The celebrated and beloved Cuban actress Alina Rodriguez past away this week after a long struggle with cancer, she was 63. Most recently she was honored with multiple prizes for her role as Carmela in the 2014 film Conducta / Behavior. Her career spans more than thirty years and has always been known for her extraordinary theatrical talents and her kind demeanor.
She was born in Havana on October 4, 1951. Over the years she’s been involved in all facets of acting, including theatre, television and film. Just this year she took home top acting prizes for her performance in Conducta at Lleida Latin American Film Festival, Málaga Spanish Film Festival, Havana Film Festival in New York and Premios ACE, not to mention her numerous nominations. In the film she plays a school teacher fighting to keep Chala, a young boy struggling to support his family and his drug addicted mother, from being sent to a remedial school.
Another memorable film performance would be her leading role in the 1990 film María Antonia (pictured right) by Sergio Giral. The film delves into Afro-Cuban culture telling the story of María Antonia, a mulatta who works as a prostitute in a Havana slum during the 1950’s. She also worked with filmmakers Daniel Díaz Torres in Alice in Wondertown / Alicia en el pueblo de las maravillas (1991), Juan Carlos Tabío in The Waiting List / La lista de espera (2000), and Juan Carlos Cremata in Chamaco (2010).
She is also especially recognized for her performances in several Cuban telenovelas, her best known role being Justa in the soap opera "Tierra Brava." In the theater she stared in plays such as "Contigo pan y cebolla," by Hector Quintero and "En el parque," by Russian Alexander Guelman.
Her death is a great loss to the Cuban community and culture, as well as in the larger realm of theatrical arts. Her versatility and exceptional talent has surely left mark in the Cuban theatrical arts.