America Ferrera

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America Ferrera
AmericaFerreraDIFFApr10.jpg
Ferrera in April 2010
BornGeorgine America Ferrera[1][2]
(1984-04-18) April 18, 1984 (age 29)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Other namesGeorgina Ferrera
OccupationActress, producer
Years active2002–present
Spouse(s)Ryan Piers Williams
(m. 2011–present)
 
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America Ferrera
AmericaFerreraDIFFApr10.jpg
Ferrera in April 2010
BornGeorgine America Ferrera[1][2]
(1984-04-18) April 18, 1984 (age 29)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityAmerican
Other namesGeorgina Ferrera
OccupationActress, producer
Years active2002–present
Spouse(s)Ryan Piers Williams
(m. 2011–present)

Georgine America Ferrera[1][2] (born April 18, 1984) is an American actress. She is best known for her leading role as Betty Suarez on the ABC television series Ugly Betty (2006–2010). Her portrayal garnered critical acclaim, and she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

She has starred in a number of films, including Real Women Have Curves (2002), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), its sequel Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008), The Dry Land (2010), End of Watch (2012), and Our Family Wedding (2010). She also had a small role in the skateboard biopic Lords of Dogtown (2005). In addition, Ferrara provides the voice of Astrid the Viking in the DreamWorks animated picture How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Cartoon Network's television series based on movie, Dragons: Riders of Berk, and the upcoming sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014).

Early life[edit]

Ferrera, the youngest of six children, was born in Los Angeles, California.[3] Her parents, América Griselda Ayes and Carlos Gregorio Ferrera, were originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and immigrated to the United States in the mid 1970s.[4] Her mother worked as the director of the housecleaning staff for Hilton Hotels,[5] and stressed the importance of higher education.[6] When she was 7, her parents divorced and her father returned to Honduras.[7] Ferrera's father died in 2010.[8]

Ferrera was raised in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, where she attended Calabash Street Elementary School, George Ellery Hale Middle School and El Camino Real High School.[9] From the time she was seven years old, when she landed a small role in a school production of Hamlet and then at age 10, the role as the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, Ferrera knew that she wanted to be a performer. Her first play was Romeo and Juliet, and although only in the third grade, she went to the junior high school and auditioned and got the role of the Apothecary.[10] She acted in school plays and community theater in Los Angeles throughout her youth, though with little help from her mother, who insisted that she pursue other interests because she was concerned her daughter would not be treated fairly. Ferrera was forced to take the bus to auditions, though eventually her mother saw her daughter’s dedication and began to drive her.[6] Ferrera disliked her first name as a child and went by her middle name, "Georgina", until she began acting professionally.[11]

While at El Camino High School, she took acting lessons at the age of 15 and was able to pay for them by waiting tables and babysitting. She entered the University of Southern California on a presidential scholarship, with a double major in theater and international relations.

Career[edit]

In July 2002, Ferrera made her first TV movie, Gotta Kick It Up! for The Disney Channel. While at a theatre program at Northwestern University that same year,[12] she made her feature film debut in the indie sleeper hit Real Women Have Curves. Ferrera followed this with roles in television (Touched by an Angel).[13] She was also in the movie Plainsong, based on the novel by Kent Haruf which starred Aidan Quinn and Rachel Griffiths. Ferrera plays a pregnant teenager, Victoria Roubideaux, who has been kicked out of her mother's house, and she is taken in by two kindly brothers who live alone on a farm.[14] How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer came out in 2005, and she starred as the third generation of a Mexican-American family. She played Bianca, a 17-year-old who while on the verge on womanhood is fed up with the boys in her neighborhood but finds romance with another boy from a neighboring town. In 2006, she appeared in the short film 3:52 which won the Audience Award at the San Diego Women Film Festival. Later that year she starred in Steel City which received nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Sundance Film Festival.[15]

Ferrera in 2006

In December 2005, she appeared in the off-Broadway play Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, directed by Trip Cullman. She landed the lead role of Betty in Ugly Betty in 2006. Ugly Betty is an adaptation of the Colombian hit telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea, in which Ferrera portrays a girl whom her peers find extremely unattractive, thus the series title. As Betty Suarez, Ferrera wears braces, has bushy eyebrows and a disheveled wig, and make-up and clothing intended to downplay her own looks, in contrast to most of the "glammed up" characters; Ferrera herself coined the term “Bettification” to describe the process of creating her onscreen persona.[16] The first run of Ugly Betty was completed with the series finale on ABC-TV on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. For her role in Ugly Betty, Ferrera won the 2007 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. As a result of the award, she was congratulated by the U.S. House of Representatives as being a role model for young Hispanics.[17] On January 28, 2007, Ferrera won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series.[18]

