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About María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López Negrete
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She was a Mexican film actress and the first Latin American movie star to have international appeal. Del Río starred in Hollywood films during the silent era and in the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was generally thought to be one of the most beautiful actresses of her era.
During the Silent film era, Del Rio was considered a counterpart to Rudolph Valentino. With the arrival of the talkies, she became one of the principal Art Deco symbols of beauty. Del Río was one of the principal stars of Mexican films during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. She was frequently called the "Princess of México".
Born María de los Dolores Asúnsolo y López Negrete in Durango, Mexico, del Río was the second cousin of actor Ramón Novarro and a cousin to actress Andrea Palma. She was born into a wealthy family of Spanish ancestry.Her parents were Jesus Leonardo Asúnsolo Jacques, director of the Bank of Durango, and Antonia Lopez-Negrete. They were members of the Porfiriato (members of the ruling class from 1876-1911 when Porfirio Diaz was president) in Mexico. The family lost all its assets during the Mexican Revolution, and settled in Mexico City. A desire to restore her comfortable lifestyle inspired del Rio to follow a career as an actress.
She studied at a French college in Mexico City. She had a passion for dancing and admired the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Performing as a dancer for gatherings of rich Mexicans, she met Jaime Martinez del Rio, a scion of one of Mexico's most important families. They fell in love although he was 18 years older. In 1921, at the age of 16, she married him. The couple spent three years in Europe.In 1924, they returned to del Rio's ranch in Durango. The couple moved to Mexico City. Dolores del Río was discovered by movie producer Edwin Carewe. Struck by Dolores' beauty, Carewe gave the couple work in Hollywood, she as an actress and he as a screenwriter.
In 1921 Dolores del Río married Mexican socialite Jaime Martínez del Río, but the marriage came to end in 1928. Her former husband committed suicide in Berlin a year later. She was a devout Roman Catholic.
From 1930 to 1940 Dolores was married to MGM's Art Designer Cedric Gibbons. Her relationship of four years with Orson Welles come to end in 1943, and he married Rita Hayworth shortly afterwards. Rebecca Welles, the daughter of Welles and Hayworth, met Dolores in 1954 and she said: "My father considered her the great love of his life", "She was a living legend in the history of my family". Welles once remarked that he was incredibly impressed by her lingerie, which had been made by nuns in France.
In the late 30's, Dolores was related also with the German writer Erich Maria Remarque, who compared her beauty with Greta Garbo. Other rumors tried to relate with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, with whom Dolores maintained a close friendship. In the 40's, she was related with the Mexican movie producer Archibaldo Burns and with the Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa. In 1949, Dolores met Lewis A. Riley in Acapulco. Riley, a theatre producer, was member of the Hollywood Canteen in the 1940s. After ten years together, the couple married in Mexico City in 1959.
Using her married surname, del Río made her film debut in Joanna, directed by Carewe in 1925 and released that year. Hollywood first noticed her appeal as a sex siren. Del Rio struggled against the "Mexicali Rose" image initially pitched to her by Hollywood executives. Despite her brief appearance, Carewe arranged for much publicity for the actress. In her second film High Steppers, del Rio took the second female credit after Mary Astor. These films were not blockbusters, but helped increase del Río's popularity. Carewe's intention was to transform her into a star on the order of Rudolph Valentino.
In 1926 the artist Theodore Lukits painted her portrait. Titled A Souvenir of Seville, it depicted the actress in the dress worn for her presentation to the Spanish Court. Also featured was her pet monkey. The large painting was displayed in the Carthay Circle Theatre for the premier of The Loves of Carmen (1927). It was reproduced in magazine and newspaper articles in the United States and Mexico.
In late 1926, director Raoul Walsh called del Río to give her a role in What Price Glory. With the character of Charmaine, del Río achieved her desired success. Later, she was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926 (along with fellow newcomers Joan Crawford, Fay Wray, Janet Gaynor, and Mary Astor). She came to be admired as one of the most beautiful women on screen.
After she gained fame, Carewe produced Resurrection (1927), which was a box office hit. In 1927, Raoul Walsh called del Río for a second version of Carmen. The first was with Theda Bara in 1917. Walsh thought del Río to be the best interpreter of all the "Hollywoods Carmen" for his authentically Latin American version, The Loves of Carmen (1927). With Walsh she also filmed The Red Dance.
In 1928, Dolores replaced the actress Renée Adorée in the MGM film The Trail of '98, directed by Clarence Brown. Her career flourished until the end of the silent era. She had successful films such as Ramona (1928, for which she recorded the famous song "Ramona" with RCA Victor), and Evangeline (1929).
While del Río's career was flourishing, her marriage declined. Her husband moved to Germany, where he committed suicide from depression in 1929.
With the arrival of the talkies, del Río left her working relationship with Carewe. He seemed to take revenge by filming a new version of Resurrection with the alleged Dolores rival, Lupe Vélez. With the support of United Artists, del Rio left Carewe and debuted in the talkies with The Bad One in 1930.
In the Thirties
In 1930, she married Cedric Gibbons, one of MGM's leading art directors and production designers, whom she met at a party organized by William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies at Hearst Castle. Her presence in Hollywood of the 30's is not just limited to the world of cinema, also the high society circles. The Gibbons-Del Río house in Hollywood was a frequent meeting place from personalities like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Lili Damita, Clark Gable and many more.
With the advent of talkies, she was relegated to exotic and unimportant roles. The Hollywood executives sought "do not talk too much at her movies", because of her Latin accent. She scored successes with Bird of Paradise (1932, directed by King Vidor. The film was produced by David O. Selznick that request the script to King Vidor and say: "I want Del Rio in a love story in the South Seas. I don't care the script, but in the end, Del Rio should be thrown into a volcano". The film scandalized audiences when she took a naked swim with Joel McCrea. This film was made before the Hays Code was enacted so nudity could be shown. Next she filmed Flying Down to Rio (the film that launched the careers of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) (1933); Madame Du Barry (1934) and Wonder Bar (1934).
Later, del Rio starred in the Busby Berkeley comedies In Caliente (1935) and I Live for Love (1935), but she refuses to participate in the film Viva Villa! (Fay Wray took her place). Dolores accused the film as a "Anti-Mexican movie".
In 1934, Dolores del Río was one of the victims of the "open season" of the "reds" in Hollywood. With James Cagney, Ramón Novarro and Lupe Vélez, she was accused of promoting communism in California. Twenty years later this would have consequences later in the career of the actress.
In the late thirties, del Río's career declined. With the support of Warner Bros. she made a series of police films (such as Lancer Spy in 1937 and International Settlement in 1938). But del Río's career in the later 1930s unfortunately suffered from too many exotic, two-dimensional roles designed with Hollywood's cliched ideas of ethnic minorities in mind. She was marked as "box office poison" by exhibitors, along with actresses such as Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford.
In 1940, Dolores met Orson Welles, who at that time was new to Hollywood. Feeling a mutual attraction, the couple began a romance. Welles fell madly in love with her. Reportedly, the affair was the cause of her divorce from Gibbons in 1941. Dolores del Río was with Welles for two years, during which he was at the peak of his career. She was at his side during the filming of Citizen Kane, and during the attacks of Randolph Hearst against him. Welles initially directed del Río in the Mexican film Santa, but the project was cancelled. The film directed by Norman Foster was realized later by the Mexican actress Esther Fernández.
Dolores also accompanying Welles in a vaudeville shows in all the United States. She collaborated with Welles in the film Journey into Fear in 1942. After Welles broke from RKO, del Río sympathized with him, though her character (a sexy leopard-woman) in the film, was reduced.
