Dolores del Rio Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (18)  | Personal Quotes (15)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in Durango, Mexico
Died in Newport Beach, California, USA  (liver failure)
Birth NameDolores Martínez Asúnsolo y López Negrete
Nickname Lolita
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dolores del Rio was the one of the first Mexican movie stars with international appeal and who had meteoric career in the 1920s/1930s Hollywood. Del Rio came from an aristocratic family in Durango. In the Mexican revolution of 1916, however, the family lost everything and emigrated to Mexico City, where Dolores became a socialite. In 1921 she married Jaime Del Río (also known as Jaime Martínez Del Río), a wealthy Mexican, and the two became friends with Hollywood producer/director Edwin Carewe, who "discovered" del Rio and invited the couple to move to Hollywood where they launched careers in the movie business (she as an actress, Jaime as a screenwriter). Eventually they divorced after Carewe cast her in her first film Joanna (1925), followed by High Steppers (1926), and Pals First (1926). She had her first leading role in Carewe's silent version of Pals First (1926) and soared to stardom in 1928 with Carewe's Ramona (1928). The film was a success and del Rio was hailed as a female Rudolph Valentino. Her career continued to rise with the arrival of sound in the drama/romance Bird of Paradise (1932) and hit musical Flying Down to Rio (1933). She later married Cedric Gibbons, the well-known art director and production designer at MGM studios.

Dolores returned to Mexico in 1942. Her Hollywood career was over, and a romance with Orson Welles--who later called her "the most exciting woman I've ever met"--caused her second divorce. Mexican director Emilio Fernández offered her the lead in his film Wild Flower (1943), with a wholly unexpected result: at age 37, Dolores del Río became the most famous movie star in her country, filming in Spanish for the first time. Her association with Fernández' team (cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, writer Mauricio Magdaleno and actor Pedro Armendáriz) was mainly responsible for creating what has been called the Golden Era of Mexican Cinema. With such pictures as Maria Candelaria (1944), The Abandoned (1945) and Bugambilia (1945), del Río became the prototypical Mexican beauty. career included film, theater and television. In her last years she received accolades because of her work for orphaned children. Her last film was The Children of Sanchez (1978).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Maximiliano Maza

Family (2)

Spouse Lewis Riley (24 November 1959 - 11 April 1983)  (her death)
Cedric Gibbons (6 August 1930 - 17 January 1941)  (divorced)
Jaime Del Rio (11 April 1921 - 7 June 1928)  (divorced)
Parents Jesús Leonardo Asúnsolo Jacques
Antonia López-Negrete

Trivia (18)

She won the Ariel Award (Mexican Academy Award) three times: in 1946 for The Abandoned (1945); in 1952 for Doña Perfecta (1951) and in 1954 for El niño y la niebla (1953).
She contributed money to a statue likeness of her as the title character in Evangeline (1929). Upon completion in 1930, the statue was placed beside St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, Louisiana. The statue rests on a spot marking the alleged burial place of Emmeline Labiche, who local lore claims was the inspiration behind Longfellow's tragic heroine. It has become a popular tourist attraction and is known as "The Evangeline Statue".
Friends with Marlene Dietrich, who considered Dolores "the most beautiful woman in Hollywood".
Often considered the female Rudolph Valentino, "the female Latin Lover".
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1957
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1962
Reportedly slept for 16 hours a day to maintain her beauty.
Following her death, she was cremated and interred at Panteon Civil de Delores in Mexico City, Mexico, specifically on the Rotunda of Illustrious Persons. She passed away on April 11, 1983, four months away from what would have been her 79th birthday on August 3.
In February 1934, it was announced in the press that Dolores Del Rio was tired of playing native girl roles and has bobbed her hair, had a permanent and put on swanky clothes for her upcoming RKO Radio Picture Dance of Desire. The movie eventually never was made.
When asked for his autograph later in life, Vincent Price would often sign her name. When asked why, Price would say that he promised her on her deathbed he would do his best to keep her name alive.
Along with legendary actresses Sara García and Andrea Palma, she became one of the first leading ladies of Mexican cinema.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1630 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Second actress, after María Félix, to win three Ariel Awards for Best Actress (1946, 1952, 1954). She also received nominations on two other occasions (1947, 1951), making her a five-time nominee. In 1975, she won a Special Ariel Award for her career.
Grand-aunt of actor Adam Del Rio.
Wampas Baby Star of 1926.
On August 19, 2020, she was honored with a day of her filmography during the Turner Classic Movies Summer Under the Stars.
She was very proud of her Spanish-Mexican roots. Her father's family, the Asúnsolos, was of Spanish Basque origin. Her mother's family, the López-Negretes, was mixed-race and had both Spanish and Toltec ancestors. The Toltecs were a Mesoamerican civilization that lived in what is now the State of Hidalgo, Mexico.

