20 Of Our Favorite Celebrities from Cuba

Gloria Estefan

You already know Cuba as the largest island in the Caribbean. Perhaps you’ve delved into the country’s rich history thanks to Fidel Castro’s takeover. However, one of the most interesting facts about Cuba is that it has produced talents gracing Hollywood, beauty pageants, business, and other industries. This article will discover 20 of our favorite celebrities from Cuba that have supported this interesting fact.

1. Fidel Castro

Fidel Alejandro Castro was a political leader born in Birán, Cuba, on November 26, 2016, and died on November 25, 2016. He led the country from 1959-to 2008, turning it into a communist state in Western Hemisphere. He held the premier position until 1976 before becoming the longest-serving president. Due to health problems, he relinquished his presidential power in February 2008. With Cuban city dwellers, Castro promised his citizens to restore the 1940 constitution, develop an administration that values integrity, and partake in modern reforms. He had seven children from his first wife, Angel Castro, and one of his servants, Lina Ruz Gonzalez.

2. José Fernández

Born on July 31, 1992, and died on September 25, 2016, José Fernández was a renowned Cuban-American baseball player. He represented the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball between 2013 and 2016. He died in a boating accident at the age of 24. He pitched a wonderful gem in his last game, winning 1-0 against the Washington nationals. His death shook the Marlins and the baseball world, but his legacy still prevails.

3. Andy Garcia

According to Pantheon, Andy Garcia is an American actor and director born in April 1956 and is of Cuban descent. His debut came in 1987 when he starred in “The Untouchables.” In 1988, he also appeared in “Stand and Deliver.” The latest HBO television movie he appeared in was “My Dinner with Hervé” in 2018. His acting skills paid off when he received a Primetime Emmy Award and a nomination for Golden Globe Award.

4. Thomas Millan

Thomas Millan is another Cuban-born actor born on March 3, 1933, but died on March 22, 2017. He had Italian and American citizenship. What strikes you the first time you hear of him is his high sense of humor. He was a former student at Lee Strasberg, where he pursued acting. Also, he’s appeared in various films like “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” “The Big Gundown,” “The White, the Yellow, and the Black,” among others.

5. Steven Bauer

Ever watched the 1983 crime drama “Scarface”? If so, you should be familiar with the Cuban drug lord, Steven Bauer. Born on December 2, 1956, Steven Bauer also hails from Cuba, but his family came to the US in 1960 and settled in Miami, Florida. At the time, Cuba had ended a revolution. He started his acting career in 1977 by playing the role of Joe Pena on “Qué Pasa, USA.” Interestingly, Bauer has married four times and has two sons.

6. María Conchita Alonso

María Conchita Alonso was born on June 29, 1957 to parents, María Concepcíon and Alonso Bustillo. Though she hails from Cienfuegos, Cuba, her family immigrated to Venezuela when she was five years old. Like Steven Bauer, her family sought refuge in a foreign country due to the Cuban revolution. María entered showbiz as a model crowned “Miss Teenager World” in 1971. Come 1975, she ranked sixth in the “Miss World/Venezuela.” Besides modeling, she’s an actress and singer.

7. Chelo Alonso

Isabel Apolonia Garcia Hernández, popularly known as Chelo Alonso, was also a Cuban actress. She was born on April 10, 1933, but passed on on February 20, 2019. As a sex symbol in the US, Chelo was an exotic dancer in Paris. Because of her dancing talent, her photos were used in the 1959 film “Sheba thee Gladiator.” It was not until her husband died in 1986 that she moved to Siena, Italy, to venture into cat-breeding after quitting show business.

8. Ana de Armas

Ana de Armas was born in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba on April 30, 1988. Initially, she appeared in Spanish films before relocating to Hollywood. Like any immigrant, Ana de Armas found it daunting to speak English, but that didn’t stop Hollywood producers from spotting her talent. She’s played several roles in films, the most popular ones being “Blade Runner 2049” and “Knives Out,” according to The Famous People.

9. Desi Arnaz

Desi Arnaz was also another Cuban-born actor who migrated to the US after the Cuban Revolution, like Steven Bauer. Born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on March 2, 1917, he enjoyed everything money could buy because his family was wealthy. However, the Cuban Revolution made his family lose all it had accumulated. That encounter turned his life around when he ventured into show business through a sitcom alongside his wife. Sadly, he died on December 2, 1986.

10. Gloria Estefan

If you’ve followed keenly on Billboard’s Top 100 “Greatest Artists of All Time,” you probably recognize Gloria Estefan, a three-time Grammy award winner. Born in Havana, Cuba, on September 1, 1957, Estefan is one of the most famous artists in the US. Her famous hits that made it to the top 10 in the music charts are “Don’t Wanna Lose You” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You.” Her talent in the music industry helped her get the “Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

11. Yoel Romero

Yoel Romero was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on April 30, 1977. Unlike other Cuban-born celebrities on this list, Yoel is recognized as a freestyle wrestler. One look at him, noticing his dark complexion and athletic body. His years of hard work earned him a silver medal at the Summer Olympics in 2000. He holds a record as one of the most athletic competitors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history.

