AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

Perez to Serve as the First-Ever Latina Co-Host on ABC’s Long-Running “The View”

Rosie Perez is changing the view on television… And, she’s making history in the process. 

The 49-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and community activist will join ABC’s The View when it returns for its eighteenth season on September 15.

rosie-perez-red

Perez, who is set to appear on Broadway early next year in Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, becomes the first-ever Latina host in the daytime talk show’s history.

“Excited to be a part of an amazing show and a great team of women,” tweeted the Oscar-nominated actress after the announcement was made.

In addition to Perez, political commentator Nicolle Wallace will also join The View next season. A former communications director for George W. Bush, she appeared on the daytime talker last month as a guest co-host.

The women join a show with a very different makeup following the recent exits of Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy. Whoopi Goldberg is the only member from the previous season returning, while Rosie O’Donnell is coming back to the show after having held a seat in the 2006-2007 season.

The View has generally had five women in the mix, though Walters was not featured in every episode during her final years on the show.

 

Peña Nieto Among the Eight Latinos Named to Time’s “100 Influential People” List

He’s been Mexico’s leader for less than five months, but Enrique Peña Nieto is already making his influence felt…

The 46-year-old Mexican politician, who officially became Mexico’s 57th president on December 1, 2012, is one of the eight Latino luminaries named to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list.

Enrique Peña Nieto

Peña Nieto, who served as governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011, was heralded for his charisma and self-deprecating humor by former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson.

“Since his narrow election victory, Peña Nieto’s stock has skyrocketed, with near unanimous praise from across Mexican society,” writes Richardson in his essay on the Mexican leader. “He signed a ‘Pact for Mexico’ in December with the two opposition parties and has enactedsignificant labor reforms. He’s proposed significant changes in the energy and telecommunications sectors, as well as improvements in the nation’s finances. At the Organization of American States, he has led the fight against countries like Ecuador that seek curbs on press freedoms.”

“The U.S. shouldn’t treat Peña Nieto like a patsy,” Richardson continues. “He combines [Ronald] Reagan’s charisma with [Barack] Obama’s intellect and [Bill] Clinton’s political skills. This is a leader to watch.”

Pope Francis

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who became pontiff last month after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, also made the list. Known as Pope Francis, the 76-year-old Bishop of Rome was lauded by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

“In his first official sermon, six days later, he continued to captivate us, as he encouraged us, Do not be afraid to love! Do not be afraid to be tender!,” writes Dolan. “The Cardinal sitting next to me remarked, ‘He talks like Jesus!’ To which I replied, ‘I think that’s his job description.’”

Susana Martinez

Meanwhile, Susana Martinez is one of only two Latinas to make the list. The 53-year-old New Mexico governor was honored by Karl Rove, the senior adviser to President George W. Bush.

“… in 2010, she was elected America’s first Latina governor and New Mexico’s first female governor,” writes Rove. “Though her state usually votes Democratic, that hasn’t stopped this Republican from working with a Democratic legislature to turn a structural deficit into a surplus, pass education reforms to rate each school’s performance, enact comprehensive tax reform and focus on a pro-growth jobs agenda.”

Other Latinos making the list include The Voice’s Christina Aguilera, Chicago pastor Wilfredo De Jesús, Brazilian chef Alex Atala, R&B singer Miguel and the first black president of Brazil’s Supreme Court Joaquim Barbosa.

Click here to see the complete list on honorees, who are divided into the following categories:  Titans, Leaders, Artists, Pioneers and Icons.

Bush Makes Debut as a Political Candidate at the Texas Legislative Conference

George P. Bush has made what’s being called a “safe if rather unpolished debut” as a political candidate at the Texas Legislative Conference.

The 36-year-old half-Mexican American attorney gave a keynote speech at the conference on Friday that shined a spotlight on Republican themes like energy independence.

George P. Bush

Despite a speech that lacked the easy manner mastered by other members of his political family, about 200 people at the conference still responded with enthusiastic applause before Bush left the room without shaking many hands or speaking to reporters.

“I can’t contain my burning optimism for being a Texan,” said Bush. “For being born here, for being educated here and having the opportunity to create opportunity here.”

Bush – the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, the nephew of former President George W. Bush and the son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush –  left Texas with his family for Florida in the late 1970s. But her returned to the Lone Star State for college and law school. He now resides in Fort Worth with his wife, Amanda.

The keynote address was Bush’s public debut as a political candidate. He formally announced this month that he’ll run for Texas Land Commissioner in 2014 after months of hints about a campaign for a statewide office.

