Monday, December 3, 2012

Dolores Del Rio

Dolores Del Rio
The Latin movie beauty was born Lolita Dolores Martinez Asunsola Lopez Negrette in Durango, Mexico, on August 3, 1905. She lived in Durango on a huge family-owned ranch until she was four years old. Her father, a banker, was forced to flee with his wife and daughter to Mexico City to escape the revolutionary Pancho Villa.

Dolores was educated in Mexico's capital cit at the Convent of Saint Joseph and, was the custom among the class-conscious Mexicans,  presented to the king and queen of Spain while on a European trip in 1919.

Two years later Dolores married Jamie Del Rio, an attorney eighteen years her senior. Soon after, Hollywood director Edwin Carewe while vising saw her dancing at a home party and offered her a chance to act in his film Joanna in 1925. It was unheard of for a girl with her background to consider a theatrical career, but her mother and husband felt it might be fun. Only Dolores took the idea seriously. She was brokenhearted when most of her footage was edited out of her first two pictures. She was treated much better in the next two: Whole Town's Talking, and Pals First, both in 1926. Then she won the role of Charmine in the blockbuster What Price glory. Although it was a man's picture she did not go unnoticed. Even in an industry and city steeped in glamor and beauty Dolores Del Rio was a standout. She appeared with Rod La Rocque in Resurrection in 1927.

By the time she appeared in the title role of Ramona, she had succeeded in becoming an important star while at the same time her marriage had come apart and her director had fallen in love with her. Carewe's wife was suing him for divorce, and Hollywood expected him to marry Dolores. But before she could obtain a divorce from Del Rio he died suddenly. Many felt Del Rio's spirit had been broken by his role as Del Rio's husband. But it was all academic. Dolores made Evangeline in 1929 with Carewe and then broke with him completely.

In talkies, Dolores's weakness as an actress was somewhat more obvious but she more than made up for that with her beauty and voice, which was also heard in song. some of her American sound pictures were Bird of Paradise, 1932, Flying down to Rio, and Caliente.

Her ten year marriage to set designer Cedric Gibbons ended in 1941, whereupon she entered into an affair with Orson Wells. She made Journey into Fear in 1942, with him as director and costar. Their relationship ended shortly afterward and he married Rita Hayworth. In the next eighteen years Dolores made only one Hollywood film, The Fugitive in 1947. She became very active in South American and Mexican production.
Del Rio in the 1930s
In 1960 she played Elvis Presley's mother in Flaming Star, Since her return to Hollywood she had appeared several times on television series, such as More Than a Miracle in 1967.

Dolores Del Rio traveled a great deal and remained a big star in Mexico, where she won four Arieles (Oscars), In Spain, where she picked up Spain's Oscar, the Quixote, and in South America where she also appeared on stage.

Although her acting skills improved considerably throughout the 1930s,
Dolores is best remembered for her dazzling  beauty, most of which she retained to a great degree that bordered on the uncanny, up until her death. She was considered the most beautiful silent actress who remained beautiful throughout life. She said that she maintained strict abstinence from smoking, drinking, and overeating. Some time in the 1960s her contemporary Aileen Pringle asked her how she could look so young, Dolores answered that she was a Yogi. (meaning she eats yogurt), She also told the drinking, smoking and wrinkled Pringle that she sleeps for twelve hours every night. 

For more details about Dolores Del Rio, including beautiful photographs CLICK HERE!

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