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María Félix in The Kneeling Goddess (1947)
María de los Ángeles Félix Güereña
8 April 1914
|Died||8 April 2002 88) (aged|
Mexico City, Mexico
|Resting place||Panteón Francés, Mexico City, Mexico|
|Other names||La Doña|
|Spouse(s)||Enrique Álvarez (1931–1938; divorced)|
Agustín Lara (1945–1947; divorced)
Jorge Negrete (1952–1953; his death)
Alex Berger (1956–1974; his death)
|Partner(s)||Antoine Tzapoff (2002; Félix's death)|
|Children||Enrique Álvarez Félix|
María de los Ángeles Félix Güereña (Spanish: [maˈɾia ˈfeliks] (8 April 1914 – 8 April 2002) was a Mexican film actress and singer. Along with Pedro Armendáriz and Dolores del Río, she was one of the most successful figures of Latin American cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. Considered one of the most beautiful actresses of Mexican cinema, her taste for the finesse and strong personality garnered her the title of diva early in her career. She was known as La Doña, a name derived from her character in the film Doña Bárbara (1943), and María Bonita, thanks to the anthem composed exclusively for her, as a wedding gift by her second husband, the Mexican composer Agustín Lara. She completed a film career that included 47 films made in Mexico, Spain, France, Italy and Argentina.
Pedro Armendáriz was a Mexican film actor who made films in both Mexico and the United States. With Dolores del Río and María Félix, he was one of the best-known Latin American movie stars of the 1940s and 1950s.
Dolores del Río was a Mexican actress of film, television, and theater. With a career spanning more than 50 years, she is regarded as the first major female Latin American crossover star in Hollywood, with an outstanding career in American films in the 1920s and 1930s. She was also considered one of the most important female figures in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. del Río is also remembered as one of the most beautiful faces of the cinema in her time.
Doña Bárbara is a 1943 Mexican romantic drama film directed by Fernando de Fuentes and starring María Félix and Julián Soler. The film is based on the novel Doña Bárbara by Venezuelan author Rómulo Gallegos, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
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María de los Angeles Félix Güereña was born in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico on 8 April 1914. Her birth was registered on 4 May, which was later misreported as her date of birth.
Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.
She was the daughter of Bernardo Félix Flores, a military officer. Her mother was Josefina Güereña Rosas. She had eleven siblings: Josefina, María de la Paz, Pablo, Bernardo, Miguel, María de las Mercedes, Fernando, Victoria Eugenia, Ricardo, Benjamín and Ana María del Sacramento.[ citation needed ]
She spent her childhood in Álamos. During her childhood, she had a close relationship with her brother Pablo. Her mother separated the two siblings, thinking they might be involved in an incestuous relationship. [ citation needed ]For that reason, Pablo was sent to the Colegio Militar, in Mexico City. When Félix was a young girl, she enjoyed games for boys and despised the dolls and other toys and activities "for girls". She was also an accomplished horse rider.
Incest is human sexual activity between family members or close relatives. This typically includes sexual activity between people in consanguinity, and sometimes those related by affinity, adoption, clan, or lineage.
Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. It is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.
Later, the Félix family moved to Guadalajara. When María was a teenager, her beauty soon began to attract attention. She was crowned Beauty Queen at the University of Guadalajara. It was at this time that she met Enrique Álvarez Alatorre, a salesman for the cosmetics firm Max Factor. After a brief romance, the couple married in 1931. In 1935, Félix gave birth to her only child, Enrique, nicknamed Quique. Her marriage with Álvarez was unsuccessful and the couple divorced in 1937. After her divorce, Félix returned to Guadalajara with her family, where she was the subject of gossip and rumors due to her status as a divorcée. Because of this situation, Félix decided to move to Mexico City with her son.[ citation needed ]
Guadalajara is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is in the central region of Jalisco in the Western-Pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,460,148 inhabitants, it is Mexico's second most populous municipality. The Guadalajara metropolitan area has a reported population of 5,002,466 inhabitants, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City. The municipality is the second most densely populated in Mexico, the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in the State of Mexico. It is a strong business and economic center in the Bajío region.
