Easily one of the most beautiful women of her era and one of the most gorgeous people ever to make it to the ranks of film stardom. Del Rio's career in the 1920s and 30s unfortunately suffered from to...
Starred in film, "Girl of the Rio", which drew formal protest from the Mexican government for portraying the Mexican system of justice as "a reflection of who could pay the most for the verdict of their liking"
Returned to Mexico; signed contract giving her a percentage of the profits from her films
Beauty ranked second only to Garbo's by famed photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene in August issue of Photoplay magazine
One-shot return to Hollywood at John Ford's request; played opposite Henry Fonda in Ford's "The Fugitive"
Journeyed to England to star in "Accused"
Appeared in first American film in nearly a dozen years, opposite Anthony Quinn in "The Children of Sanchez"; also her last
Painter friend Adolfo Best Maugard brought honeymooning director Edwin Carewe and his wife Mary Aiken and married film stars Claire Windsor and Bert Lytell to visit Del Rios; Carewe offered Del Rio a Hollywood contract
Criticized during the McCarthy era of the 1950s for having aided anti-Franco refugees from the Spanish Civil War
Debuted on Mexican stage in Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windemere's Fan", which she had filmed in Buenos Aires in 1948
Selected as one of 13 WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) "Baby Stars" of the year
Arrived in Hollywood August 27
Family fled to Mexico City to escape Pancho Villa
Under contract to RKO in early 1930s
Began taking dancing lessons from noted dancer Felipa Lopez (date approximate)
Made US TV debut in "Old Spanish Custom", an episode of the "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
Returned to Hollywood; played Elvis Presley's mother in "Flaming Star"
Debuted onstage in New England summer stock touring production of "Anastasia"
Voice first heard on film in part-talkie, "Evangeline"
After small parts in four films, played first important lead in "What Price Glory?"
Film acting debut in "Joanna"
Easily one of the most beautiful women of her era and one of the most gorgeous people ever to make it to the ranks of film stardom. Del Rio's career in the 1920s and 30s unfortunately suffered from too many exotic, two-dimensional roles designed with Hollywood's cliched ideas of ethnic minorities in mind. Her best-remembered film from this period is "Flying Down to Rio" (1933), which partnered Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for the first time. One of her more interesting parts was her last American lead, in "Journey Into Fear" (1942), set up by and co-starring Del Rio's then paramour, Orson Welles. It took a return to the stage and screen in her native Mexico (where she won that country's equivalent of a Best Actress Oscar four times and was lauded as "the first lady of Mexican theater") and later Hollywood character parts (e.g., in John Ford's "The Fugitive" 1947 and his "Cheyenne Autumn" 1964) for her talent to be fully displayed.
Jamie Martinez Del Rio
married early in 1921 when Dolores was 15; 18 years her senior; divorced in December 1928; died soon thereafter after an operation in Berlin
Antonia Lopez Negrete de Asunsolo
descended from the Toltecs; died 1962
from a prominent Spanish-Basque family in Chihuahua; director of the Bank of Durango; died 1940
had long association with MGM; reportedly was bisexual; married in 1930; divorced in 1941
popular star of 1920s and early 30s; born February 6, 1899; found murdered October 31, 1968; second cousin
Dated Del Rio c. 1939-1942 while she was married to Cedric Gibbons ; acted together in the film, "Journey into Fear" (1942)
Convent of St Joseph
"I tried to interest my producers in stories about Mexico. I wanted to play a Mexican. But they preferred me to play a Frenchwoman or Polynesian ... There was a strong resistance to dwelling on a performer's national heritage." --Del Rio recalling her years in Hollywood, quoted in "Hispanic Hollywood" by George Hadley-Garcia
"As a beauty, Delores Del Rio is in a class with Garbo. Then she opens her mouth and becomes Minnie Mouse." --quoted attributed to John Ford