Most Influential FilAm Celebrities and Who’s Who in North America
Extremely talented Alec got his first break as Song Liling in the Broadway play M. Butterfly. He’s also a comedian and writer who appeared on Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and Switched at Birth.
Significantly, he co-hosted a reality dating game show Transamerican Love Story and debuted in his own one-man show, Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy, made into a concert film.
Allan Pineda (Black Eyed Peas)
Better known as “apl.de.ap,” Apl is a Filipino-American rapper, singer and record producer, and member of Grammy Award-winning hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas.
He had solo ventures and several sports gig but he got popular in his native country as one of the judges at The Voice Philippines.
He’s got about 416 nominations and 130 wins from several award-giving bodies including American Music Awards, MTV, Disney, BBC, Billboard, Grammy, and even the Guinness World Records.
An R&B artist, dancer, actress, and model, Cassie worked with Jay Z, Travis Scott, and G-Eazy. On screen, she played Haven Quinn in the Emmy-, Grammy-, and Golden Globe-nominated series Empire.
Caterina’s mom is Filipino with an American father. Although she’s not an actor or singer, Filipinos should be very proud of her accomplishments as an entrepreneur. She co-founded Flickr and Hunch. She was the chairwoman of Etsy and recognized within Silicon Valley for her work as an angel investor.
Charlyne is an American actress, comedian, musician, and writer. She is known for her role as Dr. Chi Park on the medical drama House. But you’d know her voice as every Ruby on the Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe, the voice of Chloe Park on We Bare Bears and the voice of Alice on Summer. Her mother is Filipino with Spanish descent.
Christine is an American YoutTube star, actress, and comedian. She had cameo appearance in TV, movies, and training films. In 2008, she was appointed ambassador for Philippine tourism by the Department of Tourism.
He was the martial arts partner of the legendary Bruce Lee. Dan got other roles but Hollywood veterans remember him as a martial arts teacher who has taught the likes of Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and of course, Brandon Lee.
David Michael Bautista Jr.
Better known as Batista, his dad is Filipino. He became popular way back in 1999 as a wrestler in WWF. He was a six-time world champion and won the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE twice. He holds the record for the longest reign as World Heavyweight Champion
Of course, he’s well-loved as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy. He also starred and appeared in about 40 films like Kickboxer, Blade Runner, Avengers, and TV series Smallville way back.
Ella Jay Basco
She stars as Cassandra Cain, or Batgirl, Birds of Prey. Batgirl will be one of the few DC heroines to be portrayed by an Asian actress in the DC film universe. She plays opposite Hollywood megastars Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor.
Enrique Iglesias started his singing career in the mid-1990s. He’s the son of one of the world’s most famous Latin balladeer, Julio Iglesias. He’s considered one of the biggest stars in Latin America and the Hispanic market in the United States. His mother is a Filipina-Spanish socialite.
Iglesias is one of the best-selling Latin music artists with over 70 million records worldwide. He has 27 number-one Spanish-language singles and top-five singles in Billboard. Enrique is the 14th most successful and top male dance club artist of all time, according to Billboard magazine.
Also a Filipino-American comedian, Eugene starred in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Good Place, Steven Universe. He also did voice talent and stars on Tacoma FD series. He had recurring roles on House of Lies and appeared in a few films as well.
Haille is a singer-songwriter and actor. Her breakthrough was in True Grit, where she earned an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actress. Subsequently, she had tons of offers like Ender’s Game, Romeo & Juliet, and the Pitch Perfect series. She was nominated for Golden Globe for Best Actress in The Edge of Seventeen. She’s also the voice of Gwen Stacey in Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and Bumblebee.
She currently stars as Emily Dickinson in the Apple TV+ series. Her performance in True Grit (2010), “I have Filipino blood in me and I’m so proud of that,” she said in a PEP interview at Polo Hotel, Ortigas. Her lolo, Ricardo Domasin is half-Filipino who roots from Bohol.
Hagedorn born in Manila, her mom was Filipino-Spanish. She moved to New York City to pursue playwriting and music in 1978. Since then, she produced and did songs, poetry, and wrote the novel, Dogeaters, which illuminates many different aspects of Filipino experience, focusing on the influence of America through radio, television, and movie theaters.
After its publication in 1990, her novel earned a 1990 National Book Award nomination and an American Book Award. In 1998 La Jolla Playhouse produced a stage adaptation. In 2001, the play adaptation premiered off-Broadway at The Public Theater.
