Happy Friday! Today’s Famous Friday features the famed actress, singer, and model Tia Carrere. Carrere, born Althea Rae Janairo on January 2, 1967, is best known for her captivating influence on the entertainment industry, where she showcases her remarkable talents to a global audience. Her Multiracial identity gets its roots in her blended heritage consisting of Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish ancestry. Her ethnic background continues to shape her day-to-day life and professional career.

Carrere grew up in Hawaii, a culturally diverse environment with unique traditions and customs galore. Her parents, both of mixed descent, accentuated an appreciation for the cultural riches afforded to her, becoming an integral facet of her identity that adapted her perspectives and personality. These components of her identity became pillars of her character throughout the industry.

The origins of Carrere’s journey began in the modeling world, where her then-labeled “exotic” look, looks, and poise caught the attention of professionals in the industry, providing her an opportunity pathway to modeling’s many avenues. As she ventured deeper into celebrity status, a transition to acting propelled her career to new levels, displaying an uptick in talent and versatility. She debuted as an actress in the soap opera “General Hospital” in 1985 and continued her ascension afterward. Carrere’s major break came with her casting for the role of Cassandra Wong in the film “Wayne’s World”.

Carrere continued to draw pride and inspiration for her heritage, embracing opportunities to portray characters that represented her, such as the movie “Easter Sunday”, featuring a predominately Filipino cast. Aside from her acting success, Carrere underscored her versatility with the musical production, releasing several albums with genres including pop and Hawaiin, embracing rhythms and melodies that tie back to her upbringing.

When Carrere entered the industry, Filipino wasn’t a conceptualized ethnicity yet. The ignorance she encountered led to her utilization of her platform to advocate for embracing the full spectrum of ethnic backgrounds and narratives. Through her talent, charisma, and commitment to diversity, Tia Carrere has left an indelible mark on the industry, inspiring future generations to celebrate their heritage proudly.

-Julien Joseph, Vice-President of Project Race Teens-Massachusetts

Photo Credits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tia_Carrere