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Cameron Diaz Comes From a Long Line of Cuban Cigar Rollers

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Her last name might give her up, but many don't know that retired actress and new mom Cameron Diaz, 47, actually has Cuban roots.

While Cameron was born in San Diego and grew up in Long Beach, Calif., she says she grew up with close ties to her Latinx culture. So, does Cameron Diaz speak Spanish? Keep reading to learn more about her heritage.

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Does Cameron Diaz speak Spanish?

Nearly 10 years ago, back when she was promoting her movie Bad Teacher, Cameron answered questions about her Latinidad and cultural heritage. "My father is Cuban," she said during a press junket. "Spanish via Cuba to Tampa, Fl., where my family came many generations ago back in the turn of the century Spanish-American War."

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Cameron revealed that she comes from a family of cigar rollers. "That was the first Cuban settlement before Miami, outside of Cuba, in a place called Ybor City and they still have some cigar factories there to this day," she says of the Tampa neighborhood.

"But my family were cigar rollers," she continued. "I have all of my great grandfathers' cigar presses and choppers."

Cameron describes her father, Emilio, as having "had the best sense of humor." "He was so funny and growing up as a child, having somebody be very blunt, my father was very blunt, and about giving his children the truth, and never sugarcoated anything ever."

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With regards to whether she speaks Spanish, however, Cameron says she does not. "Well, I can barely speak English," she joked. However, the actress and wine maker "grew up with the Cuban heritage, the Cuban culture, the food, the language, although I don't speak Spanish."

On her mother Billie's side of the family, Cameron "has a blend of English, German, and Cherokee ancestry."

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Other Latinx actors have brought to light what they see as an industry double-standard with regards to which stars are expected to speak Spanish and which are not. Speaking to the magazine Latina, Jessica Alba, for example, explained that she's often given a hard time for not speaking Spanish, while the same pressure doesn't apply to actors like Cameron.

"No one gives Cameron Diaz a hard time for not speaking Spanish," she said back in 2008. "Her dad's Cuban, and I was telling her I feel so bad because everyone is so nasty to me for not speaking Spanish. She's like, 'I don't speak Spanish! I barely speak English!'"

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What's Cameron Diaz working on these days?

The retired actress has her hands full these days, having just recently given birth to daughter Raddix Madden in late December of 2019, along with her husband, Good Charlotte musician Madden, 41. 

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She's also started a line of vegan wine called Avaline with Who What Wear's Katherine Power, "because we are everyday drinkers and don't want to drink a bottle of wine that's been stored for five years on a daily basis. Those are for a special occasion."

Cameron is also a New York Times bestselling author. Her first book, The Body Book, was followed up in 2016 with The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time.

Wow, there's so much we're learning about this Charlie's Angel!

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