LATINO VOICES
10/03/2012 09:15 am ET Updated Oct 04, 2012

Latinos In Early Hollywood: The 'Lovers' And Starlets That First Lit Up The Silver Screen (PHOTOS)

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Latinos In Early Hollywood
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Latinos In Early Hollywood

In 2011, Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" revived the black and white silent film, earning ten Oscar nominations and winning five awards. Among the film's actors nominated for a golden statuette: Argentine-born actress Bérénice Bejo.

But long before Bejo could grace Hazanavicius' homage to old Hollywood, Myrtle Gonzalez and Beatriz Michelena would forge the way for Latinas onto the silver screen. The Silent Film era also opened doors for Hispanic actors like Ramon Novarro and Antonio Moreno, men often typecast as the "Latin Lover."

Like modern Hollywood, early Hollywood often trafficked in Latino stereotypes. Still, a small group of Hispanic artists thrived in the silent film industry. Some later transitioned to the, "talkies," becoming stars long before Jennifer Lopez and Andy Garcia, before Cameron Diaz and Benicio Del Toro.

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