America Ferrera Biography
America Georgina Ferrera born in April 18, 1984 is an Emmy award winning Honduran-American actress who is known for playing the lead role in the television series Ugly Betty. She has also starred in Real Women Have Curves, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, its sequel Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and The Dry Land, and had a small role in the skateboard biopic Lords of Dogtown (2005). In addition she is a voice actress, having voiced Astrid the Viking in How to Train Your Dragon.
Ferrera, the youngest of six children, was born in Los Angeles, California, to parents who immigrated to the United States from Honduras in the mid-1970s. Her mother worked as a housecleaning staff director for a hotel, and raised Ferrera and her siblings, always stressing the importance of higher education.
Ferrera was raised in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, where she attended Calabash Street Elementary School, George Ellery Hale Middle School and El Camino Real High School. From the time she was seven years old, when she landed a small role in a school production of Hamlet and then at age 10 a much bigger role as the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, Ferrera knew that she wanted to be a performer. She acted in school plays and community theater in Los Angeles throughout her youth, though with little help from her mother, who insisted that she pursue other interests because she was concerned her daughter would not get a fair shake. Ferrera was forced to take the bus to auditions, though eventually her mother saw her daughter’s dedication and began to drive her. Ferrera disliked her first name as a child and went by her middle name, "Georgina", until she began acting professionally.
In July 2002, Ferrera made her first TV movie, Gotta Kick It Up! for The Disney Channel. That same year, her uncle died, she made her feature film debut in the indie sleeper hit Real Women Have Curves. Ferrera followed this with roles in both television (Touched by an Angel) and film (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Lords of Dogtown). Ferrera received a 2005 Movieline Breakthrough Award. In December 2005, she appeared in the off-Broadway play Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, directed by Trip Cullman.
She landed the lead role of Betty in Ugly Betty in 2006. Ugly Betty is an adaptation of the Colombian hit telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea, in which she portrays a girl whom her peers find extremely unattractive, thus the series title. As Betty Suarez, Ferrera wears braces, has bushy eyebrows and a disheveled wig, and make-up and clothing intended to downplay her own looks, in contrast to most of the "glammed up" characters; Ferrera herself coined the term “Bettification” to describe the process of creating her onscreen persona.The first run of Ugly Betty was completed with the series finale on ABC-TV on Wednesday, April 14, 2010.
For her role in Ugly Betty, Ferrera won the 2007 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical, beating out fellow nominees Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mary-Louise Parker. As a result of the award, she was congratulated by the U.S. House of Representatives as being a role model for young Hispanics. On 28 January 2007, Ferrera won the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series. She also starred in and was the executive producer for the poignant short film Muertas.
In 2007, Time chose Ferrera as one of the top artists and entertainers in their "Time 100: The Most Influential People In The World" issue. In July 2007, America Ferrera also won Imagen Foundation's Creative Achievement Award.
On September 16, 2007, Ferrera won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series for her Ugly Betty role, the first Latina to win in that category. She was only 23 at the time, making her the youngest winner in Emmy history in that category. In the summer of 2007, she wrapped filming on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, the sequel to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, as Carmen. She also supplied the voice of one of the nature fairies in Tinkerbell (2008). She appears in The Dry Land which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and ran at the Dallas International Film Festival where it won the top prize in the Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature.
Ferrera first met director Ryan Piers Williams when he cast her in a student film at the University of Southern California. The couple became engaged in June 2010. He presented her with an engagement ring estimated to be valued at $70,000.