The face of this year's Mr. Amigo has adorned television and movie screens on both sides of the border. Eduardo Yanez is a veteran of dozens of Mexican soap operas as well as movies and TV shows in Spanish and English.
The announcement of Yanez as Mr. Amigo 2012, along with the official unveiling of his portrait, took place Thursday morning inside a jam-packed Mexican consulate in Brownsville. Mexican Consul General Rodolfo Quilantan Arenas, U.S. Consul General in Matamoros Thomas Mittnacht, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez and Matamoros Mayor Alfonso Sanchez Garza were among the many officials on hand for the announcement and news conference.
According to his biography, the heartthrob Yanez was born in 1960 and as an adolescent dreamed of becoming a professional football player until he saw a play being rehearsed at his school one day. Yanez became immersed in theater and moved on to Televisa, where he was spotted by a producer named Ernesto Alonso, who gave him his first TV role, alongside telenovela queen Victoria Ruffo in a soap opera called "Quiereme Siempre."
That was in 1981. Yanez has starred in nearly 20 telenovelas since then and continues to work in the industry.
In 1991 Yanez moved to the United States, where he continued his soap opera work and found roles in several American films. He worked alongside Demi Moore in "Striptease," with John Travolta in "The Punisher" and with Denzel Washington and Christopher Walken in "Man on Fire." Yanez also worked on TV series such as "Savannah" and "Solider of Fortune" and most recently "Sleeper Cell" and "Cold Case."
In 2005 he returned to Mexico to star in the soap opera "La Verdad Oculta," leading the way to appearances in several more soaps there. Yanez currently stars as Jose Angel Arriaga in Televisa's "Amores Verdaderos."
Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez said the Mr. Amigo tradition, now in its 49th year, is a deeply symbolic manifestation of a bond between two cities and a model for other communities to follow. As for the choice of Yanez as Mr. Amigo 2012, he said it should be a big hit with a very important demographic.
"It's a very popular choice for many different reasons," Martinez said. "You know, this telenovela kind of stuff is very contagious among all the women. You get the ladies excited about something like this then everybody else will follow."
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