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Santeiro, Luis (1948) | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Santeiro, Luis (1948)

Historical Note:

Luis Santeiro was born in 1948 in Havana, Cuba, leaving the island with his family at the age of 12 for Miami, Florida. Santeiro obtained a degree in sociology from Villanova University and is recognized for his work as a writer, playwright, and cinematographer.

Santeiro first worked as a television writer for "Carrascolendas", a bilingual children's television show that debuted in 1970 on Austin, Texas' KLRN public television station. In 1976, he became head writer of the bilingual sitcom "¿Qué Pasa, USA?", produced by Miami's public television station WPBT. "¿Qué Pasa, USA?" was a half-hour bilingual sitcom set in Miami's Cuban exile community that traced the lives of three generations of Cubans trying to make it in their new homeland. Running for five years, the show received six regional Emmys and nine special awards from the Association of Critics and Commentators on the Arts, for its producers, directors, writers and cast.

Santeiro wrote a total of 33 scripts for the show, including the pilot episode. In 1979 he joined the writing team of the children's television program "Sesame Street". Santeiro also contributed scripts and song lyrics to other children's programs such as, "3-2-1 Contact", "Carrascolendas", "Big Bag", "Oye, Willie", and "Little Bill". For his writing for children's television programs, Santeiro has been nominated for 20 Daytime Emmy Awards and won 14, 12 of these during his 29-year career with "Sesame Street."

Luis Santeiro is also recognized for his work as a playwright. Among his most notable plays are Our Lady of the Tortilla (1987), The Lady from Havana (1990), and The Rooster and the Egg (1994). For his musical Barrio Babies, Santeiro received the Edward Kleban and Richard Rodgers Award, and in 1995 was honored with the National Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences Award for his play A Royal Affair. Santiero has also been recognized for his contributions to Latino arts and culture with honors such as the Hispanic Achievement Award in 1991 and the Hispanic Heritage Award in 1993.

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