Career in Mexico
Since the late thirties, Dolores del Río was sought on several occasions by Mexican film directors. She was friends with noted Mexican artists, such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and maintained ties with Mexican society and cinema. After breaking off her relationship with Orson Welles, del Río decided to try her luck in Mexico, disappointed by the "American star system". Mexican director Emilio Fernández asked her to star in Flor Silvestre (1942) and the miracle happened: at 37, Dolores del Río became the most famous movie star in her country, filming in the Spanish language for the first time. The production group del Río-Fernandez, together with the cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and the actor Pedro Armendariz had international fame. One of her most successful films was Maria Candelaria (1943, winner at the Cannes Film Festival). The movie was written by Emilio as a present for her birthday. Other celebrated movies of the group were Las Abandonadas (1944, censored in México by six months), Bugambilia (1945), The Fugitive (1947, directed by John Ford), and La Malquerida (1949).
Over her collaborations with Fernández, del Río was given the opportunity to work with the best film directors in Mexico. Roberto Gavaldon was the one who inherited from Fernández the privilege of creating stories for the flaunting of Del Rio. Under the Gavaldón direction, Dolores filmed the movies La Otra (1946), La Casa Chica (1949), Deseada (1950) and El Niño y la Niebla, (1953,which competes in the Cannes Film Festival). In 1951, Dolores starred Doña Perfecta, in which she was acclaimed for her great dramatic representation.
Dolores worked in Argentina in 1947, in a film version of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan. The Cinema of Spain called her twice for the movies Señora Ama (1954, directed by Dolores's cousin Julio Bracho) and in La Dama del Alba in 1966. Her mother's death in 1961 forced to cancel the Spanish movie Muerte en el otoño, directed by Juan Antonio Bardem.
In 1959, the director Ismael Rodriguez achieved the impossible: bring Dolores del Río and María Félix together in one film La Cucaracha. The newspapers speculated a strong rivalry between the two actresses. María Felix speaks: " With Dolores i don't have any rivalry. On the contrary. We were friends and we always treat them with great respect, each with its own personality".
In 1959, she married theatrical American businessman Lewis "Lou" Riley (a former member of the Hollywood Canteen), whom she met in Acapulco ten years before. The house of Dolores in México, called "La Escondida" in Coyoacán, was very popular inside Mexican and foreign celebrities. She won the Silver Ariel (Mexican Academy Award) as best actress in four times.
In 1954, del Río appeared in the 20th Century Fox film Broken Lance. The U.S. government denied her permission to work in the USA, accusing her of being a sympathizer of international communism. Because del Río did not get permission, the film was made by Katy Jurado. Dolores del Río became one of the victims of McCarthyism. Her situation with the U.S. was fixed in 1956 when the actress was able to return to the United States to perform in the theater production of Anastacia with Lily Darvas.
* Anastacia (1956) ( New York (Broadway), USA)
* El Abanico de Lady Windermere (1958) (México City, Teatro Virginia Fébregas; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
* Camino a Roma (1960) (México City, Teatro de los Insurgentes)
* Espectros (1961) (México City)
* Mi querido embustero (1961) (México City)
* La Vidente, de Roussin (1965) (México City)
* La Reina y los Rebeldes (1966) (México City)
* La Dama de las Camelias (1968) (México City, Monterrey)
* El Espectáculo Rosa Mexicano (1972) (México City)
This is a complete filmography (can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolores_del_R%C3%ADo_filmography) of Dolores del Río. Del Río began her career in 1925, when she abandoned her native Mexico to start a career as an exotic beauty in the 1920s Hollywood. At that time she came to be regarded as a specie of female version of Rudolph Valentino.
Her career flourished until the end of the silent era, with successful films such as Resurrection (1927), Ramona (1928) and Evangeline (1929). With the arrival of the talkies in the early 30's, Del Río's exotic image undergoes a radical change to become in one of the most glamorous Art Decó symbols of her age. She scored successes with Bird of Paradise (1932), Flying Down to Rio (1933), Madame DuBarry and Wonder Bar (1934). But in the late 30's, Del Río's career suffer a decline, and she was marked as one of the "box office poisons".
Under these circumstances, Del Río return to México. Under the guide of Emilio Fernández, and at the age of 37, Del Río become into the most important star of the Golden age of Mexican cinema that in time became so powerful as Hollywood. The Mexican films gave Dolores reputation as an extraordinary actress who don't had in his years in Hollywood. Her master piece are the legendary film Maria Candelaria (1943).
Dolores del Río was considered one of the Great Divas of the America and Latin America cinema, mythic figure of Mexico and representation, by excellence, of the Mexican female beauty in all the world.
Dolores del Río From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López-Negrete August 3, 1905 Durango, Mexico Died April 11, 1983 (aged 77) Newport Beach, California, U.S. Cause of death Liver disease Nationality Mexican American Occupation Actress and singer Years active 1925–1978 Spouse(s) Jaime Martinez del Río (1921-1928) Cedric Gibbons (1930-1941) Lewis Riley (1959-1983) Partner(s) Orson Welles (1938–1941)
Dolores del Río (Spanish pronunciation: [doˈloɾez ðel ˈrio]; born María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López-Negrete (August 3, 1905 – April 11, 1983), was a Mexican actress of cinema, theater and television. She was a Hollywood star in the 1920s and 1930s, and was one of the most important female figures of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. She was the first Latin American female star to be recognized internationally.
During the 1920s in Hollywood, Dolores was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time, a sort of female version of Rudolph Valentino, the Latin Lover of the Silent Cinema. Her career flourished until the end of the silent era, with success films like Resurrection (1927) and Ramona (1928). She was one of the few Hollywood superstars of the silent era to adapt to the talkies. In the 1930s, she was noted for her participation in numerous films of the Pre-Code era like Bird of Paradise (1932), Flying Down to Rio (1933) and Madame Du Barry. When her Hollywood career began to decline, del Río decided to return to her native country and join the Mexican film industry, which at that time was at its peak.
When del Río returned to Mexico in the early 1940s, she became one of the most important female stars of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. A series of films like Flor silvestre (1943), María Candelaria (1943), Las Abandonadas (1944), Bugambilia (1944) and La Malquerida (1949), are considered classic masterpieces of the Mexican cinema. Del Río remained in force in the cinema of her native country for the next three decades and only returned to Hollywood sporadically. Her long career also spanned theater and television.
1 Early life 2 Career 2.1 Silent films 2.2 1930s 2.2.1 "Box office poison" 2.3 Orson Welles 2.4 Mexico 2.4.1 McCarthyism 2.5 Later years 3 Social work 4 Personal life 5 Death 6 Image 7 Legacy and memorials 8 Filmography 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links
María de los Dolores Asúnsolo y López Negrete was born in Durango, Mexico on August 3, 1905, into a wealthy family. Her parents were Jesus Leonardo Asúnsolo Jacques, son of wealthy farmers and director of the Bank of Durango, and Antonia Lopez-Negrete, descendant of an ancient family of high lineage. Her parents are members of the old Mexican aristocracy that existed during the Porfiriato (period in the history of Mexico when the dictator Porfirio Díaz was the president). By mother's side, Dolores was cousin of the Mexican filmmaker Julio Bracho and the Mexican actors Ramón Novarro (one of the Latin Lovers of the Silent Cinema) and Andrea Palma (another superstar of the Mexican cinema). By father's side, she was also cousin of the Mexican sculptor Ignacio Asúnsolo and the social activist María Asúnsolo. Her family lost all its assets during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921). The wealthy families of Durango suffered persecution of the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. Dolores and her mother settled in Mexico City, where they lived under the protection of then President Francisco I. Madero, who was a cousin of her mother. Dolores's father had to take refuge three years in the United States. Dolores del Río (c. 1928)
She studied at the Collège Français de Saint-Joseph, a prestigious religious school run by French nuns located in Mexico City. Since her childhood, she had a passion for dancing, admiring the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Dolores was deeply impressed when she met the Argentine dancer Antonia Mercé La Argentina, famous by her interpretive dances that soon Dolores began to imitate.
