01/02/2013 05:09 pm ET Updated Jan 02, 2013

Telenovela Stars Conquer Hollywood: Sofía Vergara, Gael García, Salma Hayek And Other Latinos Who Crossed Over (VIDEO)

Soap Opera Stars Now And Then

Soap operas are a very popular part of Latino culture, and they are also the birthplace of major stars who have seen in them a platform to excel and make a name for themselves. Celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Gael García Bernard, and Salma Hayek among others come from this school and today are recognized for their work in the film and television industry in both English and Spanish.

Recently, NBC Latino's Nina Terrero, showed how soap operas are a first step for Latino celebrities looking to get closer to the United States, and especially to the Los Angeles entertainment scene.

“We all had to pay our dues by starting somewhere and in the same way many American actors start their careers by doing commercials, many of us got our start in novelas – the best quality television available in our countries,” said “Rock of Ages” actor Diego Boneta to NBC Latino.

Certainly, the popularity of these TV shows has been growing with time, creating in the last couple of years a brand new group of Latino celebs, ready to conquer Hollywood with their irresistible accents, sexy bodies, contagious flavor, but even better, with tons passion and talent.

Are you a telenovela fan? Check out some of the most famous soap opera actors now and then above.