America Ferrera
Birth Date:
April 18, 1984
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 4½''
University of Southern California (double-majored in Theater and International Relations)
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America Ferrera
Ugly Betty


“When I went into the business I never knew how 'fat' or 'ugly' I was. I never felt that there was something wrong with me. But in the world of Mode magazine, 99 percent of us are Ugly Bettys. It’s interesting that the show is called Ugly Betty, not Fat Betty- but everyone assumes that the ugliness comes from me as a person not being skinny. But a skinny actress could have taken this role and put on the braces and she’d still be Ugly Betty.” America Ferrera

American actress America Ferrera is most famous for playing Betty Suarez on the television comedy series “Ugly Betty” (ABC, 2006-2010). Her performance was critically praised, and she was handed an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Satellite Award, an ALMA Award, a Teen Choice Award, an Image Award and three Imagen Foundation Awards. The Hispanic beauty has also starred in “Real Women Have Curves” (2002), from which she received the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for her performance, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2006), where she netted an Imagen Foundation Award and several nominations for playing Carmen, and its sequel, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” (2008), “The Dry Land” (2010) and “Our Family Wedding” (2010), among other films. She was the voice of Astrid the Viking in the Dreamworks animated film “How to Train Your Dragon” (2010). Ferrera was ranked No. 84 on the Maxim magazine list of “Hot 100 of 2008.” In 2009, she was named one of People Magazine's “100 Most Beautiful People.”    
Ferrera is married to director and writer Ryan Piers Williams.   


Childhood and Family:

America Georgine Ferrera was born on April 18, 1984, in Los Angeles, California, to Honduran immigrants. After her parents divorced, she and her five older siblings were all raised by her mother in the San Fernando Valley. She attended Calabash Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley.  America knew that she wanted to become an actress as a child, and started performing in school plays and community theater when she was 8 years old. Her mom, who stressed on the important of higher education to her children, initially showed little support to her daughter's interest, but eventually changed her mind after seeing her daughter's dedication. By age 16, America had signed with a small talent agency. She was also able to earn a degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California.

On June 17, 2010, America was engaged to Ryan Piers Williams (born May 13, 1981). They married on June 27, 2011.

Real Women Have Curves


After signing with a talent agent, 16 year old America Ferrera started auditioning for commercials and other projects. Her first big break arrived two years later when she landed the role of  Yolanda “Yoli” Vargas in the Disney Channel Original movie “Gotta Kick It Up!” (2002), based on a true story of a middle school dance team. Co-stars in the film included Camille Guaty and Susan Egan.  The same year, she was cast in the leading role of Ana Garcia, a Mexican American teenager determined to go to college to pursue her writing dreams rather than stay with her close knit family and work in a dressmaking factory in the comedy/drama film “Real Women Have Curves.” Directed by Patricia Cardoso, the film premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, and the Special Jury Prize for both Ferrera and co-star Lupe Ontiveros. The film went on to win the Youth Jury Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival, Special Recognition at the National Board of Review, the Humanitas Prize for Sundance Film Category and the Producers Award at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards, in which Ferrera also received the nomination for Best Debut Performance. She also was nominated for a 2003 Young Artist Award in the category of Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress thanks to her strong, magnetic performance.

Ferrera made her series television debut with a guest stint as Charlee, a high school student with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in an episode of CBS' “Touched By an Angel” called “The Word,” aired on October 19, 2002. She co-starred with Aidan Quinn and Rachel Griffiths in the CBS TV film “Plainsong” (CBS, 2004), was cast alongside Peter Atherton, Mitch Baker and Johnny Bartee in the Richard Linklater directed made for TV film “ $5.15/Hr.” (2004) and starred as Luiza in the short film “ Darkness Minus Twelve” (2004), by Antonio Negret. 2004 also saw her appear as April Perez in an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” called “Harvest.”

