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George Lopez

Comedian George Lopez Bio

George Lopez (born April 23, 1961) is a Mexican American comedian and actor. He is one of the most prominent Mexican-Americans from within the Latino community to be recognized in mainstream North American popular culture. He is perhaps best known for starring in his own produced television sitcom show entitled George Lopez.

Biography

Personal life

George Lopez,a Pacific Indian, was born in Pacoima, California. In 1961, when he was 10 years old, Lopez was abandoned by his mother. He was subsequently raised by his maternal grandmother, Benita, a factory worker, who became his sole guardian, as well as his maternal step-grandfather Refugio Gutierrez, a builder. He attended San Fernando Middle School. Lopez currently resides in Sherman Oaks with his wife, daughter and son.

Career

Lopez’s difficult childhood served as the basis on which he would build a career by finding the humor in his experiences and in the Mexican-American community in general. These experiences would be transformed into material that Lopez would soon use for his stand up comedy acts.

Lopez became a stand-up comedian using his Mexican-American heritage as an attraction to Mexicans. Much of his comedy is based on his experiences in childhood, and that of the Mexican-American community in general. He has released four albums of recorded stand-up comedy shows, the first of which was Alien Nation in 1996, as well as Right Now Right Now and Team Leader, which was nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. He released El Mas Chingon in September 2006. On television Lopez has appeared on The Latin Kings of Comedy, where he was a guest star along with other top Latino stand-up comedians. His first stand-up comedy special, George Lopez Why You Crying? premiered on Showtime. His second special, America's Mexican, was broadcast live on HBO on February 24, 2007.

Lopez was also star of a show in production from 2002 to 2007, appropriately titled George Lopez. In the George Lopez show, George has a strong but difficult marriage, two rebellious children, a terrible mother, a quiet father-in-law, and a 20-year-old niece who continues to want the millions of dollars that her mother had once inherited.

Lopez had made his mark as a comedian, performing at several clubs around the country and even making appearances on television shows and comedy specials by the late 1980s. In the 1990s, Lopez made the transition to films with comedies such as Ski Patrol (1990) and Fatal Instinct (1993). Despite his growing television career, Lopez continued to perform his stand-up comedy and recorded several comedy albums.

Lopez was a cast member and commentator for HBO’s hit sports show Inside the NFL for the 2003-2004 football season. He is a two-time host of the Latin Grammy Awards and a co-host of the Emmy Awards. He recently starred in the ABC Wonderful World of Disney Christmas film Naughty or Nice. Lopez also starred in the Robert Rodríguez-directed film The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl which opened in June 2005.

Lopez guest stared as the Mayor of Reno, Nevada in the fifth season of Reno 911! in 2008.


George Lopez, the television series

In 2000, after several years of performing stand-up comedy, Lopez was approached by actress Sandra Bullock for Lopez to produce and star in a comedy. Bullock was concerned about the lack of Hispanic-oriented sitcoms on American television and pushed to get a sitcom on television that starred Hispanics without being exclusively about the Hispanic American community. ABC, who had been criticized by Hispanic American groups for lack of Latinos on their television shows, quickly picked up the television series. In 2002, Lopez became one of the few Latinos to star in a television comedy series, following in the footsteps of Freddie Prinze and Desi Arnaz. The George Lopez show is an American situation comedy that originally aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007. Lopez is the co-creator, writer, producer, and star of the sitcom. It broke new ground for Hispanics on TV in a way similar to how "The Cosby Show" (to which it has been compared) broke new ground for African Americans.

On March 8, 2007, it was announced that George Lopez would join the Nick at Nite lineup and it was first aired on September 10, 2007. On May 15, 2007, the series was canceled by ABC.

Controversy

Lopez criticized Jay Leno, someone he once considered a "close friend", during an interview on radio station WOMX-FM in Orlando, Florida on January 24, 2007, stating: "He's the biggest two-faced dude in TV." He also called him a back-stabber, and said he is not a proficient interviewer.

Lopez is also known for his conflict with Carlos Mencia. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Lopez accused Mencia of appropriating 13 minutes of his material in Mencia's HBO special. He also claimed he had a physical altercation with Mencia over the alleged appropriation. because he smokes Complaining about the cancellation of his television series Lopez declared "TV just got a lot whiter!"

Charity work

A native of Los Angeles who grew up in San Fernando Valley’s Mission Hills, Lopez devotes much time to the community. His own charity, The George & Ann Lopez-Richie Alarcon CARE Foundation. He has received the Manny Mota Foundation Community Spirit Award and was named Honorary Mayor of Los Angeles for his extensive fund-raising efforts benefiting earthquake victims in El Salvador and Guatemala. In February 2004, George was presented the 2004 Artist of the Year and Humanitarian Award by Harvard University, presented by its president and dean for his artistic work and charitable endeavors.

Lopez has received several honors for his work and contributions to the Latino community. In September 2004, George was honored with the "Spirit of Liberty Award" presented by People for the American Way. In August 2005, Time magazine recognized George as one of "The 25 Most Influential Hispanics In America".

On free time in the summer, he would be a summer school teacher. He was a teacher at Evergreen Valley High School, Piedmont Hills High School, and Leland High School, all in San Jose, California.

Awards and recognition
George Lopez receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2006.
George Lopez receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2006.

He wrote an autobiography entitled Why You Crying, which was released on the Touchstone/Fireside division of Simon & Schuster and entered in the New York Times Bestsellers top twenty. His previous best-selling CD Right Now Right Now was released in 2001. The book is co-written by Emmy Award winning writer and sportscaster Armen Keteyian.

Maintaining an extremely active schedule as a stand-up comedian, George is a sell-out attraction coast to coast and has headlined concerts at various venues: Las Vegas Hilton, Foxwoods Casino, ARCO Arena in Sacramento, the Town Hall in New York, the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Francisco, Next Stage in Dallas, SBC Center in San Antonio, Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA, Dodge Theater in Phoenix, San Jose State University Events Center in San Jose, CA, and has performed for the President at the historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, D. C.. Lopez’ live comedy concert Why You Crying? debuted on Showtime, Memorial Day weekend in 2004.

Lopez has earned praise for his performance in the HBO Films drama, "Real Women Have Curves", which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the 2002 Audience Award. Previously, Lopez was featured in the drama Bread and Roses. The film, directed by British filmmaker Ken Loach, received critical acclaim after its premier at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2001, Lopez hosted a major morning radio for Clear Channel Communications in Los Angeles. He was the first Latino to have headlined the keystone morning radio slot on an English-language station in LA—the nation’s top radio market. Lopez received the 2003 Imagen Vision Award, 2003 Latino Spirit Award for Excellence in Television, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award.

George was a featured celebrity golfer in The 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the 2004 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Lopez and his pro partner finished third in the Pebble Beach event. George was the top ranking celebrity at completion of the golf tournament. Since 2006 Lopez has served as the host of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Below is a list of his awards and accomplishments:

* 2003 — Imagen Vision Award
* 2003 — Latino Spirit Award for Excellence in Television
* National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award
* 2004 — Spirit of Liberty Award
* 2005 — Recognized by Time magazine as one of "The 25 Most Influential Hispanics In America".

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lopez

Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In: George Lopez, Famous Male Comedians, Ethnic Comedians, Mexican American
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