Ferrera in June 2010

In 2007, TIME chose Ferrera as one of the top artists and entertainers in their "Time 100: The Most Influential People In The World" issue.[19] In July 2007, Ferrera won Imagen Foundation's Creative Achievement Award.[20] On September 16, 2007, Ferrera won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series[21] for her Ugly Betty role, the first Latina to win in that category.[citation needed] In the summer of 2007, she wrapped filming on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, the sequel to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, as Carmen. Among other film work, she supplied the voice of Astrid in the hit animated film How to Train Your Dragon (2010). She appears in The Dry Land which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival[22] and ran at the Dallas International Film Festival where it won the top prize in the Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature.[23] As a presenter at the 2007 Film Independent's Spirit Awards, she said the United States won't be free again until President Bush leaves office in 2008.[24] She was seen attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, pledging her support for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Ferrera is also active in getting Latinos in the United States to vote through her involvement with the organization Voto Latino by appearing on various news programs.

Ferrera made her London stage debut on November 7, 2011, playing Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago in London's West End.[25] In 2012, America Ferrera was featured in the four-hour documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which premiered on PBS October 1 and 2, 2012.[26] The series introduces women and girls living under very difficult circumstances and bravely fighting to challenge them. The Half the Sky PBS TV series is produced by Show of Force along with Fugitive Films. Ferrera starred alongside David Cross and Julia Stiles in the dark comedy It's a Disaster, which premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired the US distribution rights to the film, and plans to release it in select theaters starting April 13, 2013.[27]

On May 17, 2013, ABC announced that Ferrera would return to TV in a limited-run series called Pedro & Maria, a modern day take on the "Romeo & Juliet" story set in Washington, D.C. The series had been in development at MTV since 2010 with Ferrera serving as director on the project, which would have interactive participation online content from viewers, but it is not clear if that segment will be included in the proposed project. The series, if greenlighted by ABC, would air in the 2013-14 television season.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Ferrera and her husband Ryan Piers Williams in October 2010

Ferrera first met actor, director, and writer Ryan Piers Williams when he cast her in a student film at the University of Southern California.[29] The couple became engaged in June 2010,[29] and married on June 27, 2011.[30] In May 2013, Ferrera graduated from the University of Southern California earning a bachelor's degree in International relations, which took her ten years to complete.[31]

Filmography[edit]

Film
YearTitleRoleNotes
2002Real Women Have CurvesAna Garcia
2002Gotta Kick It Up!Yolanda "Yoli" VargasTelevision film
2004Darkness Minus TwelveLuizaShort film
2004PlainsongVictoria RoubideauxTelevision film
2005How the Garcia Girls Spent Their SummerBlanca
2005Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, TheThe Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsCarmen Lowell
2005Lords of DogtownThunder Monkey
20053:52Kate
2006Steel CityAmy Barnes
2007MuertasRebeccaShort film; also executive producer
2007Towards Darkness (Hacia la oscuridad)LuizaAlso executive producer
2007Under the Same MoonMartha
2008Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, TheThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2Carmen Lowell
2008Tinker BellFawn (voice)Direct-to-video
2010Dry Land, TheThe Dry LandSarahAlso executive producer
2010Our Family WeddingLucia Ramirez
2010How to Train Your DragonAstrid Hofferson (voice)
2012It's a DisasterHedy Galili
2012End of WatchOfficer Orozco
2012Half the SkyHerselfDocumentary
2013Chavez[32]Helen ChavezPost-production
2014X/YSilviaFilming; also producer
2014How to Train Your Dragon 2Astrid Hofferson (voice)Filming
2014Big Hero 6Honey Lemon (voice)Filming
2016How to Train Your Dragon 3Astrid Hofferson (voice)Filming
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
2002–2008, 2010–2011Independent LensHerselfHost (seasons 5–9, 12–13); 112 episodes
2002Touched by an AngelCharleeEpisode: "The Word"
2004$5.15/Hr.N/AUnsold HBO pilot
2004CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationApril PerezEpisode: "Harvest"
2006–2010Ugly BettyBetty SuarezMain cast
2011Good Wife, TheThe Good WifeNatalie Flores3 episodes
2011Handy MannyGraciela Morales (voice)Episode: "Snow Problem"
2012–presentDragons: Riders of BerkAstrid Hofferson (voice)Main cast
Web series
YearTitleRoleNotes
2012ChristineChristineMain cast

