Ninón Sevilla Dies

Cuban-born actress Ninón Sevilla (pictured) died today in Mexico City at the age of 93. Born in Havana on November 10, 1921, she was very popular during the golden age of Mexican cinema, and was considered one of the leading stars of the Rumberas film -a musical film genre mainly set in nightclubs to sensual moves. She worked with some of the most renowned Mexican directors at the time including Emilio "El Indio" Fernández, Julio Bracho, Alberto Gout, and Gilberto Martínez Solares.

Sevilla started her entertainment career dancing in cabarets and night clubs in Cuba. In 1946 she arrived in Mexico and made her film debut that same year in Carita de cielo directed by José Díaz Morales. It was with director Alberto Gout that Ninón Sevilla made her most popular films including the Aventurera (1949, pictured right), Sensualidad (1950), Mujeres sacrificadas (1952), No niego mi pasado (1952) and Aventura en Río (1953).

Nicknamed "The Golden Venus," Sevilla gained international popularity. In 1954, the young François Truffaut wrote in Cahiers du Cinema (under the pseudonym Robert Lacheney): "From now on we must take note of Ninón Sevllla, no matter how little we may be concerned with feminine gestures on the screen or elsewhere. From her inflamed look to her fiery mouth, everything is heightened in Ninón (her forehead, her lashes, her noses, her upper lip, her throat, her voice)."

In 1981 the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences gave her the Ariel Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film Noche de carnaval / Carnival Night directed by Mario Hernández.

Aventurera is Sevilla's most popular work in the United States. The film was re-released to a big success at Film Forum in New York City in 1996. Variety described the leading actress as "a cross between Rita Hayworth and Carmen Miranda." Sevilla continued working in soap operas in Mexican television.