Let's be honest: being the daughter of the radio sensation El Cucuy (Renan Almendarez Coello) probably had something to do with Francia Raisa getting noticed at an early age. But that's all it did: Get her noticed. Once she got her shot, it was up to Francia to prove herself just like anybody elseÔÇôand then it was the tiny matter of being talented, beautiful, and utterly convincing in front of the camera that put her in such the powerful and positive position she enjoys today.
Season Four of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" had its Summer Finale Monday, Sept. 5 at 8P on ABC Family, but there's little doubt it will be back. It continues to be the most popular show on the network, and one of the top performers for its demographic in all of cable television, even with new contenders for the same audience on the same network, like "Switched at Birth" and "Pretty Little Liars." And Francia is one of the reasons.
Sure, it's a night-time soap, but its realism and depth of character set it apart. And Francia herself has been showing the ability to rise above the material since "Bring It On: All or Nothing" almost five years ago, and in two sequels to The "Cutting Edge" as well. She's taken some chances, too. She made a big impression in an episode of USA Network's "In Plain Sight" last year, and appeared in controversial horror director Albert Pyun's theatrical feature "Bulletface." It's this consistent quality and forward motion that's made her a fan and industry favorite, and only one of the reasons she was nominated for an ALMA Award this year as Favorite TV Actress, appearing alongside far more experienced stars like Cote de Pablo ("NCIS"), Eva LaRue ("CSI: Miami"), Sara Ramirez ("Grey's Anatomy"), and Sara Shahi ("Fairly Legal"). Not bad company for a 'starlet' who's just turned 23.