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryWorkResult
2002Sundance Film FestivalSpecial Jury Prize: DramaticReal Women Have CurvesWon
2003Independent Spirit AwardBest Debut PerformanceNominated
Young Artist AwardBest Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
2005Satellite AwardOutstanding Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or MusicalThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Teen Choice AwardChoice Movie Breakout Performance – Female
Choice Movie Hissy Fit
2006ALMA AwardOutstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Imagen AwardBest ActressWon
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a Series, Comedy or MusicalUgly BettyNominated
2007ALMA AwardOutstanding Actress – Television Series, Mini-Series or Television MovieWon
Golden Globe AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Imagen AwardBest Actress – TelevisionWon
Creative Achievement Award
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesUgly Betty
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (shared with cast) Nominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV: BreakoutWon
Choice TV Actress: ComedyNominated
TCA AwardIndividual Achievement in Comedy
2008Golden Globe AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Comedy SeriesWon
Imagen AwardBest Actress – TelevisionNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (shared with cast)
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actress: Comedy
2009ALMA AwardActress in Television – Comedy
Golden Globe AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Imagen AwardBest Actress – Television
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite Television Actress
New York Women in Film & TelevisionMuse AwardWon
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy SeriesUgly BettyNominated
Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actress: Comedy
2010NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Imagen AwardBest Actress – TelevisionWon
Best Actress – FilmThe Dry LandNominated
Our Family Wedding

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California.
  2. ^ a b Cindy Pearlman (August 3, 2008). "Actress America Ferrera sticks to the message". Reading Eagle. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ "America Ferrera Biography". A+E Networks. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  4. ^ (Spanish) América Ferrera cambia de patito feo a diva. Elheraldo.hn (August 25, 2010). Retrieved on April 8, 2013.
  5. ^ Comita, Jenny (May 2007). "America Ferrera, Hot Betty". W Magazine. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b America Ferrera's family background. Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved on April 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Biography Today, p. 78
  8. ^ "America Ferrera's Father Passes Away". Latina. August 24, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Movies: Biography forAmerica Ferrera". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Biography Today, p. 79
  11. ^ Davis, Peter (August 2009). "Miss America". Gotham. Retrieved September 19, 2009. "Named after her mother, Ferrera says she detested the name America as a child. ... 'So I used my middle name, Georgina.' ... When she started acting professionally, she decided to go with her real first name again." [dead link]
  12. ^ Biography Today, p. 80
  13. ^ "America Ferrera- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ Biography Today, pp. 82–83
  15. ^ Biography Today, p. 87
  16. ^ It's a 'Bettification' project, USA Today, October 4, 2006
  17. ^ 'Ugly Betty' Star Saluted in Congress, IMDB Press Release, January 19, 2007
  18. ^ "The 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards" List of winners at SAG web site
  19. ^ White, Kate (May 3, 2007). "The Time 100: America Ferrera". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2007. 
  20. ^ America Ferrera wins an Imagen. Poponthepop.com (July 30, 2007). Retrieved on April 8, 2013.
  21. ^ America Ferrera Emmy Award Winner. Emmys.com. Retrieved on April 8, 2013.
  22. ^ 2010 Sundance Film Festival : The Dry Land. sundance.bside.com
  23. ^ O'Connell, Sean. (April 17, 2010) America Ferrera The Dry Land Dallas Film Festival Pete Docter. HollywoodNews.com (April 17, 2010). Retrieved on 2013-04-08.
  24. ^ Baker, Brent. "At 'Spirit Awards,' Star of ABC's 'Ugly Betty' Quips U.S. Won't Be 'Free' Until Bush Gone". February 24, 2007.
  25. ^ Bosanquet, Theo (October 10, 2011). "Ugly Betty's America Ferrera Leads Chicago at Garrick, WhatsOnStage.
  26. ^ "Independent Lens: Half the Sky". PBS.org. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Oscilloscope.net – It's a Disaster". Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ "America Ferrera eyes ABC return in 'Romeo and Juliet'-inspired series -- EXCLUSIVE" from Entertainment Weekly (May 17, 2013)
  29. ^ a b America Ferrera Is Engaged!, People, June 17, 2010
  30. ^ America Ferrera Is Married!, People, June 28, 2011
  31. ^ Finn, Natalie (14 May 2013). "America Ferrera Graduating From College After 10 Years". eonline.com. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  32. ^ Wilkinson, Tracy. "Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez Movie Marches in Mexico." Los Angeles Times. July 1, 2012. Accessed October 14, 2012.

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