María Félix (born María de los Ángeles Félix Guerena in Sonora, México) was a Mexican actress.
Commonly known, particularly in her later years, by the honorific La Doña she was one of the leading figures of the golden era of the Cinema of Mexico.
Her father, Bernard Félix, was a descendant of Yaqui Indians and her mother, Josefina Guerreau, was of Spanish Basque blood, educated in a convent at Pico Heights, California.
Her beauty and flamboyant personality propelled her to international fame and icon status, in movies like Woman Without a Soul and La Generala.
She refused to work in Hollywood unless she made her grand entrance from the "big door" and not the small roles offered by Cecil de Mille. Maria replied "I was not born to carry a basket".
Marilyn Monroe went to the set of "La Cucaracha" in 1962 in Taxco, Mexico to visit Roberto Rodriguez, the film's director, with whom Marilyn was having an affair at the time. Marilyn did meet Katy Jurado, one of the film's star, but the Mexican Diva Maria Felix never left her trailer to greet her. Marilyn did buy a vast amount of furniture and household goods from her Mexican trip for her newly bought home in Brentwood. Unfortunately, the items arrived after her death.
Although she worked in French and Italian films as well as in the Mexican cinema, her poor command of the English language prevented her from working in Hollywood. She therefore lost the leading role of Pearl Chavez in the 1945 film Duel in the Sun, which was written with her in mind, to Jennifer Jones; as a result, she never achieved the fame in the USA that she achieved in Latin America and Europe.
According to historian John A. Crow in The Epic of Latin America, her intimate relationship with married Mexican president Miguel Aleman Valdes created somewhat of a scandal. She was active in the women's auxiliary of the PRI.
She died on April 8, 2002 in Mexico City of congestive heart failure.
The great composer Agustin Lara wrote for her the famous song María Bonita. They were married for a time. Juan Gabriel wrote Maria de Todas Las Marias for her.
Besides being striking, elegant, and intelligent, she had a quick wit and had "the heart of a man". Some examples of popular sayings made famous by Maria Felix include:
"What's given is given" when jewelers attempted to confiscate her wedding ring given to her by her deceased husband Jorge Negrete. At the time of his death he still had been making payments on it.
"In life it is not enough to be beautiful, but know how to be beautiful".
"Others have seen less and paid more". Statement given to fans and the press as she exited from just having performed a short musical set in Bogota, Colombia.
"Oh that's OK boys, to have waited for me" Maria's response to Argentine reporters' reaction on her being two hours late to the press conference.
When reporters would ask her age: "I don't count the years, I only limit myself to living them"
"Look, young lady, I have been very busy living my life and I've not had time to count it."
"No, I don't fear getting old, but something more dangerous: the downfall of a woman. I don't fear gray hairs nor wrinkles, but the disinterest in living life".
"Diva is something made up, but I was not fabricated, life made me and it possibly made me very well".
"In life I consider success inferior to celebrity. Success can be attained by many people, celebrity touches you and supports you through life".
"Money is important in life. It does not give you happiness, we all know, but it sure calms the nerves".
"My enemies are many and are bad; my friends are few and good".
"Women will never be like men, although sometimes there are men with the heart of a woman. From the beginning of time, men have taken the largest piece of the pie. I have the heart of a man and that's why things have been good for me".
"Don't give me advice, I can make mistakes alone".
"The stars of today have no star-power and the actresses of today are disposable. They are models that can't even speak".
"Maria, do you think you are a Queen Bee?" Maria responds "No, young lady, I am".
"Maria, are you the most beautiful women in Mexico?" Maria responds "you know I am not humble".
"Some friends have told me that pearls make people cry. The only pearls that have made me cry were the fake ones".
"My job has been to be attractive".
"A man has never made my life difficult, because I have never bet all my chips on only one man".
"If they compare you to the Virgin Maria, you always come out losing".
Felix's legendary career started in 1940, when she was discovered by Fernando Palacios, who cast her in his film, El Peñón de las Ánimas. Despite the fact that she believed she was not prepared for the role, she accepted.
El Peñón de las Animas, which placed her alongside Jorge Negrete, the number-one actor in Mexico at the time, catapulted her to fame. Throughout her long career she acted in 47 movies.
1940 – 1945
El Peñón de las Ánimas
La China Poblana
La Mujer sin Alma
La Monja Alférez
El Monje Blanco
1946 – 1949
La Mujer de Todos
La Diosa Arrodillada
Que Dios Me Perdone
Una Mujer Cualquiera
1950 – 1954
La Noche del Sábado
La Corona Negra
La Pasión Desnuda
1955 – 1959
La Bella Otero
Los Héroes Están Fatigados
Canasta de Cuentos Mexicanos
Tizoc: Amor Indio
Flor de Mayo
Miércoles de Ceniza
La Estrella Vacía
Si Yo Fuera Millonario
Amor y sexo
Date of birth
There is an ongoing dispute regarding Ms. Félix's date of birth. There is a large (but not unanimous) opinion (shared by IMDb) that she was born on April 8, 1914, which means that she died on her 88th birthday. However, her obituary in the New York Times states that she was born on May 4, 1914, which would have made her 87 at the time of her death.
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