Rican

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Spencer Sher Ricky Martin, Zoe Saldana, Zoe Saldana, Victoria Justice and Aubrey Plaza. What do these celebrities have in common? Did you know that these celebs are actually Puerto Rican?
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Top 10 Stars You Didn't Know Were Puerto Rican


Even the biggest celebrity fact checkers will be surprised by this list! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Stars You Didn't Know Were Puerto Rican.

For this list, we’ll be looking at celebs who have at least one parent who is (or was) Puerto Rican. There may be a chance you already knew about one or two of these stars, but not all of them!


#10: Lin-Manuel Miranda


You’ll recognize him as the composer, lyricist and star of the Grammy, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical “Hamilton”. However, we aren’t here to wax poetic about his numerous achievements, we’re here to discuss his Puerto Rican roots. Both of Miranda’s parents were born on the Caribbean island and he would often spend his summers there, soaking up the culture and working on his Spanish! More recently Miranda has been trying to raise awareness for Puerto Rico’s financial struggles, and campaigned for stronger relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Clearly this is one star who never forgot where he came from!


#9: Freddie Prinze Jr.


Wait, what? The guy from the “Scooby Doo” movies is Puerto Rican? That’s right! The former teen heartthrob’s paternal grandmother was indeed from the unincorporated territory of the United States. While it’s only a small part of his heritage, Prinze Jr. takes his Latino roots seriously. When his father was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Prinze Jr. made sure to thank all the Latinos currently working in the entertainment industry. Now that’s what you call character.


#8: Gina Rodriguez


While she may have been born in Chicago, actress Gina Rodriguez is as Puerto Rican as they come. The star of The CW’s “Jane the Virgin”, which is about a young Latina woman whose unexpected pregnancy causes problems with her deeply religious family, has never been one to shy away from discussing her Caribbean roots. In fact, Rodriguez has always advocated for stronger roles for Latinas in Hollywood, and even turned down roles earlier in her career which she felt negatively portrayed those of a similar cultural background. Standing up for what you believe in? Now that’s our kind of star!

#7: Ricky Martin


In our minds, Ricky Martin will forever be Livin’ La Vida Loca. Unlike many of the others on this list, Martin was actually born in Puerto Rico! The singer grew up on the Caribbean island, and, as a child, lived in the city of San Juan, dividing his time between his father and grandmother’s homes. He even got his first taste of stardom as a member of the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo. Today, Martin not only lives in the U.S. but is also a proud American citizen. But he remembers his roots, and in 2015 released a statement praising the Puerto Rican governor for finally legalizing same-sex marriage.

#6: Benicio Del Toro

It will not surprise you to learn that this actor is Latino, but did you know he is 100% Puerto Rican? Del Toro was born in the small municipality of San Germán, located in Puerto Rico’s southwestern region. His family would later relocate to the United States. But when Del Toro had a daughter in 2011, he had her baptized in Puerto Rico, and in 2012 was the recipient of an honorary degree from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico due to his contributions to the film industry.

#5: Jennifer Lopez


While she may have been born in The Bronx, Lopez’ parents are both Puerto Rican, which makes her a Latina through and through; and when it comes to embracing one’s roots, few celebs do it as openly and with as much gusto as J-Lo. While we could point to the time she served as grand marshal in the Puerto Rican Day parade, or when Puerto Rican scientists named an aquatic mite after her in 2014, we’d instead like to point out that Lopez donated a million dollars in humanitarian aid to her ancestral home in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Maria.

#4: David Blaine


You probably think we’re pulling your leg with this entry, but it’s 100% true. Celebrity magician David Blaine is Puerto Rican. . . well, kind of. Blaine’s father was half Puerto Rican, accounting for a quarter of the renowned illusionist’s family heritage. Blaine is also a quarter Italian and half Russian, which makes him quite a cool mixture, ancestrally speaking that is. While he isn’t quite as outspoken about his heritage in comparison to others on our list, that doesn’t mean he’s any less Puerto Rican!

#3: Zoe Saldana


Star of such films as “The Losers”, “Avatar” and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, Zoe Saldana has carved out a nice little spot for herself amongst the Hollywood A-list. But did you know that her roots stretch all the way to the Caribbean? Her father was Dominican and her mother was…wait for it…Puerto Rican! In fact, Saldana speaks Spanish fluently and spent much of her youth engrossed in Dominican culture, as she lived there for a number of years with her family. This is one actress who probably feels right at home whenever she takes a trip down south.

#2: Victoria Justice


If you can’t tell that this Florida native and former Nickelodeon star is of Puerto Rican descent, we don’t blame you. Victoria Justice’s fair complexion has surely caused others to second guess her claims of being a Latina on more than one occasion. But the fact of the matter is she’s half Puerto Rican: her mother was born there. In fact, Justice loves her roots, praising her mother’s side of the family and claiming, “If you’re Latina, you love to eat.” Sounds about right!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:


Scotty McCreery

Bruno Mars

Frankie Muniz


#1: Aubrey Plaza


Did you really see this one coming? The “Parks & Rec” star is half Puerto Rican on her father’s side. And while she may have been born in Delaware, she still has plenty of family down south. Plaza has been in dozens of films and TV shows over the years, but you’d have been hard-pressed to have known she was half Latina. In fact, during an interview with Cosmopolitan for Latinas, she confessed, "A lot of people don't assume I'm Puerto Rican because I'm fair-skinned, but I feel very connected to that side of my family.” Now we know!

Do you agree with our list? Were you surprised by any of the stars on this list? For more entertaining Top 10s and awesome Top 5’s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com
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