In 1921, a group of Mexican aristocrats ladies decided to organize a dancing party in benefit for a local hospital. They chose Dolores to perform “Spanish” dances. The organizer of the benevolent group was the Mexican aristocrat Jaime Martínez del Río y Viñent, belonging to one of the most distinguished and respected families of Mexican society and a worship gentleman educated in Europe. Martínez del Río was captivated by Dolores. However, Dolores was captivated by his interest in her and by his conversation about art and artists.
The couple began a discreet romance. When he asked for her hand in marriage, her parents accepted. After a two-month courtship, Dolores married Jaime on 11 April 1921. He was 34. She was 16. Their honeymoon in Europe lasted two years. During that time the young bride entered an entirely new and exciting world, one far removed from the stifling restraints of the conservative Mexican upper class. Jaime’s connections and his wife’s beauty and intelligence got them invited into the homes of the European social and artistic aristocracy. Among their friends they were The Duke of Alba, Luis Fernández, The Duke of Medinaceli, Carlos de Beistegui and even The King of Spain Alfonso XIII and the Queen Victoria Eugenie.
In 1924, the couple returned to Mexico. They decided to live on Jaime’s country estate, where cotton was the main crop. However, when the bottom fell out of the cotton market, Jaime lost his entire fortune. Another loss was suffered when Dolores miscarried. She was told never to try to have another child. The couple then settled in Mexico City, where they endured their lavish lifestyle with the help of their families.
In early 1925, Edwin Carewe, an influential director at First National Films, had traveled to Mexico for the wedding of actors Bert Lytell and Claire Windsor, to which they came Dolores and her husband. Carewe was impressed by Dolores and later arranged a meeting with her and her husband through the Mexican poet Salvador Novo and the artist Adolfo Best Maugard. Carewe fell under her spell watching her dance a tango at the party. The infatuated Carewe cajoled the couple into moving to Hollywood, urging the couple to rebuff familial objections that viewed acting as socially demeaning. Del Río saw it as a marriage-strengthening opportunity. Career Silent films Head Shot used to promote del Río on her Spanish Tour in 1926.
Dolores was contracted by Carewe as her agent, manager, producer and director. Her name was shortened to “Dolores Del Rio” (with an incorrect capital “D” in the word "del"). To keep her husband out of the way, Carewe sent Jaime off to “study the various aspects of filmmaking.” Carewe arranged for wide publicity for her with the intention to transform her into a star on the order of Rudolph Valentino, a "Female Latin Lover". A newspaper article dedicated to the rising star circulated in all the major film magazines in Hollywood:
Dolores Del Rio, the heiress and First Lady of Mexican high society, recently arrived to Hollywood with a cargo of shawls and combs valued at 50'000 dollars (some say that she's the most richest girl of her country thanks to the fortune of her husband and her parents). She will make her film debut in Joanna, directed by her discoverer Edwin Carewe.
Del Río made her film debut in Joanna directed by Carewe in 1925 and released that year. However, in the film she appeared for only five minutes. Carewe reassured her that the little that she appeared in the film looked extremely good. Despite her brief appearance, the public became interested in the rising star.
In her second film, High Steppers, del Río took the second female credit. In her fourth film, the comedy Pals First (1926), del Río received her first starring role. The films were not a blockbusters, but helped to increase del Río's popularity.
Despite being an exclusive artist of Carewe, he allowed her to work with other directors. In late 1926, the director Raoul Walsh called del Río to cast her in What Price Glory, a war film which won a great success. Immediately she was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1926, along with fellow newcomers Joan Crawford, Mary Astor, Janet Gaynor, Fay Wray and others. She was picked the winner by the U.S. public. A year later, trying to determine which of its previous roster of thirteen had in fact been most successful, WAMPAS had another contest open to voters from all nations. Dolores solicited the help of her compatriots via ads in The Los Angeles Times and El Universal in Mexico City and she received hundreds of thousands of votes, winning the contest by more than two hundred thousand.
In 1927, Carewe produced and directed Resurrection (1927), based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy, which was a box office hit. Del Río was selected as the heroine and Rod La Rocque starred as leading man. In the same year, Raoul Walsh called del Río once again to film a second version of Carmen, The Loves of Carmen (1927). Walsh thought that del Río was the best performer of all the "Hollywood Carmens" for her authentic Hispanic origin. She worked again with Walsh in 1928 in the film The Red Dance. Del Río with Warner Baxter in Ramona (1928)
In 1928, she replaced the actress Renée Adorée (who was showing symptoms of tuberculosis) in the MGM film The Trail of '98, directed by Clarence Brown and written by Robert W. Service. She was hired by United Artists for the successful 1928 film Ramona. The success of the film obtained is added with the musical theme same name song, written by L. Wolfe Gilbert and recorded by Dolores with RCA Victor. This was the first United Artists film with a synchronized score, but was not a talking picture.
Hollywood was concerned with the impending arrival of the talkies. On 29 March, at Mary Pickford's bungalow, United Artists brought together Pickford, del Río, Douglas Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin, Norma Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, and D. W. Griffith to speak on the radio show The Dodge Brothers Hour to prove they could meet the challenge of talking movies. Del Río surprised the audience by singing Ramona, proving to be prepared to face the challenge.
Unfortunately, while Dolores's career blossomed, her personal life was turbulent. Jaime, her husband, did not endure the pressure of living in the shadow of his wife. The couple ended up divorcing shortly after the premiere of Ramona. As if this were not enough, Dolores had to suffer the incessant harassment by her discoverer Edwin Carewe, who never ceased in his attempt to conquer her. During the filming of Evangeline (1929), United Artists considered removing her from the tutelage of Carewe, who had ambitions to marry her and become a famous Hollywood couple. Carewe preparing her divorce from his wife Mary Atkin. But United Artists convinced her to separate herself artistically and professionally from Carewe, who still held an exclusive contract with the actress.
In New York, del Rio declared to the reporters: Mr. Carewe and I are just friends and companions in the art of the cinema. I will not marry Mr. Carewe. Furious, Carewe filed criminal charges against Dolores. Advised by lawyers of the United Artists, Dolores reached an agreement with Carewe out of the court. Still, Carewe started a smear campaign against her. He even filmed a new sound version of Resurrection starring by Lupe Velez, another popular Mexican actress at the time and alleged del Río's rival.
Following the economic crash of 1929, del Rio eagerly went into her next film and first talkie, The Bad One. The critics and producers were convinced with her voice, which sounded much clearer and with less accent that Greta Garbo. She survived to the technical revolution and had another decade of work in Hollywood. 1930s Del Río in Bird of Paradise (1932)
In 1928, Dolores met Cedric Gibbons, one of the original Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences members and a leading MGM art director and production designer, who supervised the design of the Academy Award's Oscar. In 1930 she reunited with Gibbons in a party at the Hearst Castle. The couple started a romance, that culminated in a marriage ceremony at the Old Mission Santa Barbara Church in late 1930. The marriage of del Río with one of the most important social hubs of the Hollywood of this time, contributes to her consolidation as a superstar. She made the transition from "a exotic star across the border" to one of the great Hollywood princesses. In 1931 del Río fell seriously ill with a severe kidney infection. Doctors feared for her life and instructed her to rest for an extended time. But the film studios forced actors to make three or four films in a year. Therefore, she ends her contract with United Artists. When she regains her health, was hired as exclusive by RKO Pictures.