Max Factor is a line of cosmetics from Coty, Inc.. It was founded in 1909 as Max Factor & Company by Maksymilian Faktorowicz, a beautician from Poland.
In Mexico City, she worked as a receptionist in a plastic surgeon's office, and lived in a guest house. One day, the father of her son visited the child, and deliberately refused to give the boy back to his mother. Álvarez took the child to Guadalajara. Félix's son was recovered with the help of Agustín Lara, her second husband. They planned an elaborate recovery that tricked the grandmother and took the child.
One afternoon after work when walking down the street in Mexico City, director and filmmaker Fernando Palacios approached her asking if she wanted to make movies. Her response was:
When I want to, it will be through the big door.
Palacios finally persuaded her to break into the movies. Becoming her "Pygmalion", he began to train her and present her in film circles. She made her first appearance in the "White and Black Ballroom" of the Mexico City Country Club where some of the great Mexican movie stars of the era (Esther Fernández, Lupe Vélez, Andrea Palma) gathered. Eventually she was taken to Hollywood, to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, where she met Cecil B. DeMille, who offered to launch her film career in Hollywood, but Félix was not interested. She preferred to begin her career in her own country. Finally, thanks to Palacios, she was offered the female lead role in a film by Grovas Productions: El Peñón de las Ánimas , directed by Miguel Zacarías.
In the film El Peñón de las Ánimas, Félix starred opposite the popular Mexican actor and singer Jorge Negrete. María Félix and Jorge Negrete got off to a bad relationship during the filming because he had asked that his girlfriend, the actress Gloria Marín, be given the lead role. For this reason the filming of the movie was difficult and led to a direct confrontation between Félix and Negrete. That confrontation helped to cement the reputation of Félix as a tough and arrogant woman.
In her second film, María Eugenia, Félix would be projected in a role out of her temperamental film personality. However, the film is remembered as the only movie where Félix appeared in swimwear. The same happened with the film La china poblana (1943), where Félix claimed to have paid a debt of gratitude to her discoverer Fernando Palacios, who directed the film.Nobody has heard from this movie (the second color film of the Mexican cinema), so it is considered lost. She called both films "her beginner sins".
Félix was known as La Doña for her role in the movie Doña Bárbara (1943), based on the like-named novel by the Venezuelan writer Rómulo Gallegos. For the film, another actress (Isabela Corona) was already hired, but when Gallegos first saw Félix, he was charmed by her and said: "Here is my Doña Bárbara!" This movie was filmed in Venezuela with Mexican and Venezuelan actors. Doña Bárbara was to be the start of her major collaborations with the Mexican film director Fernando de Fuentes. Félix and de Fuentes filmed together another two films: La Mujer sin Alma (1944) and La Devoradora (1946). As María Félix herself said, "With these films, I became the number one enemy of the Mexican family morals."
Somehow, I seduced the public, even those who criticize the conduct of my characters in the films. My legend began to take shape without moving a finger. The public imagination did everything for me.
Without her stereotyped role of a "femme fatale", María Félix filmed two sophisticated films: El monje blanco (1945), directed by Julio Bracho, and Vertigo (1946), directed by Antonio Momplet. Both characters required a great dramatic intensity.
Under the direction of the famous Mexican film director Emilio Fernández, María Félix made three successful films: Enamorada (1946 ), Río Escondido (1947), and Maclovia (1948). The relationship between Félix and Fernández was cordial and smooth, despite the strong and famous temperament of the film director. In Enamorada, María Félix found her perfect film partner, the actor Pedro Armendáriz. The films of María Félix with Fernández and his team (writer Mauricio Magdaleno, photographer Gabriel Figueroa, and Armendáriz) had strong presence in several international film festivals. In turn, they gave María Félix her first Ariel Award for Enamorada and Río Escondido.
Between the films with Fernández, María Félix also worked with Roberto Gavaldón, another director who showcased some of her best performances. Their first collaboration was in La diosa arrodillada (1947) with Arturo de Córdova. Thanks to these films, María Félix's fame crossed the Atlantic.
