Actor, Noel Gugliemi, Became Famous Playing a Latino Character by the Same Name in Several Movies and TV Shows

Noel Gugliemi as Hector

You may need to do a double-take when you see his face and read his name. Noel Gugliemi? That’s Hector! Well, that’s whom many of us will know him as, anyway. That’s because he has starred in several movies and TV shows using the same name – something Gugliemi refers to as the Hector Curse. But that’s not all – his stereotypical role in each appearance is that of a Hispanic drug lord or mobster. He’s almost taken the unofficial title of the best actor for Latin American ‘thug’ roles in motion pictures.

Is it Fair to Recall Noel Gugliemi as Hector?

While there have been some infamous memes depicting the fact that Noel Gugliemi has played the character, Hector, over 30 times in TV and film, this is far from the truth. He has, however, taken a role by that name 8 times in his 23-year career. In fact, his first appearance as Hector was in the massive hit movie, The Fast and the Furious in 2001. Later the franchise brought him back for Furious 7 for a reprisal of his role. Below is a table depicting the actual number of times Noel Gugliemi has played a character by the name of Hector.

Films TV Shows
2001: The Fast and the Furious 2004-2015: Retail
2012: Vi (Short Film) 2015-2020: Fresh off the Boat
2013: Hope Cafe 2020: Ghetto Busters
2015: Furious 7
2021: The Cleaner

The role of Hector in so many shows was completely random and never asked for, according to Gugliemi. He shares answers to the “Why Hector” question with Tony Vision in the clip below:

Hector Is Better Than Nothing

The Fast and Furious was a certain springboard for his career. Till that point, his TV and movie appearances were mainly those of unnamed characters. Very few of Gugliemi’s movie appearances have been anything award-worthy. In fact, he is still waiting for the leading role gig to find him. Thankfully, since his surge to somewhat prominence, the acting roles have largely been accompanied by a character name in the credits.

Noel Gugliemi plays HEctor

Hector in Fast and Furious (top left), on the set of Furious 7 with Vin Diesel (top right), in Hope Café (bottom left), and in the TV show – Retail (bottom right). Credit to IMDB, Radha Nilla Productions, and Only Way up Corporation. Collage by PokCas

All in all, Noel Gugliemi has made a showing in over 150 movies and TV shows. That is a rather impressive resumé. However, his typecast has remained the same in most. More often than not, he plays a convict, thug, or gang banger.

There have, however, been instances such as in the Soloist (2009), Basement Jack (2009), Kidnapped Souls (2012), Enter the Dangerous Mind (2013), Cruisin’(2014), Total Praise (2014), Bachelors (2015), Anabolic Life (2017), A Psycho’s Path (2019), and Bleach (2020), where Gugliemi was upgraded to the role of a police officer. And in John Wynn’s Mirror Mirror (2019), he was given the role of Pastor Oscar Flores. It just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover.

But Hector…uh Noel Gugliemi has not been relegated to B-class movies either. Here are just some of the more notable films and TV shows he has featured in over his career:

Noel Gugliemi’s Top-Rated Films Year
Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood 2000
Fast and the Furious 2001
Training Day 2001
The Animal 2001
Bruce Almighty 2003
National Security 2003
Old School 2003
SWAT 2003
Our Family Wedding 2010
The Dark Knight Rises 2012
Noel Gugliemi’s Top-Rated TV Shows Year
The X-Files 2001
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2001
Without a Trace 2002
NYPD Blue 2003
Monk 2004
CSI Miami 2005
The Walking Dead 2010
The Mentalist 2012
Chicago PD 2017

From Lost to Found – A Biography of Noel Gugliemi 

Gugliemi is an actor, producer, and the owner of an independent film company, called Entangled Entertainment. Noel Gugliemi’s net worth is $3 million, which makes him a rich man for someone who usually makes brief appearances in films. However, his wealth pales in comparison to other A-list stars in the business. He is still one of the most recognizable faces In Hollywood because of his vast career and the sheer number of movies he’s been involved in. However, everything has not always been roses.

The Italian/Mexican celebrity comes from a difficult past, where his father abandoned him at an early age. That, in turn, subjected him to a life of homelessness and crime. As such, playing the villain is a little closer to home than we might realize. At 15 years of age, he was eventually taken into a pastor’s home and given a roof over his head.

The pastor’s daughter was into acting and invited him to an acting class with her one day. Little to his knowledge, there was a producer scouting talent there that day. He noticed the raw, funny talent that Gugliemi exuded and offered him a gig in a Taco Bell commercial, which came with a sizable paycheck. That paycheck was enough for Noel to claim his independence, which led him swiftly back to the streets and crime, landing him in and out of jail for the next several years.

But the Taco Bell paycheck was not a once-off thing. He would get paid each time the commercial aired. After realizing that this is how actors got paid, he decided to turn to the world in front of the camera, which ultimately changed Noel Gugliemi from his gangster ways to a passionate professional in the business.

He eventually turned to religion, which helped turn his life around and gave him a renewed sense of hope. In fact, his life changes have moved him to motivational speaking. He often speaks at churches, schools, and businesses, because he has a very real rags-to-riches story to tell.

Noel Gugliemi summarizes his story in 13 minutes:

Noel Gugliemi Net Worth – How He Lives Now

If you were hoping for a glitzy and glamorous life from Noel Gugliemi, you are bound to be a little disappointed. His early life on the streets ate through his net worth. Nevertheless, the roles have not ceased coming, which means he is bound to move from strength to strength over the next few years.

There is no glitzy mansion to speak of, even though he lives in Santa Monica. There are also no fancy cars to showcase. All-in-all, he lives a rather private life, and with a net worth like his it’s not likely he has a mammoth home or luxury car to show off anyway.


Sean van der Merwe

Sean is a senior writer at PokCas. He is an Entertainment, Gaming & Cryptocurrency News Reporter. He has more than 5 years of full-time writing experience.