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No Paint-by-Number Career for this Alum: Aaron Hill Is Both Comedic Actor and Serious Artist

As an actor, UC alum Aaron Hill regularly makes the Spanish-speaking world laugh via his comedy role on “Sabado Gigante” (Giant Saturday), the world’s longest-running TV variety show. He also shows his more serious side as a painter and will soon exhibit work in an internationally renowned venue.

Date: 11/9/2013
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by Aaron Hill
As an actor, University of Cincinnati art education alum Aaron Hill is a well-known face to millions of Spanish-speaking households around the globe.

That’s thanks to his role on a popular variety show called “Sabado Gigante” (Giant Saturday) that is the world’s longest-running television variety show, on the air since 1962.
UC's Aaron Hill at left with Chilean singer and actress Gloria Benavides. He plays "Gringo Nice to Meet You" to her "La Cuatro" on a popular variety show.

In an ongoing parody of telenovelas, Hill, 54, plays the love interest of a character known as “La Cuatro,” a maid in a mansion. In their ongoing slapstick comedy skit, much of the humor is based on miscommunication. That’s due to the fact that in his role, Hill as the character of “Gringo Nice to Meet You,” speaks no Spanish, and “La Cuatro” speaks no English. (In fact, his very name in the comedy is based on miscommunication. When he met “La Cuatro,” she introduced herself, and he answered, “Nice to meet you.” She thought he was likewise introducing himself by name, and so, he became “Gringo Nice to Meet You.”)

In his role, Hill, originally from Tiffin, Ohio, and a 1981 graduate of UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), occasionally pays tribute to his Midwest roots. For instance, in a recent skit with “La Cuatro,” he promised to give her all of his $52 million fortune if she would move back to Ohio with him.

Hill planned on being an art teacher, but a move to Florida after graduation led to work as a sports director for boys and girls clubs; cruise and sports director roles for cruise lines; world travel and a role as a personal trainer. “But I always continued to paint, often inspired by the natural world of south Florida,” he says.

In fact, Hill has a current series titled “Organic Passion,” which reflects the color and drama of Florida’s flora and fauna. And paintings from that series will be on display during Art Basel, an international exhibit of works by emerging and established artists, held in December in Miami Beach.
Painting by Aaron Hill
Painting from Aaron Hill's Organic Passion series.

He explains, “Inspiration is easy to find in the natural world around Miami. I am lucky to live in a beautiful space with many varieties of fruit and palm trees. I hope that my paintings might help viewers to explore their own imaginations, to allow the abstract works to encourage them to pursue their own artistic or creative visions.”

He adds, “We all have the ability for organic passion through the microscope of life. It is typical for human beings to want to decipher things and give them meaning. I paint images without literal representation which in turn stimulates imagination by tapping into the creative side of the brain.  This ultimately forces a unique connection with the art.”