Cristina María Saralegui Santamarina
January 29, 1948
|Alma mater||University of Miami|
|Occupation||Journalist, actress, talk show host, TV personality|
|Spouse(s)||Tony Menendez (divorced)|
Marcos Avila (1982–present)
|Children||2 + 1 stepdaughter|
Cristina María Saralegui de Ávila (born January 29, 1948) is a Cuban-born American journalist, television personality, actress and talk show host of the Spanish-language eponymous show, El show de Cristina. Before her television career, she worked for ten years as editor-in-chief of the Spanish-language version of Cosmopolitan magazine distributed throughout Latin America.
Early life and family
Cristina María Saralegui Santamarina was born in Miramar, Havana, Cuba, to Francisco Rene Saralegui Álvarez, Jr. and María Cristina de las Nieves Santamarina Díaz. She is the eldest of five, she had two sisters Vicky and María Eugenia, as well as two brothers, Patxi and Iñaki. Saralegui is of Basque Country descent with all four grandparents having origins in Spain. Her paternal grandfather Francisco Saralegui Arizubieta was a Basque from Lizarza and her paternal grandmother Amalia "Amalita" Álvarez Cuesta, an Asturian from Gijon; her maternal grandfather was José Santamarina Iviricu, and her maternal grandmother Águeda Díaz.
After graduating from the Academy of the Assumption in 1966, Saralegui enrolled at the University of Miami. In 1973, she began an internship at the magazine Vanidades. This allowed her to improve her written Spanish to the level of her spoken language. By 1979, Saralegui was editor of the Spanish version of Cosmopolitan magazine. She continued in this role through most of the 1980s.
El Show de Cristina
In 1989, Saralegui transferred her journalistic success to television, by launching the Miami-based Spanish-language talk show, El Show de Cristina (The Cristina Show) on Univisión. She concluded each episode with a double thumbs-up salute and the Cuban expression "Pa'lante, pa'lante, pa'tras ni pa' coger impulso", ("Forward, forward; don't step back, not even to gain momentum"...could also be understood as "to get a running start".)
Prominent guests included Shakira, Paulina Rubio, Don Francisco, the former members of Menudo, Fernando Colunga, Selena, Lucero, Celia Cruz, Camilo Sesto, Thalía, Isabel Pantoja, Julio Iglesias, Jaci Velasquez, Alejandro Fernández, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Sussan Taunton, Jorge Ramos, Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio Estefan, Jr., Gloria Trevi, Chayanne, Sebastian Rulli, Xuxa, Ricky Martin, RBD, Niurka, Noelia, Anaís, George Lopez, Jennifer Lopez, Adela Noriega, Grecia Colmenares, Alexandra Cheron, Amelia Vega, Angélica Vale, Angélica María, and Susana Gonzalez.
During the program recorded on Monday, October 25, 2010, Cristina reviewed her career and the program's more memorable episodes and guests.
Saragelui's talk show last aired on November 1, 2010 after 21 years. Hosted by Mexican actor, Fernando Colunga, Cristina was celebrated by her colleagues Daniela Romo, Cesar Evora, Thalia, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estefan, Angelica Maria, Carmen Salinas, Don Francisco, Jorge Ramos, and others. Some of her Univision colleagues were in the audience from where they interacted with Cristina herself, sharing anecdotes and messages of hope and admiration.
In 1992, Saralegui had an English-language syndicated talk show, Cristina, which was cancelled after half a season.
The song Somos El Mundo premiered during Saralegui's show, with an appeal to help the Haiti relief effort. It was translated by Gloria Estefan, produced by her husband Emilio Estefan and approved by Quincy Jones.
During her last show on Univision, Saralegui said,
Cristina no se retira, jamas dejaría esto... aquí hay Cristina y ¡para rato! (Cristina does not retire, I would never leave this... there is (still) Cristina and for a (good) while!).
Saralegui remained under contract with Univision until December 31, 2010. It was discussed that she might continue as a collaborator, for special programs and interviews, and that a new Cristina show would debut in March, 2011, but this did not happen.
Career after Univision (WAPA-TV and WLII-DT)
The Spanish-language Network Azteca América presented a one-hour special, "Cristina Breaks the Silence" where, for the first time since her retirement from Univision, Saralegui was interviewed on television. The interview, hosted by Frank Cairo, a former producer and creator of the Cristina show, touched on many issues, from guests who were considered "difficult", to the unexpected announcement from the executives of Univision that her show was being canceled, as well as reactions, emotions, and responses to the news.
It was announced on May 17, 2011 that Telemundo had hired Cristina for a weekly variety show, Pa' lante con Cristina (Forward with Cristina), beginning in the fall of 2011. The program debuted on Telemundo on May 31 of that year, hosting a one-hour special retrospective featuring the stars of the just-completed telenovela La Reina del Sur.
On May 31, 2012, it was announced that Pa' lante con Cristina would end its run and will not be renewed for another season.
|2001||Taina||Principal Rojas||3 episodes: Be Careful What You Wish For (can be heard on the intercom), I Want it that Way, and Undercover|
|2001||Passions||Cristina López||9 episodes|
|2003||George Lopez||Lydia||2 episodes: George Has Two Mommies and Would You Like a Drumstick or a Kidney?|
She is divorced from her first husband, Tony, with whom she has a daughter Cristina Amelia. She has been married to Marcos Ávila since 1982, a former member of the Miami Sound Machine, and from this marriage she has a stepdaughter, Stephanie. Together they have one child, son Jon Marcos.
- Saralegui, Cristina (30 May 2009). Cristina!: My Life as a Blonde. ISBN 9780446559720. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
- Desde El Avion Archived 2010-11-21 at the Wayback Machine. Cristina Online. Retrieved on 2012-04-20.
- "Look Out Oprah: Here Comes Cristina". 20/20. ABC News. 2001-07-05. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- Streisand, Betsy (2003-03-09). "Latino Power". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- Somos El Mundo Video Premieres, Stars Pitbull, Shakira, Juanes, David Archuleta, Daddy Yankee retrieved 2010-03-02
- Munzenrieder, Kyle. (2010-11-01) Is Cristina Saralegui Taking Her Show to Telemundo? – Miami News – Riptide 2.0. Blogs.miaminewtimes.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-20.
- James, Meg (May 18, 2011). "Fall TV Season: Telemundo lands talk-show host Cristina Saralegui". Show Tracker. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- 31 de Mayo, 2012 - 9:33 PM EDT. "Se terminó: Pa'lante con Cristina dejará de emitirse" (in Spanish). PeopleenEspanol.com. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- "Cristina Radio launches on Sirius XM". Media Moves. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
- Bolstad, Erika (2012-06-17). "WASHINGTON: Cristina Saralegui says she'll endorse President Barack Obama - Political Currents". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- ¡Amigos Live! Archived 2008-10-11 at the Wayback Machine