Saturday, 3 August 2013

The glorious Dolores

Dolores del Rio, camp icon (name-checked by Robert Preston in his tumultuous Shady Dame from Seville number in Victor Victoria), Latin lover (she bedded several stars, including Errol Flynn and Orson Welles, and quite possibly Freda Kahlo), Art Deco symbol. And our namesake!

Facts about Senorita del Rio:
  • She was born María de los Dolores Asúnsolo y López Negrete, to an aristocratic Spanish family who had settled in Mexico.
  • In the 1920s the King of Spain Alfonso XIII was so taken by (the then teenage) Dolores' beauty that he found many reasons for her to visit his palace, so much so that Queen Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg became jealous and gossip flew around the court.
  • She was "discovered" by a Hollywood director while dancing a tango at a party, and began her movie career in silent films in 1925.
  • Senorita del Rio - often known as "the female Valentino" - was one of the few major stars to transfer successfully to talkies, and her film and theatre career in Hollywood and Mexico (despite blacklisting in the McCarthy era) spanned six decades.
  • She married three times, but her most notorious relationship was with the aforementioned young Orson Welles in the 30s.
She was fabulous...

In Caliente

Dolores del Rio (3rd August 1905 – 11th April 1983)

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