She scored a new success with the film Bird of Paradise in 1932, directed by King Vidor. The producer of the film, David O. Selznick, reportedly told Vidor: "I want del Río in a love story in the South Seas. I don't care about the script, but in the end, del Río should be thrown into a volcano." The film was shot in Hawaii and scandalized audiences when she was shown taking a naked swim with Joel McCrea: the film was made before the censorship Hays Code was enacted. Del Río with Fred Astaire in Flying Down to Rio (1933)
Next del Río filmed the successful film Flying Down to Rio in 1933. The film that first paired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It also featured Del Río opposite Fred Astaire in an intricate dance number called Orchids in the Moonlight.
Failing to anticipate the movie's success, RKO, in the midst of a financial crisis, terminated del Río’s contract. Dolores then emigrated to the Warner Bros. The studies seduced her with a juicy contract and an alleged plan to become her into "their response to Greta Garbo of the Metro and Marlene Dietrich of the Paramount Pictures". However, this project was not consolidated. In the Warner she was typecast in musical films. The choreographer Busby Berkeley was commissioned to show off with his famous choreographies in films like Wonder Bar (1934), Madame Du Barry (1934) and In Caliente (1935). Unfortunately these films were badly mutilated by the censorship of the Hays Code. Madame Du Barry was a major cause of dispute between the studio and the Hays office, primarily because it presented the court of Louis XV as a sex farce centered around del Rio. Del Río in Madame Du Barry (1934) "Box office poison"
In 1935, she refused to participate in the film Viva Villa! which she described as an "anti-Mexican movie". Fay Wray took her place, and del Río’s contract with Warner Brothers was finished. Del Río was originally announced as the female co star of the film Don't Bet on Blondes, but she was eventually replaced by Claire Dodd. In the same year, del Río was originally considered by Cecil B. DeMille for the role of Delilah in the film Samson and Delilah. But the film was canceled at that time (the movie was filmed until 1949 with Hedy Lamarr in the principal female role).
In 1936 del Río filmed Accused in England with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.. She also worked on Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox films in 1937, but was more visible in advertisements for Lucky Strike cigarettes, Max Factor makeup, or promoting clothing lines and perfumes than acting in films. With the support of the 20th Century Fox, she made a pair of unsuccessful spy films with George Sanders in 1938.
Cedric Gibbons moved his influences in the MGM, and got to his wife the main female role in the film The Man from Dakota (1940). But despite his position at the studio, Gibbons could never help his wife in his place of work in which the leading figures were Garbo, Norma Shearer, Crawford and Jean Harlow. The "strong men" of the company, Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg, felt that Latina women had no place in their stories. Both admired the del Río's beauty, but her career did not interest them.
Del Río's career in the late thirties suffered from too many exotic, two-dimensional roles designed with Hollywood's clichéd ideas of ethnic minorities. In the late thirties, the Latin temperament was no longer "fashionable". "Primitive" no longer played in a world encircled by the imminence of war, and the traditional glamour, while it did not go away, lost some of its appeal. Del Río, one of the great beauties of the star system, was suddenly without an available film character. She was put on a list entitled "Box Office Poison" along with Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West and Katharine Hepburn. The list was submitted to Los Angeles newspapers by an independent movie theater whose point was that these stars' high salaries and public popularity did not counteract the low ticket sales for their movies. Orson Welles
In the middle of the decline that she experienced in her career, in 1939 Dolores met the actor and director Orson Welles. Feeling a mutual attraction, the couple begins a torrid affair, which causes Dolores divorce from her second husband; For her relationship with Welles, Dolores leaves her acting career. She was at his side during the shooting and controversy of his masterpiece: Citizen Kane. The film, eventually considered among the finest ever made, was a box office disaster, thanks to William Randolph Hearst papers' negative reviews. Hearst was openly parodied in the film, and had threatened to reveal all the peccadillos of major studio bosses if the film was released. Del Río is safe from media scandal, probably thanks to her friendship with the actress Marion Davies, Hearst's mistress.
Adding to the decline of her career, del Río suffers a emotional impact: Edwin Carewe, her discoverer, commits suicide in 1940. Welles had planned to pick the Dolores career with various projects. One of them is the film Santa, which marked the debut of Dolores in the Mexican Cinema. Unfortunately, the high salary demanded by Dolores threw overboard the project. Welles also planned a Mexican drama with del Río, which he gave to RKO to be budgeted (a movie version of The Way to Santiago by Calder Marshall). In the story, she would play Elena Medina, "the most beautiful girl in the world", with Welles playing an American who becomes entangled in a mission to disrupt a Nazi plot to overthrow the Mexican government. Welles planned to shoot in Mexico, but the Mexican government had to approve the story, and this never occurred. While looking for ways to resume her career, Dolores also accompanied Welles in his shows across the United States, radio programs and shows at the Mercury Theatre. Del Río and Joseph Cotten in Journey into Fear (1943)
Nelson Rockefeller, in charge of the Good Neighbor policy (and also associated with RKO through his family investments), hires Orson Welles to send to South America as an ambassador of good will to counter fascist propaganda about Americans. Welles and del Rio celebrated Christmas 1941 together and discussed the possibility of marriage.
At the beginning of 1942 del Río began work on Journey into Fear with Norman Foster as director and Welles as producer. But because his dealing with Rockefeller, Welles leave the film four days later and travels to Rio de Janeiro on his goodwill tour. He was off having a wonderful time in Brazil, where he threw himself into the carnival spirit, filmed a bit of this and a bit of that, and satisfied all his erotic hungers, and left unanswered all of del Rio’s increasingly distraught telegrams. In a final telegram, she announcing the end of their romance. But he never responded. In addition, the Hearst smear campaign against Welles came effect and the director had brushes with the RKO. Del Río's character in the film was drastically reduced. In the same year, Dolores's father dies in Mexico.
Realizing that virtually everything in America was over for her, Dolores del Río made the significant decision to return to Mexico. Almost immediately, she found work as an actress and made some of her most important films. She said about her return to Mexico:
Divorced again, without the figure of my father. A film where I barely appeared, and one where they were really showing me the way of the art. I wanted to go the way of the art. Stop being a star and become into an actress, and that I could only do in Mexico. I wanted to return to Mexico, a country that was mine and I did not know. I felt the need to return to my country...
Mexico Lobby Card of the Mexican film Bugambilia (1944)
Since the late thirties, Dolores del Río was sought on several occasions by Mexican film directors. In 1938, the producer Pancho Cabrera asked Dolores to do the Mexican film La Noche de los Mayas. Later, the director Chano Urueta considered her for a new version of Santa, but economic circumstances were not favorable for the entry of del Río to the Mexican cinema. She was a friend of noted Mexican artists, such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and maintained ties with Mexican society and cinema. After breaking off her relationship with Orson Welles, del Río decided to try her luck in Mexico, disappointed by the "American star system".
Mexican director Emilio Fernández, her eternal admirer, invited her to film Flor silvestre (1942). This was the del Río's first Spanish-language film. The production group Del Río-Fernández, together with the cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and the actor Pedro Armendáriz had international fame. Their most successful film was María Candelaria. The movie was written for Dolores by Emilio as a present for her birthday. The film was a great success in Europe and allowed del Río to keep her international prestige.
