Born: July 20, 1962
Known for: A Sacramento native, Carlos Alazraqui is a comedian and actor best known for his voice work in movies and television, including the Chihuahua in the "(degrees)Yo quiero Taco Bell!" advertisements.
Background: Alazraqui was born in Sacramento, moved to Concord at an early age but returned to graduate from California State University, Sacramento. He then embarked on a career as a comedian and began competing in Sacramento at open-mike nights. Four years later, he won the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. His big break came in 1995 when he became the voice pitchman for Taco Bell. His catch phrase, Spanish for "I want Taco Bell!" became a pop culture flash point. He then lent his voice to an array of television programs, including "Rocko's Modern Life" on Nickleodeon, and movies, including "Happy Feet."
A highlight: Since 2003, Alazraqui has portrayed Deputy James Oswaldo Garcia in the Comedy Central TV show "Reno 911!" In February, the show was spun off into a movie, "Reno 911: Miami!"
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.