In 2005, Ferrera starred as Blanca Garcia, opposite Elizabeth Peña and Lucy Gallardo as Blanca's mother and grandmother, respectively on the comedy/drama film “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer.” The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. She was then seen as the self-examining, but volatile Carmen on the coming of age drama “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005), an adaptation of the Ann Brashares novel, directed by Ken Kwapis and scripted by Delia Ephron. Delivering a solid performance, she picked up an Imagen Foundation for Best Actress, an ALMA nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture, a  Satellite nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical and two Teen Choice nominations for Choice Movie Breakout Performance – Female and Choice Movie Hissy Fit. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” which also starred  Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel and Bradley Whitford, opened at No. 5 at the US box office with over $9.8 million, and it has grossed over $42 million worldwide. Still in 2005, Ferrera appeared as Thunder Monkey, the real life skateboarding groupie in “Lords of Dogtown,” a biographical film helmed by Catherine Hardwicke, written by Stacy Peralta and starring Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, John Robinson and Victor Rasuk, and as Kate in the Shawna Baca short  film “3:52,”  which won the Audience Award at the 2006 San Diego Women Film Festival. In addition, she could be seen on stage playing CB (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas)'s sister in the off Broadway production of “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” directed by Trip Cullman. 

Ferrera was cast as Amy Barnes in the Brian Jun drama film “Steel City” (2006), where earned nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Sundance Film Festival. It was also in 2006 when the actress landed the lead role of Betty Suarez on the television series “Ugly Betty,” an Americanized version of the popular Columbian telenovela “Yo Soy Betty Le Fea.” Debuted on ABC on September 28, 2006, the show was mostly successful during its first three seasons before being canceled in early 2010 after  its fourth season due to low ratings. For her bright acting on the series, Ferrera won such awards as an Emmy for  Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, a Satellite for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical, a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, an ALMA for Outstanding Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie, a Teen Choice for Choice TV: Breakout, an Image for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series as well as two Imagens for Best Actress – Television and the Creative Achievement Award, in addition to a number of nominations.

During the show's four season run, Ferrera also took several other acting projects. She co-starred with Roberto Urbina and David Sutcliffe in the crime/drama film “Hacia la oscuridad” (2007),  directed and written by Antonio Negret,  appeared as Martha in “Under the Same Moon (La misma luna)” (2007), which won the ALMA Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Spanish Language Motion Picture and the Young Artist Award for Best International Feature Film, reprised her role as Carmen Lowell in the sequel “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” (2008), which was nominated for a 2009 Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Romance, and provided the voice of Fawn in the direct to video animated film “Tinker Bell” (2008). In 2010, Ferrera starred as Sarah in the  Sundance Film Festival premiered drama “The Dry Land,” which was written and directed by her soon to be husband Ryan Piers Williams, was cast along with Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, Lance Gross, Shannyn Sossamon Charlie Murphy and Regina King in the romantic comedy film “Our Family Wedding,” which was directed and co-written by Rick Famuyiwa, and provided the voice of Astrid Hofferson in the popular animated film “How to Train Your Dragon”  

After “Ugly Betty” left the airwaves, Ferrera had a recurring role as Natalie Flores in the CBS legal drama “The Good Wife” (3 episodes). She voiced Astrid Hofferson in the video shorts “Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury” and “Book of Dragons” (both also 2011). In November 7, 2011, she made her London stage debut by playing Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago” in London's West End.

Ferrera will play Officer Orozco in the David Ayer film “End of Watch” (2012), opposite Anna Kendrick, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, and Hedy Galili in “It's a Disaster” (2012), a comedy film directed and written by Todd Berger. She is also set to reprise her voice  role of Astrid in the upcoming installment “ How to Train Your Dragon 2” (2014).


Imagen Foundation: Imagen Award, Best Actress – Television, “Ugly Betty,” 2010
Image: Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, “Ugly Betty,” 2008
ALMA Award: Outstanding Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Imagen Foundation: Creative Achievement Award, 2007
Imagen Foundation: Imagen Award, Best Actress – Television, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Satellite: Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Teen Choice: Choice TV: Breakout, “Ugly Betty,” 2007
Imagen Foundation: Imagen Award, Best Actress, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” 2006
Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Prize, Dramatic, “Real Women Have Curves,” 2002

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America Ferrera Debuts "X/Y" at the Tribeca Film Festival
SP_COP - April 21, 2014 -
Enjoying a night out to show off her latest work, America Ferrera walked the red carpet at the premiere of "X/Y" on Saturday (April 19) in New York City.The "Ugly Betty" actress looked lovely in a whi...
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COMIC-CON 2013: Cate Blanchet, Djimon Hounsou and Kit Harington Join How to Train Your Dragon 2
SP_COP - July 18, 2013 -
Director Dean DeBlois announced at the DreamWorks Animation Comic-Con 2013 panel today that Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, and Kit Harington have joined the voice cast of How to Train Your Dragon 2.C...
© Retna