Influential Hispanic Celebrities

In the last several years, Hispanics and Latinos have surpassed other minority groups to be one of the most influential cultural groups in the United States. This influence can be seen throughout the arts, be it at the movies or throughout the music industry.

One need only look at the silver screen, concert venues and magazines to see how many notable and talented Hispanics contribute to society. Here are some of the well known celebrities.

* Jennifer Lopez: A singer, actress, and marketing mogul, Lopez, together with her husband Marc Anthony, are revered by individuals everywhere. They even served as Emcees for the 2010 Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.

* America Ferrara: This actress turned society on its head with the highly successful show, "Ugly Betty." Ferrara has campaigned on behalf of curvier women, and even had her smile insured by Lloyd's of London in 2007.

* Salma Hayak: Hayak left a successful career in Mexico for the bright lights of Hollywood. She has become one of the best-known Mexican-American performers, receiving an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of artist Frida Kahlo in "Frida."

* John Leguizamo: This comedic actor has stood out in cutting edge films and made audiences laugh as the voices of beloved characters in animated features.

* Christina Aguilera: The talented songstress has been in the limelight since her early days on the "Mickey Mouse Club," alongside other future stars Brittney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

* Javier Bardem: He is the youngest in a family of actors making movies since the earliest days of Spanish cinema. His Oscar win in 2007 for a supporting role in "No Country for Old Men" made Bardem the first Spanish actor to ever win an Academy Award. Bardem is married to Penelope Cruz, another successful Hispanic figure.

* Mario Lopez: Although Lopez started out in a bit part on the surprise smash show, "Saved by the Bell," he has gone on to make a successful career out of modeling, acting and television hosting.