America Ferrera

Actress, Director

4/18/1984 (38 years old) Los Angeles, California, United States

Ferrera was 18 when she starred in the delightful 2002 indie comedy Real Women Have Curves, an auspicious film debut that won her the Sundance Film Festival's jury prize for best actress (shared with her costar Lupe Ontiveros). A handful of TV guest spots followed, and as Hollywood tried to figure out what to do with this charismatic but unconventional player, the brainy actress studied international relations at the University of Southern California. There, she met future beau Ryan Piers Williams when he cast her in his student film. In 2005, she gave another winning performance in the ensemble chick flick The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and the next year she scored her small-screen breakthrough, earning Golden Globe and SAG Awards as the lead in Ugly Betty, the hit American adaptation of the wildly popular Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea. Four seasons, an Emmy Award and multiple accolades later, Ferrera's run on Betty ended when the series was canceled in 2010. But her year was still a busy one with starring roles in three films, including The Dry Land, which was directed by Williams, to whom she was recently engaged.

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