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Beyond the Red Carpet: Top Hispanic Celebrities on Health Care and Financial Security

Miguel Sandoval

This veteran film and TV actor plays the voice of reason on Medium.

When Miguel Sandoval moved to Hollywood 26 years ago, he briefly changed his name to Michael. "The roles for Latinos at that time were literally this: you could play a gardener or, if you were younger, a gangbanger," he says. "As Michael, I could maybe play a young lawyer." A sign of change: his character on NBC's Medium, District Attorney Devalos, was not originally written as a Latino. "The show's creator went for, in his opinion, the right actor for the part," says the 56-year-old veteran of more than 36 feature films and dozens of TV appearances. He enjoys voicing cartoon characters, such as El Toro Fuerte on Jackie Chan Adventures: "You can really be playful and use your imagination. You're not restricted to what you look like."

On Health:

"We've got to do something to make insurance accessible to absolutely everyone, without exception. And we should immediately roll back the rates a good 20 to 50 percent and put some heavy regulations on future premium increases. We have to take [health care] out of the hands of the pharmaceutical and insurance companies."

On Financial Security:

"[My wife and I] are like the ant and the grasshopper. We're like the grasshopper because when you're an actor and don't have anything, when you get something you have a little fiesta. But right away we go back to the ant and sock it away. I know I'm not going to be able to work forever, and as I get older I'll be restricted to certain roles, so we're planning for the future and our retirement in a big way."

Dan Guerrero

The veteran producer has reinvented himself with a one-man autobiographical show.

For Dan Guerrero, it's all about adapting to the times. After a 20-year career on Broadway—half as musical performer and half as theatrical agent—he moved home to Los Angeles to produce and direct Latino-themed projects—such as The Paul Rodríguez Show for Univision and a Vikki Carr special for PBS—and special events for the Kennedy Center and Los Angeles Opera. Along the way he reacquainted audiences with his father, the legendary Chicano songwriter Lalo Guerrero, who enjoyed a comeback of his own in his latter years. "You have to reinvent yourself, whether you're 20 or 60," says the 67-year-old. Returning to his musical roots, he currently tours the country with his autobiographical solo stage show, Gaytino!, which chronicles his life as a Chicano gay man. A related book is in the works.

On Health:

"Before I was 65, I was paying about $500 a month for health insurance, and I didn't care what would happen, that was the first thing [I would pay]. Thank God I didn't have to choose between that and having dinner, but believe me, I would have chosen health insurance."

On Financial Security:

"You think you're young forever, and one day you reach an age and you're like, 'Hello!' In my business, you don't retire as such. I can't be jumping around the stage 10 years from today, but by that time I will have the book and there will be more writing and lectures. You don't ever retire. That doesn't mean you don't need financial security."

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