In 2017, Koy broke a record for most tickets sold by a single artist at 23,000 tickets and 11 sold-out shows at NSB Concert Hall, Honolulu – thus November 24th became “Jo Koy Day.” His awards include the prestigious “Stand-Up Comedian Of The Year,” 2018 Just For Laughs Festival, Montreal.
“Jokoy” had highly-rated comedy specials on Comedy Central and Netflix. He’s become so famous having a #1 spot on Billboard Charts. Netflix had a special on him, Comin’ In Hot. Jo’s American father was in the USAF stationed in the Philippines when he married Koy’s Filipina mother.
Jon Jon Briones
He first got his big break in the original 1989 London cast of Miss Saigon. Jon Jon starred opposite Lea Salonga as the Engineer. Since then, he’s done more than 20 TV shows, at least 16 films such as Proud American, Blood Ransom, and American Horror Story.
Jon Jon played the role of Modesto Cunanan, the father of Andrew Cunanan who murdered Gianni Versace in the critically acclaimed The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Jose Antonio Vargas
Liza has a notable career in TV as supporting roles such as Sex and the City, Law & Order, Dexter, ER, Traffic Light, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, and NCIS. She also starred in movies Cloverfield, 21, Fast & Furious, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Lou Diamond Phillips
He’s best known for his critically acclaimed roles in the ’80s and ’90s films La Bamba, Stand and Deliver, Young Guns, and The Big Hit.
Manny is a a Filipino-born Canadian actor. He began with bit roles until he landed as the endearingly clueless Jason Mendoza who represents kindness on a personal level in the hit show The Good Place. He’s also on the cast of ‘Top Gun’ movie.
He starred opposite Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. He played the villain Zero. Decades earlier, he starred in Kickboxer 5, The Island of Dr. Moreau, No Code of Conduct, about twenty movies in his list.
He began his career as a stand-up comedian. Nico got the role of Mateo on the sitcom Superstore. His comic-relief character earned him the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Nicole Scherzinger is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, TV personality, and model. Born in Honolulu, her father is Filipino. Nicole was the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls. The group became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time.
In 2010, she was a judge on the American version of The X Factor. The next year, she signed a $4.5 million record deal. In the next few years, she enjoyed a wide variety of performances, including her West End debut as Grizabella in 2014 for the musical Cats.
Nicole has a long list of awards, including Grammy, MTV, Teen Choice, Cosmopolitan awards. In 2014, Nicole nominated for WMA Best Entertainer, Live Act, Female Artists, and nominated for Best World Stage Performance in MTV Europe MA 2014.
Nicole was nominated for Laurence Olivier for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Cats), and Best Judge by the National TV Award. Since 2019–present, Nicole is busy with Reality TV judging.
Paolo is best known for his role as the first Filipino and Asian at that, Prince Charming in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in 1997. At that time, racial diversity was a new idea. Despite being Asian, public reception was in fact positive.
Critics gave Paolo two thumbs up for his charm and performance. He also starred in the hit TV series Mortal Combat Conquest. Among his other works include The King I, Man of La Mancha, Kiss, and the Flower Drum Song.
He’s one of the talented writers behind Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Rene is a writer, producer, and actor on the CW show. Young and talented, his work is mostly on comedy TV such as Ground Floor, Men at Work, and Brockmire.
Pretty Shay is a popular television actress who landed roles in Pretty Little Liars and Netflix’s You. Her mom is from Pampanga, his Dad Canadian. She got her big break in a teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Parents of Pinoy immigrants, Tobit is known for his role as Yo-Yo Santos in the 2013 film, The Internship alongside Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. He starred alongside fellow Filipino actor Lou Diamond Phillips in Quest: The Truth Always Rises.
Vincent Rodriguez III
He turned heads as the romantic and handsome lead in the musical comedy-drama of Netflix’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Well, one reason is that he’s a “gay Asian person” who plays a straight role. Vincent also teaches dance in a studio, schools, and colleges. From song interpretation to broadway and mock auditions. His parents are Filipinos from Manila.
He last appeared in TV suspense Insatiable, in the movie White Snake and Ne Zha in 2020. His stage acting includes Xanadu, Here Lies Love, and Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Vincent is married to Gregory Wright.
Vanessa Joy Lachey was Miss Teen USA in 1998. She’s also a model, actor, and NY correspondent for Entertainment Tonight, among other TV stints. Her mother, Helen Bercero, is from Manila.
She met Nick Lachey, the lead singer of 98 Degrees, when she appeared in the music video “What’s Left of Me” in 2006. They got married in 2011. In February 2020: Nick & Vanessa Co-Host Netflix’s reality show, Love Is Blind.