Irma Serrano, the Mexican singer, actress, and politician who was known as La Tigresa (The Tigress), died on March 1, 2024, at the age of 89. According to Foro TV, a Mexican news station, she suffered a fatal heart attack in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico.
A Star of Ranchera Music and Cinema
Irma Serrano was born on December 9, 1934, in Comitán, Chiapas. She started her career as a dancer and a singer of traditional Mexican ranchera music in the 1960s. She had a powerful voice and a charismatic presence that captivated audiences. She recorded more than 30 albums and performed in prestigious venues such as the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Teatro de la Ciudad.
She also ventured into the film industry, starring in several movies of the golden age of Mexican cinema. Some of her most notable films include La Martina, La Tigresa, La Venganza de Gabino Barrera, and Lola La Trailera. She also appeared in several television shows and soap operas, such as La Tierra, La Madrastra, and La Dueña.
A Controversial and Influential Politician
Irma Serrano was not only a successful entertainer, but also a controversial and influential politician. She was a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the dominant political force in Mexico for most of the 20th century. She was elected as a senator for the state of Chiapas in 1976, and as a deputy for the same state in 1988.
She was known for her outspoken and unconventional style, often clashing with her fellow politicians and the media. She was also involved in several scandals, such as her alleged affair with president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, who was married and served as president from 1964 to 1970. She confirmed the relationship years later in her memoir, La Tigresa: Memorias de una Actriz y Política Mexicana.
She was also accused of corruption, tax evasion, and misuse of public funds. She was arrested and imprisoned several times, but always managed to get out of jail and resume her political career. She was a fierce defender of the rights of the indigenous people of Chiapas, and supported the Zapatista uprising in 1994.
A Cultural Icon and a Legend
Irma Serrano was a cultural icon and a legend in Mexico. She was admired and respected by many fans and colleagues, who recognized her talent and her contribution to the Mexican culture. She was also criticized and hated by many enemies and detractors, who saw her as a threat and a nuisance.
She was known for her extravagant and flamboyant lifestyle, often wearing lavish dresses and jewelry, and owning luxurious properties and cars. She was nicknamed “The Tigress” for her fierce and fearless personality, and for her signature hairstyle that resembled a tiger’s mane.
She was the owner and director of the Teatro Fru Fru, a historic theater in Mexico City, where she staged many shows and events. She also wrote several books, such as La Tigresa y el Acertijo, a novel based on her life, and La Tigresa y sus Amores, a collection of poems dedicated to her lovers.
She retired from public life in the late 2000s, and spent her last years in her ranch in Chiapas, surrounded by her animals and her family. She died peacefully in her sleep, leaving behind a legacy of art, politics, and controversy.