America Ferrera: Biography at a Glance

  • Earned an Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and ALMA Award for her portrayal of 'Betty Suarez' on Ugly Betty
  • Stars, Produces and Directed the NBC workplace comedy, Superstore
  • Author of American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, a vibrant collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures
  • Film credits include Cesar Chavez: An American Hero, How to Train a Dragon, End of Watch, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Real Women Have Curves
  • Star and executive producer of X/Y, The Dry Land and Towards Darkness
  • Participated in the PBS documentary series Half the Sky, bringing attention to the hardships underprivileged women and young girls face around the world
  • Ambassador for "America4America" dedicated to engaging Latinos across the country to discuss issues such as voter ID laws, education, and immigration

 

Biography

America Ferrera is an award-winning actress and producer known for her breakthrough role as “Betty Suarez” on ABC’s hit comedy, Ugly Betty. For her performance, Ferrera was recognized with a Golden Globe®, Emmy® and Screen Actors Guild Award®, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards.

Ferrera currently produces and stars in the long-running NBC workplace comedy, Superstore. Additionally, she has directed several episodes such as 218 “Mateo’s Last Day” and episode 313 “Video Game Release” for the series. Superstore has received nominations for the 2018 GLAAD Media Awards, the 2017 Imagen Awards and the 2017 Gracie Awards. Upcoming, Ferrera will co-produce along with Kevin Hart, NBC’s new development, All Fancy, a half-hour series starring Anjelah Johnson, which follows a newly successful 30-something Mexican-American woman who often goes against cultural and social expectations, creating chaos and comedy within her marriage, business and extended family. Ferrera will also executive produce Gentefied, described as a badass Spanglish series about family, community, brown love and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins and their struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear. 

In September 2018, Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, published American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures edited by Ferrera. New York Times Bestseller, American Like Me is a vibrant and varied collection of first person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures in America. Curated and edited by Ferrera, the anthology also includes essays by Ferrera, sharing her own perspective of growing up the daughter of Honduran immigrants in Los Angeles. Contributors to the book include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Roxane Gay, Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Kal Penn, Uzo Aduba, Jenny Zhang, Michelle Kwan, Padma Lakshmi and many others.

In 2019, Ferrera lent her vocal talents as “Astrid” in the third installment of the How To Train Your Dragon franchise, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

In 2017, Ferrera worked as one of the driving forces alongside other powerful women in Hollywood to establish the TIME’S UP movement which addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that has kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. Powered by women, the organization has partnered with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements and corporate policies.

In 2016, alongside her husband Ryan Piers Williams and Wilmer Valderrama, Ferrera founded the organization, HARNESS, which connects communities through conversation to inspire action and power change. HARNESS is a community of artists, influencers, and grassroots leaders that provides education and engagement opportunities to amplify the work of organizations and individuals working on behalf of social justice. HARNESS has partnered with multi-platform content companies such as Hearst Media and NBC Entertainment to amplify stories of activism and social justice. 

In July 2016, Ferrera spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on behalf of women’s rights and immigration in support of Hillary Clinton. She was a chair for the Artists’ Committee for the Women’s March on Washington and spoke at the historic Women’s March the day after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Ferrera has extended her activism on screen in several television documentaries including the EPIX TV mini-series, America Divided, Showtime’s groundbreaking documentary, The Years of Living Dangerously, and Nicholas Kristof’s series for PBS Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Some of Ferrera television and film credits include a memorable arc on the CBS hit The Good Wife; Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents; Ryan Piers Williams’ drama X/Y, which she co-produced and starred in; Diego Luna’s biopic, Cesar Chavez, (ALMA Award Special achievement in Film); David Ayer’s crime thriller End of Watch; Ryan Piers Williams' The Dry Land, (Best International Film Edinburgh Film Festival); It’s a DisasterSisterhood of the Traveling Pants (parts 1 and 2); Real Women Have CurvesLords of DogtownHow the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer, among many others. She lends her vocal talents to the Oscar® nominated franchise films How to Train Your Dragon.

On stage, she has appeared off-Broadway in Terrence McNally’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Laura Marks’ Bethany; and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, directed by Trip Cullman. She graced the stage as Roxie Hart in the West End production of the hit musical, Chicago.

In 2006, Ferrera founded her own television and film production company, Take Fountain.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ferrera is the youngest of six children. As a graduate of the University of Southern California, Ferrera studied International Relations while pursuing her career in film and television.

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