As Mexican filmmaker Demián Bichir received this morning a nomination as Best Actor for this year's Academy Awards for his work in Chris Weitz'sA Better Life, TropicalFRONT offers a recount of all of the Latino actors ever nominated for an Academy Award.
The very first Latino actor to receive an nomination was Puerto Rican actor José Ferrer as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1948 for his work in Joan of Arc. Just two years later Ferrer became the first Latino actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor for the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac. Anthony Quinn would become the most nominated Latino actor to the Oscars having been nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Lust for Life in 1956, winning both times, and receiving nominations as Best Actor in 1957 for Wild is the Wind and in 1964 for Zorba the Greek.
In the nineties Cuban-born actor Andy Garcia was nominated for his supporting role in The Godfather: Part III; and more recently Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro took the Oscar as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2000 for Traffic, and nabbed another nomination in the same category in 2003 for Alejandro González Iñárritu's 21 Grams.
In regards to Latina Actress, the first one ever to receive a nomination was Mexican actress Katy Jurado for her supporting role in Broken Lance in 1954. Few years later, Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno won the Oscar as Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her legendary role as Anita in West Side Story in 1961. Norma Aleandro became the first and only Argentine actor to date to be nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in Luis Mandoki's Gaby: A True Story in 1987.
Only three Latin American women have been nominated as Best Actress: Fernanda Montenegro for Central Station in 1998; Salma Hayek for Frida in 2002; and Catalina Sandino for Maria Full of Grace in 2004. No Latina has ever won the Oscar as Best Actress in a Leading Role to date.
Pictured (from left to right): Rita Moreno, Anthony Quinn and Benicio del Toro.