In 1948 she was contracted by the Spanish film producer Cesáreo González. In this manner María Félix began her film adventure in Europe. She made only one more film in Mexico ( Doña Diabla , 1949) until her return in 1952.
Félix debuted in the European cinema in Spain, with the film Mare Nostrum (1948), directed by Rafael Gil. With Gil as director, she realized another two films in 1950: Una mujer cualquiera and La noche del sábado. In 1951, she filmed the French-Spanish production La Couronne Noire directed by Luis Saslavsky based on a story by Jean Cocteau. She debuted in Italy with the film Incantesimo Tragico (1951). In the same year, she filmed Messalina (1951), directed by Carmine Gallone (at the time, the most expensive film of the Italian cinema). During the filming of this movie Félix suffered an emotional shock: her father died of a heart attack in Navojoa.
In 1952, Félix traveled to Argentina, where she filmed La pasión desnuda of the Argentine filmmaker Luis César Amadori. In the same year Félix returned to Mexico. She concluded her working relationship with Cesáreo González with the film Camelia filmed in her native country. Her stay in Mexico was mainly based on her marriage to the actor and singer Jorge Negrete (her former film rival), and with whom she filmed El rapto, directed by Emilio Fernández, Negrete's last film.[ citation needed ]
After the death of Jorge Negrete, on 5 December 1953, Félix returned to Europe. In France she made the films La Belle Otero (1954), and Les Héros sont Fatigués (1955), alongside Yves Montand. However, the most important film of Félix in this period was French Cancan (1954) directed by Jean Renoir with the legendary French actor Jean Gabin. Her last film shot entirely in Europe was the Spanish film Faustina .[ citation needed ]
Félix returned to Mexico in 1955. This period of her career was characterized by performing films inspired by the Mexican Revolution. This cycle begins with La Escondida (1955). In this film, as well as in stories like Canasta de cuentos mexicanos (1955) and Café Colón (1958), she worked again with Pedro Armendáriz. In 1956 she starred in Tizoc with the popular Mexican actor and singer Pedro Infante. However, the film was not liked by the actress, despite her international success. Eventually she filmed Beyond All Limits (1957) with Jack Palance, and the melodramas Ash Wednesday and The Empty Star (both 1958). In 1959 she played the titular role in The Soldiers of Pancho Villa with top billing lead Dolores del Rio. In 1959 she performed in the Spanish-Mexican co-production Sonatas directed by Juan Antonio Bardem and the French-Mexican co-production La Fièvre Monte à El Pao , directed by Luis Buñuel.
In the 1960s Félix's presence in the cinema was limited to only a few films. The most prominent were Juana Gallo (1960), La bandida (1963), Amor y sexo (Sapho '63, 1963)), and La Valentina (1966). In 1970 she filmed La Generala, which would be her last film. The Mexican historical telenovela La Constitución (1971) would be her last professional acting job. Félix attempted to return to the cinema twice. First, in 1982, with the film Toña Machetes, and again in 1986 with the film Insólito resplandor. Neither project crystallized, and Félix never reappeared in film.[ citation needed ]
Almost from the beginning of her career, Félix received job offers in Hollywood, but Félix herself said: They only give me huehuenche (Indian) roles. While she was in France, Hollywood offered her the female role of Duel in the Sun , but she passed and the part went to Jennifer Jones. [ citation needed ]Another proposal was The Barefoot Contessa with Humphrey Bogart, but she refused it, instead making La Belle Otero in France. Ava Gardner ended up with the part. Later, the director Robert Aldrich sent her the script of The Legend of Lylah Clare , but she did not reach an agreement with the director and Kim Novak got the role.
Félix was married four times. Her first marriage (1931–1938) was with the cosmetics sales agent Enrique Álvarez Alatorre. [ citation needed ]He fathered her only child, actor Enrique Álvarez Félix. According to journalist Sergio Almázon, once she found her son wearing a white dress and necklace. Infuriated, she beat him unconscious. Álvarez retaliated by taking their son to Guadalajara. Years later Félix was able to get her son back with the help of her second husband, Agustín Lara.
