Dayanara Torres

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Dayanara Torres Delgado (born October 28, 1974) is a Puerto Rican actress, singer, model, and former Miss Universe.

Torres was discovered at age 17 while walking through the Plaza de Toa Alta in her hometown, and was invited to represent Toa Alta in the annual Miss Puerto Rico pageant. She won the pageant and the right to represent Puerto Rico in the 1993 Miss Universe pageant. In 1992, she participated in the Miss International pageant and became a semi-finalist. The same year, she earned second place at the Queen of the World contest.

Torres won the crown in the Miss Universe pageant held in Mexico City on May 21, 1993. Torres' victory in the pageant caused some controversy because of the claim that she was still a minor; however, Torres had turned 18 several months before the contest. Her victory also raised some eyebrows, as she did not top any of the pageant's segments. When Torres returned home to Puerto Rico, she was received with a massive parade.

During and after her reign as Miss Universe, she became an ambassador for UNICEF, traveling through Asia and Latin America in support of the organization. She created the Dayanara Torres Foundation which has provided scholarships to poor students in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In 1994, she went to Manila to crown the new Miss Universe and during the ceremony, she sang "A Whole New World" as a duet with Peabo Bryson.

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Torres in the Philippines

After the 1994 Miss Universe pageant, Torres landed several movie roles, made television appearances, and received offers to endorse products. She became a celebrity in the Philippines and lived in the country for five years. She also appeared in more than 10 movies, including Hataw Na, a film with Filipino actor and singer Gary Valenciano (who is half-Puerto Rican). During that time, she also filmed Linda Sara (1994), a Puerto Rican film directed by Jacobo Morales in which she was paired with fellow Puerto Rican singer, Chayanne. She also became a staple figure on Philippine television every Sunday on the show ASAP Mania, where her dancing skills gained her the informal title "Dancing Queen".

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