Maria Felix aka “La Doña” (Sonora, April 8, 1914—Mexico City, April 8
While certainly possessing the looks to be a major star, Felix got into the movies purely by chance. One day as she was walking downtown a man asked her if she wouldn’t like to be an actress. He was an engineer –and later director–by the name of Fernando Palacios. His encouragement led to her to get into the profession in a big way, ultimately starring in 47 movies.
She debuted in El peñón de las ánimas (The Rock of Souls), opposite leading man Jorge Negrete. The pair intensely hated each other from the start. While rehearsing a dance, Jorge asked her: “I’m curious, who did you sleep with to get the starring role?” “You’ve been in the business longer,” she answered, “So you must know who you have to sleep with to be a star.” Jorge Negrete would later be the actress’ third husband.
Felix is considered one of the most important female figures of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. She was also considered one of the most beautiful film actresses of her time, and one of the greatest erotic myths of the Spanish-language cinema. Along with Pedro Armendáriz and Dolores del Río, she was one of the most successful figures of the Latin American cinema in the 1940s and 1950s.
She was known as La Doña, a name derived from her character in the film Doña Bárbara (1943), and María Bonita, thanks to the anthem composed exclusively for her, as a wedding gift by her second husband, the Mexican composer Agustín Lara. She completed a film career that included 47 films made in Mexico, Spain, France, Italy and Argentina.
To say La Dona was fly is the understatement of the year. I mean just check out her look: