In this undated image, comedian-actress Lucille Ball and her husband, musician-actor Desi Arnaz from the comedy series, "I Love Lucy," are shown. Ball, who died on April 26, 1989, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/file) ORG XMIT: NYET584

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Freddie Prinze (at left) and Jack Albertson (right) star in the television show " Chico and the Man. " Handout/file photo.

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NYPD BLUE, Jimmy Smits, 'The Vision Thing', (Season 12, epis. #1206), 1993-2005, photo: ABC/Bob D'Amico, © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

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DORA THE EXPLORER, Nick Jr.Ìs new original play along, animated adventure series, features a 7-year-old Latino heroine who lives inside a computer. Dora is proudly bi-lingual and uses her knowledge of the Spanish language to communicate with her friends, overcome obstacles and reach her goals. In each episode, Dora teaches the viewers a Spanish word or phrase and then asks them to use it to forge ahead to solve a problem. Dora and her friend Boots (pictured with Dora) ultimately triumph, causing herstories to end with a "We did it!" anthem. DORA THE EXPLORER, a Nick Jr. production, debuted on Nick Jr. in August 2000. As of Saturday, Sept. 16, it will also be broadcast Saturdays (7:30-8:00 AM, ET/PT; in most markets, check local listings) on theCBS Television Network as part of the Network's 2000-2001 children's lineup.

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MODERN FAMILY - ABC's "Modern Family" stars Sofía Vergara as Gloria. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

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"I Love Lucy" television show starring Lucille Ball (at left) and Desi Arnaz (right). File photo.

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In this photo provided by ABC, actors Felicity Huffman, left, Eva Longoria Parker and Marcia Cross, right, are seen in "The Gun Song," the season finale episode of "Desperate Housewives," that aired on Sunday, May 18, 2008. (AP Photo/ABC, Ron Tom) **NO SALES** **NO ARCHIVE** **EDITORIAL USE ONLY**

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This undated promotional photo, provided by ABC, shows actress America Ferrera as Betty Suarez in the new ABC series "Ugly Betty." "It takes me an hour to become Betty. But I love that she's so different from me," Ferrara, 22, tells TV Guide in its Dec. 18-24 issue. "I can (keep) a bit of myself private." (AP Photo/ABC, Eric Liebowitz) ORG XMIT: NYET163

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10 great Hispanic TV characters

  • Article by: NEAL JUSTIN
  • Star Tribune
  • October 12, 2013 - 2:00 PM

Too often television represents Latinos as sadistic gang members or saucy sexpots, but occasionally there’s a breakthrough.

Neal Justin

Ricky Ricardo

“I Love Lucy” (1951-57)

Desi Arnaz practically invented the exasperated TV husband, not to mention the structure of the modern-day sitcom.

Officer Frank Poncherello

“CHiPS” (1971-83)

Erik Estrada’s sparkling-white teeth probably did more for toothpaste than Colgate.

Chico Rodriguez

“Chico and the Man” (1974-77)

What would Freddie Prinze have accomplished if he hadn’t died so young? One of TV’s great mysteries.

Lt. Martin Castillo

“Miami Vice” (1984-90)

The series was struggling in both ratings and tone until Edward James Olmos marched in and whipped everyone into shape.

Rickie Vasquez

“My So-Called Life” (1994-95)

The show was quickly canceled, but Wilson Cruz’s portrayal of an abused gay teenager will last forever.

Det. Bobby Simone

“NYPD Blue” (1994-2004)

Few play tough but sensitive guys better than Jimmy Smits. Who can forget Simone’s stoic deathbed scene?

Dora the Explorer

“Dora the Explorer” (2000- )

Currently voiced by Caitlin Sanchez, Dora is a welcome heroine to young Latinos and may have taught a few Anglos some Spanish as well.

Gabrielle Solis

“Desperate Housewives” (2004-12)

Far less well-known than her co-stars, Eva Longoria quickly became a fan favorite with her take on suburban princesses.

Betty Suarez

“Ugly Betty” (2006-10)

How fitting that an actress named America Ferrera would be such an outstanding representative for both Latinas and underdogs.

Gloria Pritchett

“Modern Family” (2009- )

She’s smarter — and richer — than she looks. Sofia Vergara is now the highest-paid actress on TV.

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