Discovered at the age of fourteen by director Vicente Aranda
, Maribel Verdu
has won over critics, industry and public alike since the start of her career. Fernando Trueba, Bigas Luna
and Jose Luis Garci have worked with her repeatedly, though Maribel Verdu continues to maintain a close relationship with theatre and TV. Carlos Saura
called her into Goya in Bordeaux because he saw her not only as a great actress, but as having the same fire, spontaneity and beauty as the Duchess of Alba.
The Duchess of Alba is one of the most controversial and magnetic figures in Goya's life. In 1794, Goya and the Duchess began an intense, stormy friendship which reflected the strong characters of both, particularly of the Duchess Cayetana. In 1796, Goya moved to the recently widowed Duchess's country estate, in the Andalucian town of Sanlucar de Barrameda, where they lived together for eleven months. During that time Goya carried out a famous series of drawings of women in which the domestic life of his lover is shown in all its detail. The Duchess's rivalry with Queen Maria Luisa de Parma, the wife of Charles IV, make for some of the most comic pages in Spanish history. Legend has it that Cayetana de Alba was poisoned by her many enemies. Whether or not it is true, this strange woman's mysterious death certainly puts the crowning touch on a character who had nothing in common with the feminine archetype of the 18th century.
Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.
Maribel Verdu Facts