12. Carlos Acosta

Born Carlos Yunior Acosta Quesada on June 2, 1973, Carlos Acosta is a renowned ballet director. Carlos has had a rough childhood. Some resources say that his parents suffered terminal health problems, preventing them from providing him with a high-quality life. In one interview, Carlos confessed he never owned a toy, leave alone getting a birthday cake. He devised ways of forgetting his rough childhood by engaging in football and breakdancing. According to The Culture Trip, Carlos is a high-profile ballet dancer and choreographer in England today.

13. Javier Sotomayor

Javier Sotomayor was born on October 13, 1967, and is a two-time gold medalist in the high jump. He holds a world record in his niche for being the only athlete who’s ever jumped 2.45m. He grew up with a father who worked for a sugar factory maintenance and day-care. He attributes his height of 1.93 meters as the main reason he was chosen to play basketball. Whenever Cubans count the number of people who have made them proud, they count Javier Sotomayor twice.

14. Wilfredo Lam

Wilfredo Óscar Lam was a Cuban-born painter and sculptor of mixed-race ancestry. He was born on December 8, 1902, and died in Paris, France, on September 11, 1982. In 1916, his family sent him to Havana to pursue law. Thanks to his love for plants, he simultaneously studied Botanical Gardens. Between 1918 and 1923, Wilfredo pursued painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. Considering how zealous he was about primitive arts and radical modern styles, present-day artists recognize his legacy. His work in art was based on the endurance of the Afro-Cuban culture and spirit.

15. Vida Guerra

Vida Guerra was born in Havana, Cuba, on March 19, 1974, but her family immigrated to the US. Growing up, Guerra got interested in modeling and enrolled in fashion shows. Besides modeling, Vida Guerra is also a video vixen who has appeared in many music videos. Her most significant breakthrough was featured in the FHM magazine in December 2002.

16. Yvette Prieto

Yvette Prieto is the second wife to the former NBA player Michael Jordan after Juanita Vanoy. On February 29, 1979, she was born in Cuba and was famously listed as a fashion icon. Her modeling career has enabled her to work for famous designers like Alexander Wang. Together with Michael, they have two daughters, Ysabel and Victoria, and three other half-siblings from Michael’s first marriage. While Yvette is under the radar, particularly on social media, she’s always on the front-row in shows such as Rebecca Minkoff during Mercedes-Benz fashion week.

17. William Levy

Ever watched “Don’t Mess with An Angel”? If so, you should be familiar with the leading actor and model, William Levy. He’s a Cuban national born on August 28, 1980, in Cojímar. Formerly married to Elizabeth Gutíerrez, Levy recently announced that they had decided to go their separate ways, citing irreconcilable differences. Rumors had it that he had an affair with Maite Perroni, his co-star in “Cuidado con el ángel.” Levy has appeared in various films and tv shows such as “The Veil,” “Single Ladies,” “South Beach Love,” and many others.

18. Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman is a baseball player born on February 28, 1988, in Holguín, Cuba. Currently, he plays for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). Initially, he represented the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. Known for his pitching prowess, he broke the record previously held by Bruce Stutter for the most consecutive relief appearances with a strikeout on July 11, 2014. One thing that strikes us about Chapman is his domestic violence incident with his girlfriend in Davie, Florida. Rumors believe he left behind his girlfriend Raidelmis Mendosa with a newborn baby after leaving Cuba.

19. Daisy Fuentes

Daisy Fuentes is a Cuban-American actress, comedienne, model, and tv host born on November 19, 1966. Besides that, she came into the public limelight for being the first Latina VJ on MTV and MV Latin America. Born in Havana, Cuba, to a Cuban father and Spanish mother, she’s among the actors whose family fled Fidel Castro’s regime and relocated to Madrid, Spain. Four years later, her family relocated to Harrison, New Jersey, where she enrolled at Harrison High School. While there, she was voted the “best-looking” and homecoming queen. Because she developed an interest in hairdressing and cosmetology, she opened her salon before enrolling at Bergen Community College. While there, she pursued communications. Currently, she’s married to Richard Marx, a singer, songwriter, and producer.

20. Anais Nin

In the writing arena, hardly any other person compared to Anais Nin. She was a Cuban-American diarist born on February 21, 1903, and died on January 14, 1977. While alive, she wrote various journals, novels, erotica, critical studies, essays, and short stories. Raised as a Roman catholic, Anais Nin didn’t like the path she followed. Eventually, she abandoned the church at 16 years old. Anais started writing in her adolescence, where she published journals from 1933 till her demise.

To date, other writers acquaint her with other prominent authors, artists, psychoanalysts, and other figures. Considering how daunting it was to come by female writers, it doesn’t surprise that her work primarily described the masculinity of celebrities. Initially, she started writing in French but didn’t feel like she garnered enough audience. Eventually, she switched to writing in English to portray her intellect. She has up to 16 published volumes of her journals. However, her last five are in expurgated format. Her famous unpublished works include A Café in Space and The Anais Nin Literary Journal.


From politics, martial arts, painting, and sculpting, showbiz to journalism, celebrities from Cuba have proven that America is the land of diversity regardless of your nationality. It turns out that the Cuban revolution which led these celebrities’ parents to immigrate to the US was a blessing in disguise. Their move to join other Americans to pursue greener pastures goes a long way to prove they are worth their salt. Also, their passionate prowess to venture into different industries and showcase their talents should serve as an inspiration for any immigrant looking to be famous in the US. Others on this list might not have had first-hand experience in the revolution but still, recognize their native country for transforming them into who they are today.

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