In addition to the experienced team of producers, the film benefited from del Río's success as an actress through the American star system. On several occasions, Emilio's "bronco" temperament had surfaced violently and the actress had been about to leave the shooting, angry at what she considered ill treatment. But her high sense of professionalism had convinced her to return, but her relationship with the director had become distant. In addition to needing her as an actress, Fernández began to fall in love with her.
Other celebrated movies of the team were Las Abandonadas, Bugambilia (1944) and La Malquerida (1949). Dolores del Rio became into the leading female figure in the Mexican film industry. She became in a sort of a national symbol, after being, for many years, a Mexican symbol abroad. She won the Silver Ariel (Mexican Academy Award) as best actress for her role in Las abandonadas.
The Mexican filmmaker Roberto Gavaldón was the one who inherited from Fernández the privilege of creating stories for the flaunting of del Rio. Under the Gavaldón direction, Dolores filmed the movies La Otra (1946), La casa chica (1950), Deseada (1950) and El Niño y la Niebla, (1953). Dolores also worked in Argentina in 1947, in a film version of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan named Historia de una mala mujer. In the same year, Dolores was invited by the film director John Ford to film The Fugitive with Henry Fonda in México. The film was co-produced by Emilio Fernandez, and Dolores played a kind of Maria Magdalene. Ford had planned to make a film about the life of the Empress Charlotte of Mexico and thought that del Río was the ideal actress for the role instead of Bette Davis, who starred in the film Juarez (1939). Del Río with María Félix in La Cucaracha (1959)
In 1951, Dolores starred in Doña Perfecta, in which she was acclaimed for her great dramatic representation. The same year, she return to the United States and moved to the growing television industry. Her first appearance was in a play on a live called Trio By The Limplight issued by the CBS. She won the Silver Ariel twice more times in 1951 and 1953. In 1959, the Mexican film director Ismael Rodríguez brought Dolores del Río and the Mexican film star María Félix together in one film: La Cucaracha. The newspapers speculated a strong rivalry between the two actresses, both considered the maximum female stars of the Mexican Cinema.
In 1949, in Acapulco, Dolores met Lewis "Lou" Riley, a theatrical American businessman and a former member of the Hollywood Canteen. The couple immediately began an affair that ended in marriage in 1959 in New York. McCarthyism
In 1934, del Río, along with other Mexican film stars of Hollywood like Ramón Novarro and Lupe Vélez, was accused of promoting Communism in California. This happened after the mentioned film stars attended to a special screening of the Sergei Eisenstein's film ¡Que viva México!, copies of which were claimed to have been edited by Joseph Stalin, and a film which promoted nationalist sentiment with socialist overtones. In the same year, her refusal to shoot the film Viva Villa!, accusing her of being an "anti-Mexican" film, turned on the red lights of the anti-communists in the film industry. In Hollywood she was associated with alleged communist figures such as the Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles. Twenty years later, this would have consequences for her career.
In 1947, during the filming of Historia de una mala mujer, in Argentina, she befriended Evita Perón, the wife of political leader Juan Perón, who was a social activist with socialistic aspirations. She also befriended another figure associated to Communism: the Duke of Windsor.
In 1954, del Río was slated to appear in the 20th Century Fox film Broken Lance. The US government denied her permission to work in the United States, accusing her of being sympathetic to international communism. Claims of Del Rio's having "aid[ed] anti-Franco refugees from the Spanish Civil War,” were interpreted as communist leanings. She was replaced by Katy Jurado in the film and thus del Río became one of the victims of McCarthyism. Del Rio reacted by sending a letter to the US government stating: "I believe that after all this, I have nothing [for which] to reproach myself. I am a Catholic woman who only wants to live in peace with God and with men." In an interview with Louella Parsons she revealed that, "We are worried and fighting against the communism." In 1956, she was cleared to return to the United States to perform in the theatrical production of Anastacia. Later years Del Río with Elvis Presley in Flaming Star (1960)
With the decline of the Mexican cinema during the fifties and sixties, Dolores del Río opted for work in theatre. Del Rio decided to prepare her with the acting coach Stella Adler, one of the leading figures of the Actors Studio. Dolores debuted on Broadway with the classic stage play Anastasia in 1956. Del Río's debut on the Mexican stages was in Lady Windermere's Fan in 1958.
In 1960 Dolores del Río finally returned to Hollywood. She starred with Elvis Presley in Flaming Star directed by Don Siegel. Dolores had been out of Hollywood for eighteen years at this point. Presley received her with a bouquet of flowers and said: "Lady, I know exactly who you are. It's an honor to work with one of the largest and most respected legends of Hollywood. As you will be my mother in the film, I want to ask permission for my ophthalmologist make a contact lenses that mimic the color of your eyes". Del Río immediately took maternal affection to the young Presley.
Del Rio alternated between films in Mexico and in the US with television and theater. In Mexico she filmed only two films in the 1960s: El pecado de una madre (1960) and Casa de Mujeres (1967). In 1964, she appeared in the film Cheyenne Autumn directed by John Ford, with a cast that included Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, James Stewart, Gilbert Roland, Ricardo Montalbán and Sal Mineo. The death of her mother in 1961 forced her to cancel the Spanish movie Muerte en el otoño, directed by Juan Antonio Bardem. But in 1966, she returned to Spain and filmed the movie La dama del alba. She also received a proposal from Kirk Douglas to make a film about the conquest of Mexico. In addition, Federico Fellini offered her a project in Italy that never materialized. In 1967, she finally filmed in Italy, with Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif in the film More Than a Miracle. She perform the role of the mother of Sharif.
Among the shooting of her films, Dolores participated in theater projects as The Ghost Sonata (1962), Dear Liar: A Comedy of Letters (1963), La Vidente (1964), La Reina y los Rebeldes (1967) and The Lady of the Camellias (1968). The actress surprised the critics who accused her of taking advantage of her movie star status to attract box office to the theater. Her scenic performance was finally praised.
She also participated in some American TV series as Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1957), The United States Steel Hour (1958), The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1960), Spectacular Show (1963), I Spy (1965) and Branded (1966). Her last appearance on television was in a 1972 episode of Marcus Welby, M.D..
From the 1950s to the 1970s, del Río collaborated in some international film festivals like Cannes Film Festival (1957), Berlin Film Festival (1962) and San Sebastián Film Festival (1976) as a juror.
Dolores del Río's last movie was The Children of Sanchez with Anthony Quinn and Katy Jurado in 1978, directed by Hall Bartlett, making only a short appearance as the Grandma.
In 1981, del Río was honored in the San Francisco Film Critics Circle in a ceremony presided by the film directors Francis Ford Coppola and George Cukor. She chatted in a private event organized by Coppola and his family in her honor. This was her last public appearance. In 1982, Del Rio was awarded The George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. Social work
Because of her broad culture, Dolores del Rio was always in favor of cultural causes in her native Mexico. In 1966, she was co-founder of the Society for the Protection of the Artistic Treasures of Mexico with the philanthropist Felipe García Beraza. The society was responsible for protecting buildings, paintings and other works of art and culture in México. In 1972, she helped found the Cultural Festival Cervantino in Guanajuato.
