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George Lopez
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George Lopez

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Actor and comedian George Lopez has built a successful career by finding the humor in his difficult childhood and in the Mexican-American community in general.

Who Is George Lopez?

Actor and comedian George Lopez was born April 23, 1961, in Mission Hills, California. Abandoned by his mother, he used his painful experiences as material for his stand-up routines, leading to a series of Grammy-nominated comedy albums. He began starring in the sitcom George Lopez in 2002, and became the first Latino to host a late-night talk show on an American network with the launch of Lopez Tonight in 2009. 

Early Life

Born on April 23, 1961, in Mission Hills, California. Lopez has built a successful career by finding the humor in his difficult childhood and in the Mexican-American community in general. Abandoned by his mother, he was raised by his maternal grandmother, who was a factory worker, and her second husband, a construction worker. Lopez's grandparents paid him little attention. Lopez transformed his painful experiences into material for his stand-up comedy act.

Stand-Up Career and Albums

Lopez began his stand-up career in the 1980s. He appeared on shows like Comedy Club and The Arsenio Hall Show. By the late 1980s, Lopez was a successful comedian, playing clubs around the country and appearing on television shows and comedy specials. 

He released his first comedy album, Alien Nation, in 1996. A few years later, in 2001, he released his second album, Right Now Right Now. He received Grammy Award nominations for his follow-up albums Team Leader (2003), George Lopez: America's Mexican (2007) and George Lopez: Tall, Dark & Chicano (2009). His 2017 album, The Wall, featured the stand-up performing at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Lopez also wrote an autobiography entitled Why You Crying? My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter, which was published in 2004.

TV Shows and Films

'George Lopez'

In 2002, with help from actress Sandra Bullock, he became one of the few Latinos to star in a television comedy series with the launch of George Lopez on ABC. The sitcom, which featured the comedian as a factory worker and family man, aired until May 2007.

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'Lopez Tonight' and 'Lopez'

With the debut of Lopez Tonight on TBS in November 2009, Lopez made TV history as the first Latino to host a late-night talk show on an American network. However, Lopez Tonight's ratings suffered after being pushed back to accommodate Conan O'Brien's show, leading to its cancellation in August 2011. The comedian returned to television in 2016 with Lopez, a sitcom based largely on his experiences as a middle-aged man juggling work and relationships. The program aired for two seasons on TV Land.

Additionally, Lopez enjoyed recurring roles on such shows as The Naked Brothers Band and Reno 911!, and served as a guest judge on America's Got Talent in 2016. He also appeared in numerous feature films after surfacing in Ski Patrol in 1990, with the horror comedy Meet the Blacks (2016) and the thriller River Runs Red (2018) among his recent projects.

Personal, Health and Politics

Lopez married Ann Serrano in 1993. The couple's daughter, Mayan, was born in 1996. In 2010, Lopez announced that the pair had decided to part ways.

Lopez faced some health challenges in 2005. Suffering from a genetic disorder, which caused his kidneys to deteriorate, Lopez received a kidney transplant that year. His wife, Ann, was the donor. The couple recovered quickly from the operation and became spokespeople for the National Kidney Foundation.

A supporter of the 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, Lopez was outspoken in his opposition to fellow 2016 hopeful Donald Trump, and then generated controversy by expressing his clear disdain for President Trump and his policies; he pretended to urinate on Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018, and in early 2020, he joked about assassinating the president on Instagram.

Lopez has received several honors for his work and contributions to the Latino community, including the 2003 Latino Spirit Award for Excellence in Television. He was also named one of "The Top 25 Hispanics in America" by Time magazine in 2005.

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