Young Portuguese-Americans in Hollywood

Young Portuguese-Americans in HollywoodToday the movie “Milk” premieres in theaters here in Lisbon. Winner of 8 Oscar nominations last week, that movie stars Sean Penn, with James Franco in a major secondary role. If Franco sounds Portuguese to you, you’re right. He’s just one of the now several young Hollywood faces with a Portuguese background. Of about the same age as Franco is Al Santos, a former model turned actor who’s made appearances on the “CSI: NY” series and on movies like “Jeepers Creepers II.” He was born in New York, but his last name originates in his relatives in the city of Aveiro in Portugal.

Another rising star is Lyndsy Fonseca, last seen on last season’s “Desperate Housewives,” although she was also part of the cast of “The Young and the Restless.”
Yet another Portuguese-American actress with a start in soap operas was Vanessa Marcil (the real last name is “Barrigas”), who went from “General Hospital” to star in “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Las Vegas.“

Perabo is an unusual Portuguese name, but it is Portuguese. Actress Piper Perabo was born in Texas, but grew up in New Jersey, home to a large Portuguese community. Her major role was as the star of the “Coyote Ugly” movie, and she’s also appeared in other films such as “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “The Prestige.”

You wouldn’t tell by her last name, but Brooke Burke is also partially Portuguese. She was last seen as the winner of season 7 of the American series “Dancing with the Stars,” but became known as the host of the “Wild On…” program on the E! network.

For more famous Portuguese-American faces in the world of entertainment, see GoLisbon’s Portuguese People page.