During the 1970s, Dolores del Río founded and directed the union group "Rosa Mexicano" ("Mexican Rose"), one of the most momentous groups in the history of the National Association of Actors of Mexico (ANDA). The purpose of this group is to protect the children and female artists. On January 8, 1970, Dolores, in collaboration with other renowned Mexican actresses, founded this faction, which has as one of its greatest achievements the creation of a day nursery for the children of the members of the Mexican Actor's Guild.
The story of the founding of this place goes back to a desire cherished by the Mexican actress Fanny Schiller, who observed the need of the actresses to work while educating their children, and conceived of creating a day nursery located in front at the offices of the ANDA. Once created the group "Rosa Mexicano", Dolores del Río and other actresses felt the need to continue the ideas of Fanny Schiller. The day nursery was opened in 1971. Dolores served as her president since its founding, until 1981. After the death of Dolores, the day nursery adopted the official name of Estancia Infantil Dolores del Río" ("Dolores del Río's Day Nursery"), and even today remains in office. Personal life Current view of the facade of the house of Dolores del Río ("La Escondida") in Coyoacan, Mexico City
In 1921, del Río married Mexican socialite Jaime Martínez del Río, belonging to one of the most distinguished families in Mexico and several years older than her. Dolores was pregnant with her husband in 1924, but suffered a miscarriage that led her to not to try to get pregnant at risk of losing her life. Her marriage came to end in 1928 when del Río had achieved success in film. Her husband, completely disgusted with standing in his wife’s shadow, left for New York where he planned to collaborate on a stage play. After the unfortunate failure of Jaime’s play in New York, he wrote that he wouldn't be returning to Los Angeles but would go to Europe instead. Dolores decided to get a divorce. Months later, Dolores received an urgent telegram informing her of Jaime’s illness in Germany. However, by the time she received the news, he was already dead. Some rumors were that it was suicide by poison.
From 1930 to 1940 Dolores was married to the Art Designer at MGM, Cedric Gibbons, one of the most influential men in the Hollywood industry. The Gibbons-Del Rio couple came to be considered one of the social hubs of Hollywood in the early 1930's. They organized famous Sunday lunches at his home, a spectacular Art Deco mansion considered one of the most glamorous and modern among the Hollywood stars. Among their frequent guests were Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, Fay Wray, Constance Bennett and Marlene Dietrich. But in the late thirties, Gibbons's professional commitments caused a rift between the couple. In 1938 Dolores met and fell in love with Orson Welles. She sought a divorce from Gibbons in 1940.
Dolores attended a party given by Jack L. Warner, where she met Orson Welles and fell completely under his spell. Ten years younger than del Río, Welles had been in love with her ever since seeing Bird of Paradise when he was 17 years old. At first, their relationship was very discreet and not showing themselves in public. They were accompanied by Charles Chaplin or Marlene Dietrich, who were friends of both. Dolores moved out of Gibbons house and asked for a divorce in March 1940. Her relationship of four years with Welles came to an end in 1943 because, among other things, due to the infidelities of Welles. Del Río returned to México in 1943, and Welles married Rita Hayworth (who was already called in Hollywood "the new Dolores del Rio") shortly after. Welles was reunited with Dolores during a visit to Mexico in 1946, where he told her that his marriage to Hayworth was totally unhappy. However, Dolores only offered her support and a sincere friendship. Dolores del Río and Orson Welles after the premiere of Citizen Kane (1941)
In 1954 Rebecca Welles, the daughter of Welles and Hayworth, traveled to Mexico with the intention to meet Dolores. Dolores received kindly at her home in Acapulco, where the young girl celebrated her 18th birthday party. Rebecca said shortly after their meeting: "My father considered this woman as the great love of his life. She was a sort of living legend in the history of my family". According to Rebecca, her father had an obsession for Dolores until the end of his life. He took Dolores look-alikes as his third wife and as his final lover. Years later Rita Hayworth and Dolores are reunited in an event and Hayworth publically thanked the great details that del Río had with her daughter.
At different times in her life, del Río was also romantically linked to figures like the film director John Farrow, the actor Errol Flynn, the German writer Erich Maria Remarque, the Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, the Mexican film producer Archibaldo Burns and the Mexican actors Tito Junco and Fernando Casanova.
The Mexican film director Emilio Fernández, was one of the greatest admirers of Dolores. He claimed that he appeared as an extra in several films with Dolores in Hollywood. The beauty and poise of the actress had deeply impressed him. Fernández said: She looked at me, but without seeing me. Eventually she would ask me to direct her in her first film in Mexico. I fell in love with her, but she always ignored me. I adored her, really and seriously adored her. Fernandez pursued Dolores with lavish gifts. For months, he would surprise her daily a small token of affection. When there was not money for jewelry, he sent crystal glasses with fireflies trapped inside. There were some rumors as to a romance between them, although none were verified.
In 1949, Dolores met the American millionaire, adventurer and theater producer Lewis A. Riley in Acapulco. Riley was known in the middle of Hollywood cinema in the forties for being a member of the Hollywood Canteen, an organization created from movie stars to support victims in the World War II. At that time Riley lived a torrid affair with Bette Davis, who served as image of the organization. Riley settled with his brother in Acapulco late, and somehow, was crucial figure to the rise who lived Acapulco in the next decade. After ten years together, Dolores and Riley were married in New York in 1959. Dolores remained attached to Riley until the end of her life.
The house of Dolores in México City, called "La Escondida" (localized in the popular neighborhood of Coyoacán), like her home in the port of Acapulco, were very popular with Mexican and foreign celebrities, such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, María Félix, Merle Oberon, John Wayne, Nancy Oakes, Luciana Pignatelli, Helen Hayes, Edgar Neville, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, Nelson Rockefeller, the Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, Princess Soraya of Iran, and many more.
Many anecdotes exist about her rivalry with Lupe Vélez, another Mexican successful star in the 1930s Hollywood. Del Rio never understood the struggle that Velez had with her, but avoided meeting her. She hated being imitated and ridiculed by the so-called Mexican Spitfire. One source of the rivalry was the well-respected public image of del Río; Vélez could not ignore this. Velez wore spectacular costumes, but never reached the supreme elegance of del Rio. Velez was popular and had many friends and admirers, but was never accepted by the Hollywood social circle where del Rio was accepted without reservation. Velez spoke ill of del Rio, but she never mentioning her name publicly offensively. Obviously Vélez resented the success of del Rio during the years that both were in Hollywood.
The newspapers also speculated about a strong rivalry between Dolores and María Félix, the other diva of the Mexican Cinema. About this "rivalry" María Félix said in her autobiographic book: "With Dolores I don't have any rivalry. On the contrary. We were friends and we always treated each other with great respect. We were completely different. She refined, interesting, soft on the deal, and I'm more energetic, arrogant and bossy". María also said in another interview: "Dolores del Río was a Great Lady. A very intelligent and very funny woman. I want her so much and keep a beautiful memory of she". Death Grave of Dolores del Río in the Dolores Cemetery in Mexico City
Starting in the 1960s, Del Río suffered severe pains in her bones. In 1978, she was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, and in 1981 she was diagnosed with Hepatitis B following an injection of expired vitamins. In 1982, Del Río was admitted to the Medical Center of La Jolla, California, where hepatitis led to cirrhosis.
