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2005 HOLA Awards

For Immediate Release, August 14, 2005
107 Suffolk Street, Suite 302, New York, NY 10002 (212) 253-1015
E-mail: holagram@hellohola.org
Website: www.hellohola.org

LATIN GROUP HONORS ESAI MORALES,
MERCEDES RUEHL, RAUL ESPARZA


Stars to be Recognized at The Players on September 19

An actor with Puerto Rican ancestry and two stars with Cuban heritage are being honored by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) at the organization’s 6th Annual HOLA Awards and Benefit celebrating Latinos in entertainment. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 2005 at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South, New York City.
Esaí Morales (NYPD Blue, La Bamba) will receive the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence for a Male Actor, and Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King, Woman Before A Glass), receives the Award for Excellence for a Female Actor. The HOLA José Ferrer Tespis Award goes to Broadway star Raúl Esparza (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). In addition, Emilio Delgado and Sonia Manzano (Luis and María from the PBS program Sesame Street) will receive the HOLA Ilka Award; theatre artist Raúl Dávila, the Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award; playwright Allen Davis III, the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award, and journalists María Hinojosa and Rafael Pineda, the HOLA Excellence In Media, English and Spanish-Language, respectively. In addition, HOLA awards recognize outstanding achievement in New York Latino theatre during the 2004-2005 season.

Born to Puerto Rican parents in Brooklyn, Esaí Morales ran away from home at the age of 13 because his mother didn't approve of his dream of being an actor. He entered the High School of Performing Arts while living in a group home as a ward of the state. Shortly after graduating, Morales made his professional stage debut in El Hermano at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, followed by The Tempest (starring Raúl Juliá) at the Public Theater/NYSF. He made his Broadway debut with Al Pacino in the 1992 production of Salomé. Morales made his film debut opposite Sean Penn in Bad Boys and soon after starred in La Bamba, to date, the most commercially successful Latin-themed movies of all time. He also starred in the film My Family/Mi Familia. TV audiences recently saw him as Lt. Tony Rodríguez on the highly acclaimed ABC series NYPD Blue.

Of Cuban and Irish extraction, Mercedes Ruehl has received multiple Tony and Obie Awards for performances on Broadway and off-Broadway, and an Oscar for her performance in the film The Fisher King (1991). She received a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Play that same year (1991) for Lost in Yonkers and was nominated twice more: in 1995 as Best Actress in a Featured Role (Play) for a revival of The Shadow Box, and in 2002 as Best Actress (Play) for Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Obies came for The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985), and most recently for her 2005 performance in Woman Before A Glass.

Currently playing "Caractacus Potts" in the Broadway production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Raúl Esparza is a Cuban-American who born in Wilmington, Delaware, and grew up in Miami. His other credits include The Normal Heart; Taboo (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award); Dessa Rose; The Green Violin (Barrymore Award); Comedians; The Sondheim Celebration at Lincoln Center; Merrily We Roll Along and Sunday in the Park with George (Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration, Helen Hayes Award nomination); Cabaret; tick, tick…BOOM! (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination); The Rocky Horror Show (Theatre World Award); Evita (Jefferson Award nomination). He will be seen in the upcoming Sidney Lumet's film Find Me Guilty.

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is an arts service organization founded in 1975 to expand the presence of Hispanic actors in both Latino and mainstream entertainment and communications. HOLA also strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotypical portrayal of Hispanic culture, people and heritage in theatre, film, television, radio and commercials. It provides a variety of programs serving Hispanic actors, including talent and casting referrals, professional workshops, and career counseling.

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Official Airline Sponsor for the 6th Annual HOLA Awards

For further information, call HOLA at (212) 253-1015

A list of the 2005 HOLA Awardees follows.

Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence
Esaí Morales, Mercedes Ruehl

HOLA José Ferrer Tespis Award
Raúl Esparza

HOLA Ilka Award
Emilio Delgado, Sonia Manzano



Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award
Raúl Dávila

HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award
Allen Davis III

HOLA Excellence in English-Language Media
María Hinojosa

HOLA Excellence in Spanish-Language Media
Rafael Pineda


HOLA AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN LATINO THEATER

Outstanding Performance - Male Actor
Liche Ariza (Martínez) Hudson Exploited
Theater Company/13th Street Repertory
Raúl Durán (Ana en el trópico)
Repertorio Español
Francisco Fuertes (El veneno del teatro)
Thalía Spanish Theatre

Outstanding Performance - Female Actor
Liliana Benard (Reflejos en el agua)
Repertorio Español
Beatriz Córdoba (Madre (el drama padre))
Repertorio Español
Soledad López (Casi una diosa/Almost a Goddess)
Thalía Spanish Theatre

Outstanding Performance - Featured Male Actor
Mario Mattei (El avaro) Teatro Tocando Puertas
Freddy Rivera (El maleficio de la mariposa)
Grupo Artificio/La Tea
Gil Ron (Ana en el trópico) Repertorio Español
Emyliano Santa Cruz (Madre (el drama padre))
Repertorio Español

Outstanding Performance - Featured Female Actor
Sol Marina Crespo (The Missteps of a Salsa Dancer)
Latino Experimental Fantastic Theater
Denise Quiñones (Ana en el trópico)
Repertorio Español
Rhina Valentín (Remembering Rei)
Latino College Expo/Caicedo Productions
Gredivel Vásquez (Historia bien conocida)
Repertorio Español

Outstanding Solo Performance
Susana Alexander (Las mujeres no tenemos llenadero)
Heckscher Theater/El Museo del Barrio
Andrés López (La pelota de letras)
Repertorio Español

Outstanding Achievement in an Ensemble Cast
Rosie Berrido, Marlyn Matías, Amneris Morales,
Senta Pérez, Belange Rodríguez
(Las hermanas Ortiz de Mott Haven/The Ortiz Sisters of Mott Haven)
Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production
José López (Ricitos y los 3 ositos)
Society of the Educational Arts
Edison Carrera (El avaro) Teatro Tocando Puertas
Ángel Gil Orrios (Casi una diosa/Almost a Goddess)
Thalía Spanish Theatre
Yanko Bakulic (El maleficio de la mariposa)
Grupo Artificio/La Tea

Outstanding Performance in Direction
Arian Blanco (Dinosaurios)
Instituto de Arte Teatral Internacional
René Buch (Ana en el trópico)
Repertorio Español
Ángel Gil Orrios (Casi una diosa/Almost a Goddess)
Thalía Spanish Theatre
Silvia Sierra (El maleficio de la mariposa)
Grupo Artificio/La Tea

Outstanding Achievement in a Dramatic Production
Ana en el trópico Repertorio Español
Casi una diosa/Almost A Goddess Thalía Spanish Theatre
El maleficio de la mariposa Grupo Artifico/La Tea

Outstanding Achievement in a Musical Production
Colombia: Fantasía Folklórica 3 Thalía Spanish Theatre
Noche Flamenca Theater 80/Noche Flamenca
Ricitos y los 3 ositos Society of the Educational Arts

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HOLA programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts;
The City of New York, Department of Cultural Affairs; NBC-Telemundo 47; Univision;
private donations
and dues-paying members of HOLA.