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John Leguizamo, Penelope Cruz Win ALMA Awards

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LOS ANGELES – "Nothing Like the Holidays" had a merry time at the ALMA Awards.

The ensemble family drama starring John Leguizamo, Debra Messing and Freddy Rodriguez won three awards at Thursday's ceremony, which recognized achievements by Hispanic artists in film, television and music over the past year. Leguizamo, screenwriter Rick Najera and director Alfredo De Villa were each awarded trophies for their work in the film category.

Penelope Cruz won the film actress award for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" while "Twilight" makeup artist Jeanne Van Phue and hair stylist Mary Ann Valdes picked up awards for their behind-the-scenes work. David Archuleta and Pitbull won prizes in the music category during the ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall. The show is scheduled to be televised Friday by ABC.

Honorees in the TV category included Benjamin Bratt from A&E's "The Cleaner" as drama actor, Lauren Velez from Showtime's "Dexter" as drama actress, Oscar Nunez from NBC's "The Office" as comedy actor, Selena Gomez from Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place" as comedy actress and Latino Public Broadcasting in the documentary category.

Oscar De La Hoya received the Special Achievement in Sports Television award while Salma Hayek was given the Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence. Rita Moreno presented a tribute to the late Ricardo Montalban. ALMA Awards creator Raul Yzaguirre was awarded the first-ever PepsiCo Adelante Award for his lifetime of service to the Latino community.

The ALMA Awards were created in 1995 by the National Council of La Raza, a national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, as part of its effort to promote diverse and fair portrayals of Latinos in the media. ALMA stands for American Latino Media Arts and means "soul" in Spanish. George Lopez and Eva Longoria Parker hosted this year's ceremony.





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