8. Lauren Vélez • Lt. Maria LaGuerta • Dexter (2006-)
Lt. Maria LaGuerta is a complex, sometimes ruthless, often conniving and self-serving anti-hero. But the gorgeous Lauren Vélez, manages to give her heart. We love to hate her on Dexter and we hate to love her (but we sometimes do!). It’s exciting to see such a meaty role for a Latina on TV.
9. Zoila Chavez • Flipping Out (2007-)
Yes, Zoila Chavez is a maid but she’s far from stereotypical. Her sass and personality have made her the surprise hit of this reality show—primarily about designer Jeff Lewis’ dysfunctional family of employees and clients. And although Jeff enjoys tormenting everyone around him, including Zoila, the close bond he shares with her is evident. On a recent episode the two even went to couple’s counseling to work through their issues.