Bush took no big risks and avoided gaffes in a speech that reminded the audience about his nine months deployed in Afghanistan and working with at-risk students in urban schools. But he often stumbled over his words and sometimes appeared to rush through the notes in front of him.

Bush, who said he wears his U.S. Naval Reserve uniform one weekend a month for training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, sounded most assured and comfortable when discussing the welfare of veterans.

Among the responsibilities overseen by the Texas General Land Office is veterans affairs. Bush vowed to make veterans more aware of the benefits they’re entitled to if elected to land commissioner.

Bush, whose mother was born in Mexico, is considered a rising star among conservative Hispanics, and his political pedigree is hard to match. He has been active in politics for years. Last summer, he was promoted to deputy finance chairman of the Texas Republican Party.

George P. Bush Debating a Run for State Office in Texas

It looks like George Prescott Bush may continue his family’s political legacy…

The 36-year-old half-Mexican American attorney says he’s close to settling on campaigning for the position of Texas Land Commissioner next year. He doesn’t believe he’ll make up his mind until he knows what Texas Governor Rick Perry, a fellow Republican, decides to do.

George P. Bush

“We for sure are running, the question is the office,” Bush told The Associated Press during the first interview about his political future since filing paperwork in November to seek elected office in Texas.

Bush’s father is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, his grandfather is former President George H.W. Bush and his uncle is former President and Texas Governor George W. Bush. Perry has been governor since George W. left for the White House.

The land commissioner position has traditionally served as a steppingstone to higher office, but Bush said little about any plans to eventually become a national political force.

Instead, Bush spoke about how his past experience as an asset manager would help him manage the Permanent Schools Fund, which pays for public education and is managed by the land commissioner. He also said his perspective as an Afghanistan war veteran will help him use the post to become a leader in veterans’ affairs.

Bush said he would announce his final decision after the Texas Legislature adjourns in May but added that his choice will depend “where the governor’s thinking is.” Perry, who made an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination in the race for president, remains popular in Texas, and he’s planning to reveal this summer if he’ll seek another term.

Some have speculated that Bush could challenge Perry for governor — and even if he doesn’t, what Perry decides will trigger political dominos falling.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson plans to run for lieutenant governor next year, creating a vacancy in his office. But Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, may himself run for governor in 2014, meaning his post could be open too.

Bush suggested he’d be willing to wait his turn politically rather than immediately seeking top positions coveted by others in the state GOP.

“We’ve said that we want to be team players in the party, providing a younger, fresher vision for our values,” he said.

Bush speaks Spanish, and his mother Columba is from Mexico. Conservatives view George P. Bush on the ballot as a way to solidify support among Hispanics.

A Democrat hasn’t won statewide office in Texas since 1994, but Hispanics tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic and accounted for two-thirds of Texas’ population growth over the last decade. Bush noted: “We’ll be majority Hispanic in six years.”

“I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that having a candidate of Hispanic origin, or someone who can speak Spanish, can automatically obtain these votes,” Bush said of Hispanics. “Having said that, it’s important tactically to have candidates that understand issues of the community.”

Bush said of trying to stand out among his famous political family, “It’s always been the thing of my grandmother to say, ‘Go out and make a name for yourself’ and that’s something that I’ve followed.”

“But who better to ask for advice on politics than two former presidents and a former governor?” he said. “They’re not involved in the day-to-day operations. They’re not involved in formulating my ideology. It’s more of an informal advice.”

Bush said his grandfather inspired him to join the military, and he was deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He said that before enlisting, he knew politics was in his blood but felt he was too inexperienced to run for office.

It wasn’t until the last few months, however, that “I felt it was time for my generation to step forward in state politics,” Bush said.

Bush now spends his time crisscrossing Texas and the country, raising money and meeting with supporters. He was in Austin on Monday and posed for pictures outside the state Capitol before disappearing into meetings with legislators.

Eva Longoria to Co-Chair Presidential Inaugural Committee

Eva Longoria served as a co-chairwoman of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and gave an inspired speech at the Democratic National Convention… And now she’s playing an active role in his inauguration.

The 37-year-old Mexican American actress will serve co-chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, along with former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun, the national finance chairman of Obama’s campaign.

Eva Longoria

Longoria and Barzun will be joined by Jane Stetson, the national finance chairwoman of the DNC, and Frank White, who served on the Obama administration’s National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprises.

Obama’s second inauguration will again include a “national day of service” and his inaugural committee includes honorary chairman roles for the four living ex-presidents, according to the committee. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush will serve as honorary co-chairmen of the weekend.

