One of the first Mexican actresses to become a Hollywood success, Lupe Vélez was aptly named "The Mexican Spitfire" due to her feisty onscreen persona that often translated behind the scenes as well. After a start as a dancer in her native Mexico, Vélez moved to Hollywood where she made her film debut in "Sailors, Beware!" (1927) and quickly landed her first major part opposite Douglas Fairbanks in "The Gaucho" (1927). From there, she starred in D.W. Griffith's "Lady of the Pavements" (1929) and Victor Fleming's "Wolf Song" (1929), which led to a highly-publicized romance with Gary Cooper. In fact, her personal life - which consisted of many affairs with the top leading men of her day - was a constant subject of press fascination and often overshadowed her work on screen. She eventually found a niche and strong degree of popularity in comedies like "The Half-Naked Truth" (1932) and "Palooka" (1933), but was ultimately unsatisfied and tried her hand at Broadway while appearing in a handful of Mexican films. Vélez found her way back to Hollywood in 1939 and rejuvenated her career with the popular "Mexican Spitfire" series. Despite her renewed success, Vélez opted for suicide in 1944 amidst the shame of an illegitimate pregnancy that cut short a turbulent life that had failed to live up to its true potential.