On April 11, 1983, Dolores del Río died from her liver disease at the age of 77, in Newport Beach, California. That day she had been invited to appear on the next Academy Awards Ceremony. She was cremated and her ashes were interred in the Panteón de Dolores cemetery in Mexico City, Mexico. Image
The qualities of Dolores del Río have led to her ongoing veneration, even beyond death. Since young, Dolores del Río had the intelligence to know surround personalities of the intellectual milieu. The myth of Hollywood placed her in another area, as became one of the women involved in the rebirth of the Mexican culture and customs. She met the famous group of Mexican writers and playwrights known as "Los Contemporáneos" (The Contemporaries): Jaime Torres Bodet, Xavier Villaurrutia, Celestino Gorostiza and Salvador Novo. Novo wrote her a sonnet and translated all her stage plays. She inspired Jaime Torres Bodet's novel La Estrella de Día (Star of the Day), published in 1933, which chronicles the life of an actress named Piedad, obviously inspired by Dolores. Other authors who wrote poems for here were Carlos Pellicer and Pita Amor. Carlos Monsivais and Jorge Ayala Blanco made for her a tribute book to mark the Latin American Film Festival of Huelva in 1983. Vicente Leñero was inspired by del Río to write his book Señora. In 1982, Dolores and María Félix were parodied in the Carlos Fuentes's script Orquídeas a la luz de la luna. Comedia Mexicana that was presented in Spain and at Harvard University.
The face of Dolores del Rio was also the object of veneration for many artists that used her image on their canvases. These include Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Angel Zarraga, Roberto Montenegro, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Miguel Covarrubias, Rosa Covarrubias, Antonieta Figueroa, Frances Gauner Goshman, Adolfo Best Maugard, John Carroll and Francisco Zúñiga.
Dolores del Rio was considered one of the prototypes of the classic woman style of the 1930s. According to the author Larry Carr (author of the book More Fabulous Faces), the Dolores del Río's appearance at the beginning of the '30s influenced women worldwide, but especially in Hollywood. The women imitated her style of dress and make-up. She was the precursor of a new type of beauty. According to the filmmaker Josef von Sternberg, stars as Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, Rita Hayworth and Dolores del Rio, they helped to define his concept of the glamour in Hollywood.
Joan Crawford said on a visit to Mexico in 1963:
Dolores became, and remains, as one of the most beautiful stars in the world.
Marlene Dietrich said:
Dolores del Río was The most beautiful woman who ever set foot in Hollywood
George Bernard Shaw once said:
The two most beautiful things in the world are the Taj Mahal and Dolores del Rio.
In 1978, the film critic of Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas said:
She was one of the reigning beauties of the twentieth century.
The fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli once said:
I have seen many beautiful women in here, but none as complete as Dolores del Rio!.
The Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes defined her face as "the most perfect facial bones of the Indo-Mediterranean miscegenation". The German writer Erich Maria Remarque, who compared her beauty with Greta Garbo, described that a perfect woman would be a merger between the two actresses. On one occasion, during a meeting at the home of Dolores, Garbo came to her and gently placing her little finger on the belly of del Rio, she exclaimed That magnificent navel!
Some rumors said that her diet consisted of orchid petals and that she slept 16 hours a day. However, del Rio scoffed at these claims saying: No one can live only eating flower petals. Also, I'm a woman with many occupations, how it could sleep so long, if the day only has 24 hours?
In 1952 she was awarded with the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award, and was named the best-dressed woman of America. Legacy and memorials A statue of Evangeline—fictional heroine of the poem Evangeline by Longfellow—at St. Martinville, Louisiana. The statue was donated by Dolores del Río (who also posed for it), who portrayed Evangeline in a 1929 silent film by director Edwin Carewe.
Dolores del Rio was the first Mexican to succeed in Hollywood. The others are Lupe Vélez, Katy Jurado and now, Salma Hayek.
Viewed from today's perspective, what is striking about her representation in the media are the adjectives used to describe her. They were not words like Latin bombshell, hot tamale, sultry, spitfire, or hot cha cha. Rather, they were words like sophisticated, aristocratic, refined elegance, glamorous, sedate and "ladylike". Also surprising is the extent to which the references to her clothes often matched these adjectives and how she, nonetheless, retained her Latin-ness, i.e., her Mexican origins in the coverage. Consequently, given this picture of Mexican segregation, some might find it surprising to find any major Mexican stars at the box office during this period and to find them depicted in the way Dolores del Río was.
The same del Río expressed her feeling about her role as Mexican in Hollywood shortly after her arrival in the United States:
Hollywood needs a high-society Mexican woman, one who may have been exposed to foreign culture and customs through travel, but who maintains our customs and the traces of our Mexican land. And then the vulgar picturesque type, so damaging because it falsities our image, will disappear naturally .... This is my goal in Hollywood: all my efforts are turned toward filling this gap in the cinema .... If I achieve this it will the height of my artistic ambition and perhaps a small glory for Mexico.
The "Four Ladies of Hollywood" gazebo at the western border of the Walk of Fame: Del Río, Dorothy Dandridge, Anna May Wong and Mae West
Dolores del Río's career highlights the potential for Latina agency and negotiation through Hollywood film, but has also sparked the myth of the Hollywood Latina as a racialized and sexualized mediator in Hollywood film. Current stars Salma Hayek, Jennifer Lopez, Eva Mendes, and Penélope Cruz follow in the footsteps of the trailblazing Dolores del Rio.
Dolores del Río was the model of the statue of Evangeline—fictional heroine of the poem Evangeline by Longfellow—at St. Martinville, Louisiana. The statue was donated by del Río.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1630 Vine Street, in recognition of her contributions to the motion picture industry. Dolores del Río has also a statue at Hollywood-La Brea Boulevard in Los Angeles, designed by Catherine Hardwicke built to honor the multi-ethnic leading ladies of the cinema together with Mae West (multi-ethnic), Dorothy Dandridge (African-American) and Anna May Wong (Asian-American). Del Río has also a mural painted on the east side of Hudson Avenue just north of Hollywood Boulevard painted by the Mexican-American artist Alfredo de Batuc. Del Río is one of the entertainers displayed in the mural "Portrait of Hollywood", designed in 2002 by the artist Eloy Torrez in the Hollywood High School.
In Durango, Mexico, her hometown, one of the most important avenues named after her.
Del Río is one of the celebrities who appear in vintage footages in the Woody Allen's film Zelig (1983).
Since 1983, the society Periodistas Cinematográficos de México (Mexican Film Journalists) (PECIME) has been giving the Diosa de Plata "Dolores del Río" Award for the best dramatic female performance.
She was interpreted by the actress Lucy Cohu in the TV film RKO 281 in 1999.