Obama’s public inauguration events will take place on Monday, January 21, 2013, though he will be officially sworn in for his second term of office on January 20. The U.S. Constitution specifies a presidential term begins at noon on January 20th. The public events however will be held the next day because the 20th is a Sunday.

Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, will head the inaugural parade, while campaign deputies will lead efforts such as the national day of service, inaugural balls.

On the Saturday before his inauguration, Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and members of each of their families will participate in a national day of service. They will encourage “Americans across the country to organize and participate in service projects in their communities,” the committee said.

Moreno to Receive LatinRecording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award

She’s the only Hispanic artist to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony… And, now Rita Moreno will be honored with a much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy.

The 80-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer/dancer, who was only the second Puerto Rican to win an Academy Award, is being heralded for her nearly 70-year career in entertainment, including her awe-inspiring turn as Anita in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical West Side Story.

Rita Moreno

Born Rosa Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Moreno is one of an elite group of performers who’ve won the industry’s five most prestigious awards: an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony Award and Golden Globe. And she received the highest honor bestowed upon a U.S. civilian when former President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

Moreno’s professional repertoire includes starring in more than 135 feature films and TV series and countless stage productions in the United States and abroad.

Rita Moreno's Life Cover

Moreno is also an esteemed lecturer who shares her insight on various cultural and industry-related topics with organizations and universities throughout the country; and she’s actively involved in several charities.

But Moreno isn’t the only Hispanic entertainer being recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other recipients of the coveted award include:

Spanish born singer, songwriter and composer Luz Casal
Argentinian singer, songwriter and actor Leo Dan
Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento
Mexican singer, actress and television host Daniela Romo
Mexican-American conguero, Latin jazz bandleader and salsa singer Poncho Sánchez
Brazilian composer, singer and guitarist Toquinho.

Meanwhile, Spanish virtuoso and flamenco guitarist Juan Carmona Habichuela” and the Puerto Rican-born “King of the Cuatro” Yomo Toro will receive the prestigious Trustees Award.

“This year’s exceptional group of honorees not only beautifully represent our diverse music communities but exemplify the meaning of being a true pioneer of one’s craft as well as being internationally recognized within their respective musical genres,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “We continue the privilege of honoring and celebrating these iconic individuals whose contributions and accomplishments continue to leave an indelible legacy in the world of Latin music and will continue to inspire future generations of musicians and music fans for many years.”

Moreno and her fellow honorees will be saluted at a special invitation-only ceremony on Wednesday, November 14, as part of the weeklong Latin Grammy Awards celebration.

Rubio Tops List of Latino Speakers at the Republican National Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention is officially underway in Tampa… And in its quest to woo more Hispanic voters, the GOP is shining a spotlight on the Republican Party’s rising Latino stars, including Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida.

Marco Rubio

Currently fewer than three in 10 Latino voters prefer Mitt Romney to President Barack Obama. If Romney can’t expand that number in the next two and a half months, he’ll have to run up a large percentage of the white vote to win the presidential election come November.

In 2004, President George W. Bush received more than 40% of the Hispanic vote, and won a narrow re-election. Four years later, Senator John McCain received less than a third of Latino voters, and lost the race.

So the RNC and an array of groups—the Hispanic Leadership Conference, the Latino Coalition, the Libre Initiative—are sponsoring several parties and events dedicated to Latino themes, with a never-before-seen level of attention being placed on Hispanic issues.

Only eight people will deliver primetime speeches that will be carried live on all three national networks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Three of them will be Hispanics: Lucé Vela, the first lady of Puerto Rico; Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico; and Rubio.

Marco Rubio

Rubio, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, has been given what could be considered the biggest assignment of all.

Rubio, who was named this spring as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine, will speak right before Romney takes the stage to accept his party’s nomination. In announcing his high-profile appearance, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoads praised Sen. Rubio as “the future of the Republican Party.”

Luce Vela

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s first lady Vela, a native of the island who attended college in Maryland, is scheduled to introduce Romney’s wife, Ann, at the convention on Tuesday night.

The high-profile post is a prime opportunity for Vela to introduce herself to Republicans — especially women and Hispanics — nationwide.

Susana Martinez

And finally, Martinez—the first Hispanic female governor in the U.S.—will take the stage before keynote speaker Gov. Chris Christie at the convention. The critical time slot, second only to that of the keynote speaker has been consistently reserved for the party’s up-and-coming talent – Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2004.

Other Latinos expected to speak at the convention include U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and Tea Party favorite, and Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño.