Hardcover and audiobook of An American Story

An Immigrant and the Power of a Dream

The stirring memoir by actor and activist Wilmer Valderrama.

An American Story: Everyone’s Invited

The remarkable true story of a young immigrant from Venezuela who had a dream to change the world, a talent for entertaining, and a determined spirit to build a new life, taking as many as possible with him on the journey.

An American Story is the stirring memoir by actor, producer, and activist Wilmer Valderrama, delving into his upbringing in Venezuela where he was raised by two hard working parents as they navigated their family through a rapidly changing country and the rise of Hugo Chavez. With the economy crashing around them and their livelihood disappearing, the family decides to flee the country. Suddenly, the young boy who had loved riding his horse and dreaming of being Zorro from his favorite black and white tv show had to grow up quickly, journeying as a teenager from a tiny little pueblo in Venezuela to the big city of Los Angeles.

After being cast in a school theatre production, Valderrama knew he had found his calling, and began thinking of ways to help support his struggling family. He would attempt the impossible: find work in Hollywood as an unproven Latino actor. Following countless auditions and frequent criticisms of his accent, he created the personality that would eventually land him the role as Fez on the hit series That 70s Show, which catapulted him to stardom.

Over the coming years, he would create the smash show, Yo Mamma, voice the lead character in Disney’s Encanto, and so much more, culminating in his joining the cast of the hit show NCIS in 2016.

It was through service to others and his first USO trip, however, where Valderrama found his expanded calling, entertaining and encouraging U.S. troops around the world. He has since traveled with the USO a multitude of times, having participated in almost 50 tours domestically and internationally and was recently named USO Global Ambassador.

Through his work, Valderrama hopes to demonstrate his love and gratitude for the country that changed his life. An American Story weaves Valderrama’s personal stories with those of the remarkable people he’s met along his philanthropic journey. This isn’t just Valderrama’s story, though. It’s a view of America through an immigrant’s eyes, in both its stunning unmatched wonders and all its native challenges. It is the profound and gripping story of someone who found the way and is now inviting as many as possible to join him on the adventure.

Hardcover of An American Story


“Once you realize the truth about luck, you will become bolder than ever before. You will become dauntless. You will be unstoppable in the quest to fulfill your own dreams. There is no such thing as luck. There is only the luck you create."

— Wilmer Valderrama

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Also Available in Spanish

Wilmer Valderrama Headshot (Courtesy of Michael Muller)

About the Author

From his breakout role as Fez on the Emmy-nominated series That ’70s Show to playing Nick Torres in the number-one TV drama NCIS on CBS, actor, producer, and activist Wilmer Valderrama has been making audiences laugh, listen, and think for more than two decades.

On the big screen, he lent his voice to the Academy Award-winning Disney animated film Encanto, which became a cultural phenomenon. Behind the camera, in 2006, Wilmer established his production company, WV Entertainment, where he continues to develop and produce projects in the alternative and scripted spaces.

Valderrama is active in several philanthropic agencies. He’s the co-founder of Harness, a group dedicated to connecting communities through conversation to inspire action, serves on the board of Voto Latino, and sits on the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) Visionary Alliance, which aims to foster opportunities for Latinx talent in the entertainment industry through the Series Scriptwriters program and the Latinx Stream Showcase. Wilmer is deeply involved with the military community, serving as a USO Global Ambassador and participating in various shows worldwide.

Born in Miami and raised in Venezuela until the age of thirteen, Valderrama is fluent in Spanish and English. He and his family reside in Los Angeles.

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