Who is Cristina Saralegui?

Cristina Maria Saralegui was born in Miramar, Havana, Cuba, on 29 January 1948 – her zodiac sign is Aquarius, and she holds American nationality as her family moved to the US following the Cuban Revolution in 1960. Cristina is a journalist, talk-show host, and sometime actress, probably still known best for having hosted her own Spanish-language talk-show “El Show de Cristina”.

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Early life and education

Cristina was raised in Miramar alongside her two younger brothers Inaki and Patxi, and two younger sisters Maria Eugenia and Vicky, by their mother Cristina Santamarina and father Francisco Rene Saralegui, Jr. Cristina is of part-Spanish descent, as her paternal grandparents Amalita and Francisco were from Spain.

She was 12 when the family moved to Miami, Florida USA, and Cristina went on to study at the Academy of the Assumption. She was amongst the top five of her class, but interested in many activities too during her four years there, as Cristina played a couple of sports with her peers, contributed to the school newspaper, and appeared in a couple of school plays.

She matriculated in 1966, and then enrolled at University of Miami from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1970.

Career as a journalist

Cristina worked a couple of jobs for three years following graduation, and it was in 1973 that she ventured into journalism, having joined the magazine “Vanidades” as an intern. She already knew the Spanish language, but the job still helped her improve both her spoken and written Spanish, and in 1979, Cristina became the editor of the Spanish “Cosmopolitan”, a job which she held throughout the ‘80s.

It was in 1989 that she launched her Miami-based talk-show “El Show de Cristina”, airing on the American Spanish-language TV network Univision; her signature was performing a double thumbs-up salute at the end of each of the show’s episode, while uttering the Cuban expression ‘Pa’lante, pa’lante, pa’tras ni pa’ coger impulso’ (English – ‘Forward, forward; don’t step back, not even to gain momentum’).

As her show became popular, Cristina was able to invite numerous celebrities as her guests, including the late American singer-songwriter Selena, the famous Spanish singer-songwriter Enrique Iglesias, and the popular American singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.

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In an episode which aired on 25 October 2010, Cristina looked back at everything that she’d accomplished in the previous two decades, and all the people whom she’d interviewed; the final episode of her show aired on 1 November 2010.

What is she doing today?

Since the end of “El Show de Cristina”, she’s been focused on publishing her own magazine “Cristina: La Revista”.

In 2012, Cristina started hosting her own show “Cristina Radio” on Sirius XM.

She also published her book “Rise Up & Shine! My Secrets For Success in Career, Relationships, and Life” in 2014.

She voted for now-former US President Barrack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

Acting credits

Cristina is also a bit of an actress, and although she has been invited to make a guest appearance in numerous movies and TV series, she has rejected most of these offers, appearing in only three series to this day.

In 1999, she played Presentadora de Juventud in an episode of the musical drama “DKDA: Suenos de Juventud”, which starred Maria Sorte, Otto Sirgo and Eugenia Cauduro, and follows seven young adults who have been members of their band DKDA for a decade now.

The year 2001 saw Cristina portray The Principal in the episodes “Undercover Girl” and “I Want It That Way” of the family comedy “Taina”, created by Maria Perez-Brown, and which starred Christina Vidal, Khaliah Adams and Christopher Knowings.

It follows the teenage Latina girl Taina Morales who’s attending Manhattan High School of the Performing Arts, and is dreaming about becoming a famous singer and actress; the series was nominated for three awards.

Cristina’s only other role has been her portrayal of Lydia in the 2003 episodes “Would You Like a Drumstick or a Kidney” and “George Has Two Mommies” of the popular comedy “George Lopez”; it follows the lives of a manufacturing plant manager in Los Angeles and his dysfunctional family. The series won 11 of the 43 awards for which it was nominated, including a 2005 Primetime Emmy win for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series.

Husband and children

Cristina has married twice. She hasn’t revealed a lot about her first marriage, but it’s known that her first husband was Tony, and it’s believed by most of Cristina’s fans that they exchanged vows in the first half of the ‘70s, but divorced two years later; they have a daughter together, named Cristina Amelia.

In 1982, she married American musician Marcos Avila, who was a member of the American band Miami Sound Machine; Cristina is the step-mother to Marcos’ daughter from a previous marriage/relationship, while they have a son Jon Marcos together.

Mi primer baile después de la cirugía de liquido en el cerebro en la Gala del St. Jude hospital 👍

Posted by Cristina Saralegui on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cristina hasn’t spoken of any other men whom she has perhaps been with, so as of April 2022, she’s married to her second husband Marcos Avila, and has two children – a son with Marcos, and a daughter with her first husband Tony.

Hobbies and interesting facts

Cristina’s a philanthropist, and has contributed to the US interest group AARP, while they have together created the online interactive video “¡Amigos Live!”, which aims to show everything that AARP has to offer to Latinos.

She’s passionate about travelling, and has been to various US states, as well as to a couple of European countries for both work and pleasure; Cristina’s dream travel destination is Barcelona, Spain.

She seems to love the attention which she’s receiving from her close to 300,000 Instagram followers, and Cristina has uploaded nearly 500 pictures onto her account, most of which feature her during her everyday life.

She has been a fan of Hollywood movies since the launch of her career – her favorite actress today is Meryl Streep, while a couple of her favorite films include “The Bridges of Madison County”, “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Out of Africa”.

Age, height and net worth

Cristina’s age is 74. She has long blonde hair and blue eyes, her height is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) and she weighs around 120lbs (55kgs).

As of April 2022, her net worth is estimated at more than $30 million.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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