America Ferrera scores for a canceled 'Ugly Betty' at the Imagen Awards
And yet she could barely hold back the tears.
"I'm going to try and not cry right now," said the 26-year-old, sporting a perky ponytail and red heels and not doing a very good job of not crying.
"We're sad," someone in the crowd yelled out.
"Me too. I just love her. I love the show. It was a period of my life that was just magical."
Hey, breaking up is hard to do. This year, ABC canceled the comedy series that made Ferrera a star, and the show recently wrapped up at the end of the fourth season.
But don't get the wrong idea. "I know I'm very excited about my future," Ferrera said. "I'm not afraid I'm not going to work again. That's not why I'm crying."
So noted. The actress also sent out career kisses to the event's honoree, Norman Lear, who co-founded the Imagen (Spanish for "image") Foundation with Helen Hernandez, his vice president for public affairs, to battle stereotypes and promote diverse portrayals of Latinos in entertainment.
"Norman Lear, you are my idol," Ferrera said.
Indeed, the man of the hour at the Imagen Awards was a nice Jewish boy. The legendary TV producer was honored for conceiving of the organization, staffing it and giving seed money for the awards program.
Of course, no one necessarily wants to throw out all the stereotypes with the bathwater. As "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan told the crowd, there could be gold in them thar hills.
"Everybody asks me, 'Can you rehabilitate my husband?' That's a new show. Totally. I'm Mexican, and machismo is big in Mexico. 'The Macho Whisperer.' I like it!"
Also at the event were "Cold Case's" Danny Pino, who picked up the best television actor award, Edward James Olmos, Oscar Nunez from "The Office," Jon Seda from HBO's "The Pacific," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, civil and workers rights leader Dolores Huerta and director Peter Bratt, who was awarded several Imagens, along with his brother and leading man, Benjamin Bratt, for his indie film, "La Mission."
-- Irene Lacher
[For the record, 4:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this post referred to Ferrera as an Emmy nominee. Though she is not nominated this year, she won for outstanding lead actress in a comedy in 2007 and was a nominee in 2008.]
Upper photo: America Ferrera arrives at the Imagen Awards in Beverly Hills on Sunday. Credit: George Rodriguez
Lower photo: Imagen Foundation co-founders Norman Lear and Helen Hernandez on the red carpet. Credit: George Rodriguez
Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.