Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
November 17, 1966
1990s - 2000s
Currently Known For:
Model, Television Host and Comedian
Hosting MTV Latin America and as Revlon’s first Latina Spokesperson
“I love to feel glamorous. I love to have other women feel glamorous.” A native of Cuba, Daisy Fuentes might not be from America but she certainly is a household name in the United States as a model and television host. After launching her career in the late 1980s, Fuentes refused to settle for anything less and continued to raise the bar as she worked her way up from weather presenter to anchor and evening news reporter with a local New York television station. From there, she caught the attention of MTV in 1993 and became the first Latina video jockey on the network, but that wasn’t the end of firsts for the gorgeous Fuentes as she made history when she became the first Latina to receive a worldwide spokesperson contract with Revlon. Now credited with inspiring other Latinas to fight for bigger roles on television, let’s take a look at the 50-year-old’s stellar journey from Havana to Hollywood!
Daisy Fuentes came into this world on November 17, 1966 in Havana, Cuba where her Cuban father and Spanish mother moved the family to Madrid, Spain when she was only four years old. “My mom is from Spain and, at that time, it was the only way we were able to leave Cuba because Castro was in full control already. Because there was some sort of alliance with Spain, we applied for permission to leave,” Fuentes recalled. “My parents received a letter back from Spain saying that we were allowed to leave on such date and that we had to drop everything and just go. In fact, when they were boarding the planes, the officials were checking a list and they said, ‘Oh, you didn’t return a blender to the government,’ and my mother was like, ‘Oh my God, the blender… I used it to make her baby food. It’s there… we can have someone return it.’ They said they could not board the plane until it was returned, so someone had to run to the house and go get the blender and return it to the government. They left with literally nothing.”
Settling down in Spain and rebuilding their entire lives, the young Fuentes spoke only Spanish but was determined to learn English as she watched episodes of I Love Lucy to improve her fluency. The family then emigrated to the United States where they settled down in Harrison, New Jersey. Finally making a home in the northeast, Fuentes attended Harrison High School where she was voted homecoming queen and, as a senior, launched her modeling career. After graduating from high school in 1984, she enjoyed modeling but dreamed of becoming a hairstylist and owning her salon so she briefly enrolled at cosmetology school before dropping out to study communications at Bergen Community College.
As a college student, Fuentes’ impressive fluency in both English and Spanish paired with her jaw-dropping beauty landed her a job on the Telemundo affiliate, WNJU-TV, where she signed on as an evening weather anchor. Before long, she moved to the competing news station, WXTV-TV 41, which is an affiliate of Telemundo’s biggest competitor, Univision. Presenting the weather and accepting a gig as an evening news reporter, Fuentes quickly became an audience favorite.
Still working as a weather anchor in 1988, Fuentes was hired to host MTV Internacional, which was a Spanish music showed that aired on the Telemundo Network throughout the United States and Latin America. The gig boosted Fuentes’ popularity among Spanish-speaking viewers and launched another chapter of her career in 1993 when MTV hired her as a video jockey. While the position seemed like just another notch on the corporate ladder for most, Fuentes became the first Latina video jockey in the United States and saw opportunity after opportunity come her way as she hosted numerous shows for MTV including the modeling and fashion series, House of Style.
Throughout the 1990s, Fuentes built her reputation as one of MTV’s most popular hosts as she ventured over into acting with cameos in popular series like Cybill, Dream On and The Larry Sanders Show. By then, the sky was the limit for Fuentes who hosted her own CNBC talk show, Daisy. Although Daisy was a flop, it didn’t hinder her popularity as she accepted hosting gigs with America’s Funniest Home Videos and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in addition to hosting the Billboard Latin Awards and multiple beauty pageants including Miss Universe, Miss Teen USA and Miss USA.
The face of Latina beauty, Fuentes signed numerous endorsement deals and appeared in advertisements for big brands like American Express, Pantene, Revlon and M&Ms. She was praised as one of the 50 Most Beautiful Women by People en Español in 2005 and even launched her own clothing line as well as the Daisy Fuentes Style Pro line of all-natural haircare products. In 2009, she cashed in on her growing fame when she developed her own workout video game called Daisy Fuentes Pilates as part of the Nintendo Wii franchise.
An entrepreneur at heart, Fuentes has since launched her multiple lines of sunglasses, clothing, fragrances and more that generate around $300 million in annual sales at Kohl’s department stores. In recent years, she cohosted the Spanish children’s version of The Voice called La Voz Kids that aired on the Telemundo Network. Along the way, she’s also given back to numerous charities including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, March of Dimes and Starlight Children’s Foundation. She’s also worked hand-in-hand with Revlon to raise money for breast cancer awareness in the Latino community.
With her television career seemingly slowing down today, the 50-year-old stays incredibly busy with her product lines but, what does she do outside of work? Fuentes has been married twice, first to a model and actor named Timothy Adams from 1991 to 1995. After her divorce, she dated Mexican singer Luis Miguel and English singer Matt Goss before finding love again in 2015 when she married singer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx. Still with Marx today, Fuentes seems to have it all—a beautiful romance, a stellar career and plenty of business ventures to keep her rich and famous for years to come!