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.
Cast (Feature Film)
Family fled to Mexico City to escape Pancho Villa
Began taking dancing lessons from noted dancer Felipa Lopez (date approximate)
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
Arrived in Hollywood August 27
Film acting debut in "Joanna"
Selected as one of 13 WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) "Baby Stars" of the year
After small parts in four films, played first important lead in "What Price Glory?"
Voice first heard on film in part-talkie, "Evangeline"
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"
Beauty ranked second only to Garbo's by famed photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene in August issue of Photoplay magazine
Journeyed to England to star in "Accused"
Last Hollywood lead, "Journey Into Fear"
Returned to Mexico; signed contract giving her a percentage of the profits from her films
One-shot return to Hollywood at John Ford's request; played opposite Henry Fonda in Ford's "The Fugitive"
Debuted onstage in New England summer stock touring production of "Anastasia"
Made US TV debut in "Old Spanish Custom", an episode of the "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
Debuted on Mexican stage in Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windemere's Fan", which she had filmed in Buenos Aires in 1948
Returned to Hollywood; played Elvis Presley's mother in "Flaming Star"
Appeared in first American film in nearly a dozen years, opposite Anthony Quinn in "The Children of Sanchez"; also her last