Monthly Highlight: Why Latina Stars Rule Hollywood


Selena Gomez is leading the next generation of Latina stars - at only 22 years old, she already has over 35 million social media followers and a net worth of $45 million. - Photo courtesy Facebook
Selena Gomez is leading the next generation of Latina stars – at only 22 years old, she already has over 35 million social media followers and a net worth of $45 million. – Photo courtesy Facebook


By Mary Mcnulty

Bucking a Hollywood trend, many of the highest-paid stars are Latinas. They are well known across all entertainment venues and have fans that cross all generations. Whether you’re 20 or 50 years old, there are many well-known, contemporary Latina stars with paydays that can best be described as astronomical.

“Somebody can be hot and make fun of herself and enjoy her work and make money” is how Sofia Vergara has been described. The endearing personality of the star of “Modern Family” has earned in excess of $37 million. She has a terrific business sense and social media presence attracting over 9 million followers on Twitter.

Best known for TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” Eva Longoria, at $35 million, is slowly moving away from an on-screen presence, to producing and directing TV series such as “Devious Maids.” As a restauranteur, creating documentaries such as “The Harvest” and “Food Chains” have become a priority. Longoria was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and supports many Latino political causes.

You know you’ve made it when you are known by initials, such is the case of “JLo” aka Jennifer Lopez. A leader in the fragrance industry, JLo continues to survive, if not thrive. Star of TV, the big screen, and dance/music JLo earned $20 million for her work on “Idol” and has a net worth estimated at $200 million. Not bad for a 5-foot-3-inch girl from the Bronx!

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Sofia, is Penelope Cruz. Preferring a more refined image and an older demographic, Cruz does not even have a Twitter account. At 42, her net worth is in the neighborhood of $55 million.

The Latina star of action movies is Michelle Rodriguez. At 38, she is known for her roles in “Fast and Furious.” The tough-guy image has obviously suited her well, producing a net worth of $30 million.

The star of the movie “Frida,” Salma Hayek is both an actress and entrepreneur. While married to a billionaire, Hayek has established herself as a cosmetics giant. The Nuance line, geared towards the Latina market, has a reasonable price point of $20. Hayek’s estimated wealth is $85 million, which pales when compared to the $12.9 billion total for her husband, Francois-Henri-Pinault.

To the credit of the Latin market, the female stars are basically in the 40 to 50 age range. To accommodate the millennium generation, there is Selena Gomez, the youngest on the list. While Vergara should certainly be proud of her 9 million Twitter followers as noted earlier, Gomez has 35 million following on Twitter and Instagram. What would you do at age 22 with $45 million?

Continuing with the 40-and-over trend is Cameron Diaz. The actress has been one of the hardest-working in show biz since her “Mask” debut, decades ago. Her consistent presence has earned her a net worth of $90 million.

Coming close to the age 40 threshold is Zoe Saldana. Known for her role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the actress promotes causes of gender and race. With a net worth of $14 million, Saldana has been described as both feminine and strong.

How do you define Jessica Alba? Definitely an astute businesswoman, as demonstrated with the Honest Company, currently valued at about $1 billion. With a net worth of $200 million, Alba has recently shied away from the Hollywood spotlight.

Many stars complain of the lack of roles for women in Hollywood, especially as they age. The women above – JLo, Sofia Vergara, Cameron Diaz – are all over 40 and all continue to have massive success, on both the large and small screen.


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