Entertainment

Maria Felix Refused Roles In Hollywood Until She Established Her Career In Mexico

María Félix is one of the most recognizable actresses of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, probably because her career spanned 47 films made in Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, and Argentina, as well as Hollywood. She was a feminist icon and well-known for refusing roles that portray Mexicans as anything less than complex characters with full personhood.

Affectionately known as María Bonita y La Doña, Félix overcame truly Hollywood-level plot twists in her life, including kidnapping and being widowed not once but twice, to get to where she went.

Félix had eleven siblings.

CREDIT: @aresluoga / Twitter

That’s right. Her poor mother, Josefina Güereña Rosas, raised a dozen children. Her father, Bernardo Félix Flores was a military officer and descendent of the Yaqui indigenous people.

María de los Ángeles Félix Güereña was born in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico in 1914.

CREDIT: @agguman / Twitter

The Aries star was born on April 8, but because her birthday was reported to the Mexican government on May 4, her government IDs recognize her birthday almost a full month later. Google honored her actual day of birth with this doodle.

Félix refused to change her name to meet Hollywood anglo standards.

CREDIT: @astolenparadise / Twitter

Producers tried to persuade her to use the name Diana del Mar or Marcia Maris, but she refused. She actually insisted on María de Los Ángeles Félix but conceded to shorten it, so long it was still her name.

As a child, her mother sent her brother Pablo to a military academy after fearing they might have an incestuous relationship.

CREDIT: @aresluoga / Twitter

Literally, I have no doubt that this is just a classic case of Mexicana mami catastrophizing melodrama that probably just made their fraternal relationship a tad awkward.

After her family moved to Guadalajara, she was crowned Beauty Queen.

CREDIT: @_LAluv / Twitter

That was when she met Enrique Álvarez Alatorre, a cosmetics salesman, and her eventual first husband. They were married for six years and had Félix’ only child, Enrique.

Félix was a receptionist at a plastic surgeon’s office in Mexico City.

CREDIT: @Mkeenan4371 / Twitter

After she returned home to Guadalajara, she couldn’t take the chismosa about her divorcée status. She took Enrique to Mexico City with her and the two lived in a guest house.

Félix had to plan an elaborate scheme to kidnap her son back from his father.

CREDIT: @Soledad_Haren / Twitter

One day, Enrique’s father came to visit him and just refused to give him back. The story goes that her soon-to-be second husband Agustín Lara helped her plan the recovery, which included tricking the boy’s grandmother and kidnapping Enrique back.

When is someone going to make a movie out of that?

Félix was afraid that Lara was a cocaine addict.

CREDIT: @lambo_balmain / Twitter

Once, she found a piece of paper with white powder in it and decided to actually snort it. She was curious, okay. Nothing happened. It was sulfathiazole powder, which is used to clean cuts.

Lara was a famous composer that immortalized Félix, penning her first nickname “María Bonita” in song.

CREDIT: @BeatriceMarge / Twitter

They divorced two years later because of Lara’s abusive jealousy. In Félix’ autobiography, she wrote that he even once tried to kill her in a fit of violent jealousy.

She was discovered while walking down the street in Mexico City.

CREDIT: @grisellepreston / Twitter

Director and filmmaker Fernando Palacios spotted her and immediately asked if she wanted to make movies. He started bringing her to his film circles and even to Hollywood.

She turned down Hollywood’s offer to make it big, saying she wanted to begin her career in Mexico.

CREDIT: @aresluoga / Twitter

This is a woman who was so sought after, she had her pick of the litter to debut. She chose a female lead role directed by Miguel Zacarías, El Peñón de las Ánimas.

She got the Doña Bárbara gig because the novelist was obsessed with her.

CREDIT: @MARS0411 / Twitter

Rómulo Gallegos met her at a luncheon in Club Chapultepec and became infatuated. He decided she would be the only one that could play “my Doña Bárbara.” She’s been known as La Doña ever since.

Over ten years after filming El Peñón de las Ánimas alongside her then enemy, Jorge Negrete, they united and fell in love.

CREDIT: @OfficialCLM / Twitter

Allegedly, Negrete asked her, “I’m curious, who did you sleep with to get the starring role?” and she responded with “You’ve been in the business longer, so you must know who you have to sleep with to be a star.”

Over a decade later, they reunited in Argentina, fell in love and got married. He was sick at the time and died just 11 months into the marriage.

Diego Rivera was obsessed with her.

CREDIT: @firmeprincess / Twitter

In her autobiography, she writes that he “loved me hopelessly for nearly ten years.” He would send her cards with toad-frog drawings and wrote to her as the Holy Virgencita de Catipoato. He’d joke that he was the pope of his fake Marifeliana religion.

Félix’s home in Tlalpan had over 100 animals on the property.

CREDIT: @llcastro90 / Twitter

Rivera himself sent 80 rattlesnakes from Oaxaca. She had 14 dogs, most of whom were strays that she took in from the street. She also had 600 fruit trees and 18 employees that worked the grounds alone.

Her son, Enrique, tragically died of a heart attack in 1996.

CREDIT: @pa_recordar / Twitter

At the time, he was himself an actor in film and television. In her autobiography, she wrote of how much she adored him:

“Enrique is a very gifted man, with admirable common sense. He’s my best friend. I have so much fun with him. He’s not a ‘mama’s boy,’ as many believe. Self-employed, fight like being independent. He has his own career, his audience, his poster and assumes his responsibilities without relying on me.”

Her last husband died of lung cancer just months after her own mother died.

CREDIT: @girlindodgerblu / Twitter

She fell into a deep depression for a long time. The only thing that helped her be happy again was horses.

She focused the rest of her life on her stable of horses.

CREDIT: @agguman / Twitter

The stable became famous in France, and her Spanish named horses (María Bonita, Mayab, Zapata, Chingo and Vera) competed in derbies. It was there that her late husband was buried and where she’d stay for many years.

She was famous for her jewelry collection.

CREDIT: @EABR05 / Twitter

This very snake necklace was commissioned from Cartier Paris and is entirely encrusted with 178.21 diamond carats. Cartier has even debuted a La Doña de Cartier collection full of reptilian inspired fine jewelry.

Félix had a lock of gray hair that she only showed in Doña Bárbara.

CREDIT: @ricardoisaac3 / Twitter

She hid it in every other movie and even in photos. It was passed down to her by her father.

María Félix died on her birthday in 2002.

CREDIT: @dearmilano / Twitter

She was 88 years old and died in her sleep in Mexico City. She was buried alongside her son and parents in the family tomb.


READ: 7 Quotes from La Doña María Félix that Will Get You through the Week

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Entertainment

Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Fierce

Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com