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Shalim Ortiz has done it all. The 40-year-old Puerto Rican actor and singer made his big U.S. debut on the television show Heroes in 2007, but his acting career began long before that. Shalim started his career in theater, and even took a shot at the music industry in his early 20s. He has appeared in over a dozen films, and starred in several major television shows in the U.S. This month, Shalim joins the cast of Grand Hotel as hotel manager Mateo —we might not always know his intentions, but this mysterious character is very good at his job and very professional. Grand Hotel is based on the Spanish telenovela Gran Hotel. The sexy ABC drama, co-produced by Eva Longoria, centers around the life of owner Santiago Mendoza (portrayed by Demián Bichir), his children, his wife Gigi (portrayed by Roselyn Sanchez), and the hotel staff. This family-owned hotel has many secrets. “Don’t miss Grand Hotel, it’s one of those shows that with every episode it just keeps growing and the show grows with it. Like most shows that you fall in love with where the pilot is amazing, but then there are so many more layers [to] make sure people keep watching.” Shalim has been working toward this moment —being a part of this cast— ever since he could remember. “I’m what you can call a child actor because my father gave me my first job at six years old. He was a big-time television producer in Puerto Rico, and I asked him to throw me into one of his TV shows, because I was loving what he was doing,” says Shalim. “It was a calling from very early on.” Shalim went on to star in Los Angelitos, a television show in Puerto Rico, which aired for three years. He explains that Los Angelitos was a mix between Menudo and Carrusel —a popular show in the 80s. “Just kids at school who would sing songs and have little comedy sketches. It was a great little training camp for me.” His character was the youngest one in the group; his name was Rabitin. “It means little tail,” he chuckles. “My character was the young little child who was after all the other guys. He always wanted something to do with the older guys, and they wouldn’t listen to him. I was small and short so they kind of bullied me in a funny way.”

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