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Valente Rodriguez, From Farm Worker To Hollywood Actor


Disney's film "McFarland, USA" stars Kevin Costner, and is based on the true story of coach Jim White. White undergoes a transformation after working at predominantly Latino high school where many of the children also work in the fields.

Also acting in the film "McFarland, USA" is Texas native Valente Rodriguez. He is best known for his role as 'Ernie' on The George Lopez Show, but Rodriguez has been working steadily in Hollywood since the 1990s. Rodriguez says that growing up in the Rio Grande Valley and being a migrant farm worker – his experience closely mirrors that of the children of McFarland.

If you've been poor, then you know what that struggle is. So nobody can knock you down further than you've already been. There's only one place to go from where you are right now and that’s straight up. - Valente Rodriguez

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi