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Dolores del Rio

Dolores del Rio

Dolores del Río (August 3, 1905 - April 11, 1983) was a Mexican film actress. She was a star of Hollywood films during the silent era and became an important actress in Mexican films later in her life.

Born Dolores Martínez Asúnsolo y López Negrete in Durango, Mexico, del Río was the cousin of actor Ramón Novarro. Her wealthy family lost all their assets during the Mexican Revolution, and a desire to restore her comfortable lifestyle inspired her to follow a career as an actress. In 1921 she married Jaime del Río, and through a Hollywood friend the couple emigrated to the USA with the plan of establishing showbusiness careers for themselves: screenwriter and actress, respectively. The marriage ended in divorce but del Río retained her married name, continued to pursue a career as an actress, and made her first film appearance in 1925. She was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926, but initially struggled to overcome prejudice. She came to be admired as one of the most beautiful women on screen, and her career flourished until the end of the silent era.

In 1930, she married Cedric Gibbons, one of MGM's leading art directors and production designers. With the advent of talkies she was usually relegated to exotic and unimportant roles, but scored successes with Flying Down to Rio (the film that launched the careers of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in 1933) and Madame DuBarry (1934). An affair with Orson Welles was reported to have been the cause of her divorce from Gibbons in 1941. Her collaboration with Welles, Journey Into Fear (1942), was her last major Hollywood film.

She returned to Mexico in 1942. She was soon approached by director Emilio Fernández, and she began making Spanish-language films that brought her great success in Mexico over the next twenty years. She was nominated for Mexico's Silver Ariel Award five times, winning two awards for her performances.

She died from liver disease at Laguna Beach, California and was buried at in the Panteón de Dolores cemetery (no relation) in Mexico City.

Dolores del Río has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1620 Vine Street, in recognition of her contributions to the motion picture industry.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Dolores del Rio Facts

OccupationActress
BirthdayAugust 3, 1905
SignLeo
BirthplaceDurango, Mexico
Date of deathApril 11, 1983 (age 77)

Selected Filmography

Not available.