Félix's relationship with her son was distant in his early years because she sent him to schools abroad "to discipline" him. Years later, Enrique returned to Mexico and started a career as an actor in film and television. Regarding her son, Félix said: "Enrique is a very gifted man, with admirable common sense. He's my best friend. I have so much fun with him. He's not a 'mama's boy' as many believe. Self-employed, fight like being independent. He has his own career, his audience, his poster and assumes his responsibilities without relying on me."The unexpected death of Enrique from a heart attack in 1996 affected Félix greatly.
Her second marriage (1945–1947) was to the famous Mexican composer Agustín Lara. Félix was a fan of Lara since her adolescence. They were formally introduced by a mutual friend, the actor Tito Novaro. The couple began a highly publicized relationship, which culminated in marriage in 1945. Lara immortalized Félix in a number of songs, such as "Humo en los ojos" ("Smoke in the eyes"), "Cuando vuelvas" ("When you come back"), "Dos puñales" ("Two daggers"), "Madrid" and especially the famous theme " María Bonita ", composed in Acapulco during their honeymoon. "María Bonita" would become one of Lara's most popular Lara songs. However, the relationship ended in 1947 due to Lara's jealousy. Félix said that Lara even tried to kill her in a fit of violent jealousy.
After her second divorce, Félix had romances with some well-known men, such as Mexican aviation entrepreneur Jorge Pasquel, Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín, and Argentine actor Carlos Thompson. In 1953, when Félix returned to Mexico after her stay in Europe and Argentina, she was reunited with an "old enemy": the actor and singer Jorge Negrete. Unlike their difficult first meeting ten years ago on the set of El peñón de las ánimas, Félix found Negrete, in her own words: "surrendered to my feet". After a brief romance, the couple married in 1953, transmitted by radio to all Latin America, held at the House of Catipoato in Tlalpan. Unfortunately. Negrete was already ill when the marriage took place. Negrete died eleven months later at a hospital in Los Angeles, California, while Félix was in Europe shooting La Belle Otero. Félix's appearance at his funeral, dressed in trousers, caused a huge scandal, which led Félix to take refuge in Europe.[ citation needed ]
During her stay in France, Félix was introduced by the painter Leonor Fini to French writer Jean Cau, assistant of the writer Jean Paul Sartre. Félix had a brief romance with Cau.
Her fourth marriage (1956–1974), was with the Romanian-born French banker Alexander Berger. Félix met Berger in the 1940s, when they were both married. Years later they met again. Félix was married to Berger for 18 years. She tried becoming a mother again, but an accident during a filming in 1957 caused Félix to lose the child. [ citation needed ]Berger died in 1974 of lung cancer months after the death of María's mother, which plunged her into a deep depression. To overcome this depression, she developed a new passion: horses. Some of her horses won major international equestrian awards. Félix kept her horses for 11 years.
Her last romantic relationship was the Russian-French painter Antoine Tzapoff. About him, Félix said: I don't know if he's the man who has most loved me, but he's who has loved me better.
The press speculated about a strong rivalry between Félix and Dolores del Río, the other leading female figure of Mexican cinema and a successful Hollywood star. Regarding this "rivalry", Félix said: "With Dolores I had no rivalry. On the contrary, we were friends and always treated each other with great respect, each with our own personality. We were completely different. She was refined, interesting, gentle on the deal, and I'm energetic, arrogant and bossy."
During her life, Félix was a model for many renowned painters. In her adolescence she was painted in Guadalajara by José Clemente Orozco, but Félix said: He paint me like a make-up skull.Félix met the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera during the filming of Río Escondido (1947). Félix developed a friendship with him and his wife, Frida Kahlo. In 1949, Rivera painted a portrait of her, which Félix classified as "muy malo" ("very bad"). Later years Diego Rivera asked to borrow the painting to be displayed as part of a retrospective on Rivera's work, but Félix refused. Maria Félix did not like the painting and she sold it to Juan Gabriel for 15 Million Pesos. In a later interview said “Nunca me ha gustado la pintura de Rivera, yo se lo decía a él. Yo quería que me pintara de Tehuana, pero él dijo que era muy vulgar, entonces me pintó como él quería… desnuda, porque él estaba muy enamorado de mí. Después, Diego quería ese retrato para una exposición en Bellas Artes, pero como no se lo presté, me dejó de hablar más de un año. Un día estaba un albañil arreglando mi casa, y le mandé a poner blanco para tapar un poco todo aquello y así quedó. Lo vendí, muy mal vendido por cierto”. Translated- “I've never liked Rivera's painting, I told him. I wanted him to paint me Tehuana, but he said it was very vulgar, so he painted me as he wanted ... naked, because he was very much in love with me. Later, Diego wanted that portrait for an exhibition in Fine Arts, but since I did not lend it to him, he stopped talking to me for more than a year. One day there was a bricklayer fixing my house, and I sent him to put white to cover a bit of everything and that's how it was. I sold it, very badly sold by the way ".