Personal Quotes (15)

[in the 1920s] Hollywood, what a place it is! It is so far away from the rest of the world, so narrow. No one thinks of anything but motion pictures or talks of anything else. And, I, too, am getting like the rest. I have not read anything for a year. I do not know what is happening in the world.
Take care of your inner beauty, your spiritual beauty, and that will reflect in your face. We have the face we created over the years. Every bad deed, every bad fault will show on your face. God can give us beauty and genes can give us our features, but whether that beauty remains or changes is determined by our thoughts and deeds.
When I returned to Mexico, I joined with people eager to create the Mexican cinema. We were full of dreams and had no money whatsoever, but we were able to achieve something and open markets for our films all over the world.
[on the transition from silent to sound films] Many big stars didn't survive. Their voices were too high, or they didn't speak English well enough. I survived, but it was difficult. I had to work very, very hard at my English.
My first beauty rule is to relax completely for 20 minutes each day without interruption-no matter what! I lie flat on the floor and "let go", relaxing completely from the toes up. Consequently, at 5 o'clock, when everyone else is tired out I'm full of energy.
One of the legends you hear about me is that I sleep 16 hours a day. That is ridiculous. In the first place, it's physically impossible. Secondly, someone else would have to do my work . . . on the stage, in motion pictures . . . managing my home. I sleep nine hours.
[in 1960] The secret of youth is work, keep busy, and never be bored. Boredom is the only thing that ages you. You don't have to be young to be a star; today there's acting for all ages. Last year I tried the legitimate stage, have now done three plays. When I was a star in Hollywood, I had hundreds of offers from Broadway, but never took them seriously. Thoughts of facing an audience appalled me. Now I feel it's the ideal medium for an actress. I work in television also but don't love it; I do it as a sort of discipline.
That story about 14 hours' sleep is an exaggeration. I do have eight hours of sleep a night, however, and short naps whenever I can manage them in the daytime.
I've never dieted in my life. Don't believe in it. Diets ruin a woman's health and appearance. Her face suffers. She looks drawn and haggard. I eat regular meals and eat anything and everything. Moderation is the key. I may eat cake; but I eat only a small slice.
Personally, I buy only what suits me. In the daytime I dress very simply, but after 7 p.m. I dress dramatically. I usually wear a tiny nose veil on a cocktail hat. Men love it, and it seems to suit my face and personality.
Beauty does not come with creams and lotions and all those silly things. It comes with good digestion, moderation in eating, a discipline in life. Beauty comes from the inside out. Creams are a waste of money if you don't take care of your health.
A woman must be soignee. To be neat in every aspect requires considerable organization. But to me, that is more important than being fashionable!
We have a public, the power to influence, and we have an enormous responsibility to use this influence. We have awakened to this responsibility in Mexico. We even have an actress, María Elena Marqués, who is a congresswoman. She works terribly hard and is up at 6 o'clock, not to go to a studio, but to work for the people of her district.
[on Journey Into Fear (1943)] Orson insisted I play this role. He said he was unable to see anyone else in it, and after reading the part I became equally enthusiastic. I wear no glamorous gowns in the film. My main costume is a battered raincoat.
On my father's side I have [Spanish] Basque blood. The Asúnsolos became Mexicans three generations ago; it seems that in Basque the surname means field of nettles. On my mother's side I am a mestiza, with drops of Toltec blood. The Negretes already existed in the 15th century in the mountains of Santander [in Spain]; it seems that they were warriors. I inherited something from them. My love for art comes from the Toltecs, I suppose.

Salary (1)

The Bad One (1930) $9,000 /week

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