In 2005, on the centenary of her birth, her remains were moved to the Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres in Mexico City. Filmography Main article: Dolores del Río filmography Notes
Mary Beltrán, ''Latina/o stars in U.S. eyes: the making and meanings of film and TV stardom''. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-17. Torres (2004), p. 11 Torres (2004), p. 12 colegio francés Torres (2004), p. 14 Torres (2004), p. 17 "Welcome to the Austin Film Society! - Austin Film Society". Austinfilm.org. Retrieved 2014-06-17. Franco Dunne (2003), p. 14 "The First Latina to Conquer Hollywood | Film International". Filmint.nu. Retrieved 2014-06-17. Torres (2004), p. 22 Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 24-25 From Hollywood and back: Dolores del Río, a transnational star Ramón 1997, vol. 1, p. 28 Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 34 Torres (2004), p. 32 Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 47 filmint.nu Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 53-54 Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 48: She claimed "Mexican reasons." "SCREEN NOTES". New York Times. 27 Apr 1935. p. 21. Morin, Relman (November 19, 1935). "DeMille Gets Lots of Help Naming Samson and Delilah Characters in His Picture". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 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Ramón (1997), vol. 2, p. 59-60 Ramón (1997), vol. 2, p. 52 Ramón (1997),vol. 3, p. 14,31,34,38 Ramón (1997),vol. 3, p. 34-35 "12th Berlin International Film Festival: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-02-01. Ramón (1997),vol. 2, p. 49-50; vol. 3, p. 9-10, 48-49 Ramón (1997),vol. 2, p. 49-50; vol. 3, p. 54 http://www.eastmanhouse.org/museum/awards.php Ramón (1997), vol. 3, p. 20 Ramón (1997),vol. 3 p. 41-42: Realized in Guanajuato, México since 1972 "Dolores del Río: La Mexicana Divina", Revista SOMOS México, 2002, ed.Televisa, p.67 Ramón (1997),vol. 2, p. 49-50; vol. 3, p. 37-39 "Dolores del Río: El Rostro del Cine Mexicano", Revista SOMOS México, 1994, ed.Televisa, p.85-86 Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 56 B. Hall (2013),p. 177 Ramón (1997),vol. 3 p.11 B. Hall (2013),p. 203 "Secret Marriage Denial.". The Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW: National Library of Australia). 25 October 1932. p. 1. Retrieved 3 March 2012. "SCREEN SHORTS.". 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(1979), p. 229: ": Cited by Carlos Monsivais and Jorge Ayala Blanco in the Huelva Iberoamerican Film Festival in 1981 Lazaro Sarmiento (2013-04-16). "''Buena suerte viviendo: Dolores del Río''". Lazarosarmiento.blogspot.mx. Retrieved 2014-06-17. Ramón (1997), vol. 3, p. 19-20 Ramón (1997), vol. 1, p. 53 Riva, Maria (1994). Marlene Dietrich. Ballantine Books. pp. 458, 492. ISBN 0-345-38645-0. B. Hall (2013), p. 4 [dead link] Ramón (1997), vol. 3, p. 50 SOMOS:Dolores del Río: El Rostro del Cine Mexicano. Editorial Televisa. 1995. p. 26. Franco Dunne (2003), p. 7 Theodoracopulos, Taki (2007-03-09). "All Quiet on the K Street Front – Taki's Magazine". Takimag.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. María Idalia "Dolores del Río se retira del cine" Cinema Reporter no. 290 pp. 11 (1948) Reyes, Rubie, Luis, Peter (1994). Hispanics in Hollywood: An Encyclopedia of Film and Television. Garland. p. 19. ISBN 0815308272. Carr. (1979) Revista Somos: Katy Jurado:Estrella de Hollywood orgullosamente mexicana. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 1999. p. 19. "Alfredo de Batuc". Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles. Retrieved 19 August 2010. Deoima, Kate. "Hollywood High School." About.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2010. Johnson, Reed. "A marriage as a work of art; Eloy Torrez paints with intensity. Margarita Guzman assists with a sense of calm. But it was her brush with death that helped him see his work in a new light." Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2003. E48. Sunday Calendar, Part E, Calendar Desk. Retrieved on March 23, 2010. "HOLLYWOOD HIGH: Eloy Torrez and his mural on an east-facing wall of the..." Boulevard Dolores del Río, Durango, MX
B. Hall, Linda (2013). Dolores del Río Beauty in Light and Shade. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804784078. Beltrán, Mary (2009). Latina/o stars in U.S. eyes: the making and meanings of film and TV stardom. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252076510. Carr, Larry (1979). More Fabulous Faces: The Evolution and Metamorphosis of Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Dolores del Río, Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy. Doubleday and Company. ISBN 0-385-12819-3. Félix, María (1993). Todas mis Guerras. Clío. ISBN 9686932089. Franco Dunn, Cinta (2003). Grandes Mexicanos Ilustres: Dolores del Río (Great Illustrious Mexicans: Dolores del Río). Promo Libro. ISBN 84-492-0329-5. McNulty, Thomas (2004). Errol Flynn: The Life and Career. McFarland. ISBN 9780786417506. Moreno., Luis (2002). Rostros e Imagenes (Faces and Images). Editorial Celuloide. ISBN 9789709338904. Ramón, David (1997). Dolores del Río. Editorial Clío. ISBN 968-6932-35-6. Revista Somos: Dolores del Río: El Rostro del Cine Mexicano. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 1995. Revista Somos: Dolores del Río: La Mexicana Divina. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 2002. Revista Somos: Katy Jurado: Estrella de Hollywood orgullosamente mexicana. Editorial Televisa S.A de C.V. 1999. Reyes, Luis, Rubie, Peter (1994). Hispanics in Hollywood: An Encyclopedia of Film and Television. Garland. ISBN 0815308272. Riva, Maria (1994). Marlene Dietrich. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-38645-0. Torres, Jose Alejandro (2004). Los Grandes Mexicanos: Dolores del Río (The Greatest Mexicans: Dolores del Río). Grupo Editorial Tomo, S.A. de C.V. ISBN 970-666-997-3. Tuñón, Julia (2003). The Cinema of Latin America. Wallflower Press. ISBN 9780231501941.
Agrasánchez Jr., Rogelio (2001). Bellezas del cine mexicano/Beauties of Mexican Cinema. Archivo Fílmico Agrasánchez. ISBN 968-5077-11-8. Bodeen, DeWitt (1976). From Hollywood: The Careers of 15 Great American Stars. Oak Tree. ISBN 0498013464. E. Fey, Ingrid., Racine, Karen (2000). Strange Pilgrimages: Exile, Travel, and National Identity in Latin America, 1800-1990s: "So Far from God, So Close to Hollywood: Dolores del Río and Lupe Vélez in Hollywood, 1925-1944,". Wilmington, Delaware, Scholarly Resources. ISBN 0-8420-2694-0. Hershfield, Joanne (2000). The invention of Dolores del Río. University of Minnesota. ISBN 0-8166-3410-6. Lacob, Adrian (2014). Film Actresses Vol.23 Dolores Del Rio, Part 1. On Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space. ISBN 9781502987686. Mendible, Myra (2010). From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-77849-X. Nericcio, William (2007). Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-71457-2. Parish, James Robert (2002). Hollywood divas: the good, the bad, and the fabulous. Contemporary Books. ISBN 9780071408196. Parish, James Robert (2008). The Hollywood beauties. Arlington House. ISBN 9780870004124. Ramón, David (1993). Dolores del Río: Historia de un rostro (Dolores del Río: Story of a Face). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, CCH Dirección Plantel Sur. ISBN 9789686717099. Rivera Viruet, Rafael J.; Resto, Max (2008). Hollywood: Se Habla Español. Terramax Entertainment. ISBN 0-981-66500-4. Rodriguez, Clara E. (2004). Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-33513-9. Ruíz, Vicki; Sánchez Korrol, Virginia (2006). Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1 1. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34681-9. Shipman, David (1995). The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years. Little Brown and Co. ISBN 0-316-78487-7. Taibo, Paco Ignacio (1999). Dolores Del Río: mujer en el volcán (Dolores del Río: Woman in the Volcano). GeoPlaneta, Editorial, S. A. ISBN 9789684068643.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dolores del Rio.
Dolores del Río at the Internet Movie Database Dolores del Río at AllMovie Dolores del Río at the TCM Movie Database Dolores del Río at the Cinema of Mexico site of the ITESM (Spanish) The Dolores del Rio mural 1990 by artist Alfredo de Batuc, 6529 Hollywood Boulevard + Hudson St, Los Angeles, California Dolores Del Rio statue on Hollywood-La Brea Boulevard Photographs of Dolores Del Rio
María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López Negrete's Timeline
August 3, 1905
Durango, Durango, Mexico
April 11, 1983
Newport Beach, Orange County, California, United States