Other renowned artists who recorded Félix in their canvases were the Surrealists Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Bridget Tichenor among others. In the 1980s, the Russian-French artist Antoine Tzapoff (Félix's last partner), captured her in numerous portraits.[ citation needed ]
Félix also had dealings with numerous Mexican and foreign writers and playwrights some of whom have dedicated several novels. Among them they are Renato Leduc, Xavier Villaurrutia, Salvador Novo, Pita Amor, Jean Cocteau and Octavio Paz. Luis Spota was inspired by her life for his novel The Empty Star, and Félix even starred in the film version in 1958. Carlos Fuentes did the same in the novel Zona sagrada. Her relationship with Fuentes was terminated when the author made the play Orchids in the Moonlight, in which he parodies the figures of Félix and Dolores del Río. Félix, angry, called him "mujerujo" ("womanish").
Songs were composed for Félix, including María de Todas las Marías by Juan Gabriel and Je l'aime à mourir by Francis Cabrel.
In fashion, Félix was dressed by designers like Christian Dior , Givenchy , Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel , and Balenciaga . The House of Hermès (Couture Department) designed extravagant creations just for her. She was a noted collector of fine antiques, favoring pieces like her famous collection of Second French Empire furniture. She was also a jewelry connoisseur and had an extensive jewelry collection, including the 41.37 carat (8.274 g), D-flawless Ashoka diamond. In 1968, she commissioned a serpent diamond necklace from Cartier Paris. The result was a completely articulated serpent made out of platinum and white gold and encrusted with 178.21 carats (35.642 g) of diamonds. In 1975, she again asked Cartier to create a necklace for her, this time in the shape of two crocodiles. The two crocodile bodies were made of 524.9 grams of gold, one covered with 1,023 yellow diamonds, while the other was adorned with 1,060 circular cut emeralds.
Since Félix’s death, these jewelry pieces have been displayed as part of The Art of Cartier Collection in several museums around the world. To pay tribute to the actress, in 2006 Cartier debuted its La Doña de Cartier collection. The La Doña de Cartier watch with reptilian links was created to impress by its wild look. The case of the La Doña de Cartier features a trapezoid shape with an asymmetrical profile reminiscent of a crocodile’s head. The wristband of the watch resembles the contours of a crocodile in large, bold and gold scales. The La Doña de Cartier Collection also includes jewelry, accessories, and handbags.
María Félix died in her sleep on 8 April 2002, her 88th birthday in Mexico City.She was buried in her family's tomb alongside her son Enrique and her parents at Panteón Francés in Mexico City. In 2018, Google celebrated Felix's 104th birthday with a Google Doodle.
María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García, better known as Katy Jurado, was a Mexican actress of film, television, and theater. Jurado began her acting career in Mexico. She achieved notoriety in the cinema of her country, in the period known as the Golden Age of Mexican cinema (1940s-1950s). In 1951 she was discovered in Mexico and began her Hollywood career. She acted in notable Western films of the 1950s and 1960s. Owner of an exotic beauty, Jurado was specialized in interpretations of complex, stereotyped and sexualized women. Her talent for playing a variety of characters helped pave the way for Mexican actresses in American cinema. She was the first Latin American actress nominated for an Academy Award, as Best Supporting Actress for her work in Broken Lance (1954), and was the first to win a Golden Globe Award for her performance in High Noon (1952).
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