Name any top TV actress in America, and she probably isn't as big here as Gabriela Spanic is in Venezuela.
Ms. Spanic, who is of Croatian descent on her father's side, is the queen of the telenovela, the Latin American equivalent of a soap opera, in Venezuela. Staring out as a model, she quickly made it into acting with many lead and supporting television roles. For four years beginning in 1998, she played twin sisters in the telenovela "La Usurpadora" ("The Usurper"). It was shown in more than 160 countries and became one of most popular telenovelas in Spanish-speaking countries.
Fun fact: While she played twins on TV, Gabriela Spanic actually has a twin sister - Daniela Spanic. She too is an actress.