María Elena Marqués, a Mexican actress and singer who starred in films and telenovelas during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, passed away on November 11, 2008, due to heart failure. She was 81 years old and left behind a legacy of memorable performances and songs.
Early Life and Career
María Elena Marqués was born on December 14, 1926, in Mexico City. She was discovered by the film director Fernando de Fuentes, who was her neighbor, and made her debut in Dos corazones y un tango (1942) with the Argentine tango singer Andrés Falgás. She soon became a popular star and worked with some of the most famous actors and directors of her time, such as María Félix, Cantinflas, Jorge Negrete, Emilio Fernández, and Pedro Armendáriz.
The Pearl and Hollywood
One of her most acclaimed roles was in La perla (The Pearl, 1947), based on John Steinbeck’s book of the same name. She played the wife of a fisherman who finds a valuable pearl that brings them both fortune and misfortune. The film was directed by Emilio Fernández and co-starred Pedro Armendáriz. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
Marqués also ventured into Hollywood and appeared in two films: Across the Wide Missouri (1951) opposite Clark Gable, and Ambush at Tomahawk Gap (1953) with John Hodiak. She was one of the few Mexican actresses who managed to cross over to the American market and showcase her talent and beauty.
Singing and Television
As a singer, Marqués recorded songs such as “Cartas marcadas”, “Échame a mí la culpa”, “El aguacero”, “Grítenme piedras del campo”, “La cigarra”, “La noche de mi mal”, “La Panchita”, “Tres consejos” and “Tú, sólo tú”, with the Mariachi Santana and the Trío Tamaulipeco. She had a melodious voice and a charming style that captivated the audiences.
Marqués also worked on radio and television, participating in 15 radio soap operas and 30 other radio programs for XEW, as well as 20 TV theater productions and 10 telenovelas. Her last work as an actress was in the film El testamento (1981).
Personal Life and Death
Marqués was married to the actor Miguel Torruco from 1947 to 1956. They had two children: Marisela and Miguel Torruco Marqués, who also became actors. Marqués died of heart failure in Mexico City on November 11, 2008, with her children by her side. She was buried at the Panteón Jardín.
María Elena Marqués was a versatile and talented actress who left a mark on the history of Mexican cinema. She was admired and loved by many fans and colleagues, who remember her as a graceful and elegant star. She will always be remembered as one of the pearls of the Golden Age.