Biographical Dictionary of Mexican Film Performers "D"

Daniel, Leonardo: occasional leading man and second lead (or villain) of the 1980s and 1990s, also popular in telenovelas. Received the plum role of singer José Alfredo Jiménez in the biofilm Pero sigo siendo el rey (1988) but it didn't exactly catapult him to stardom.

Davilland, Marcela: blonde actress who married Raúl Ramírez and appeared in most of the films he produced and starred in from the 1970s onward.

Derba, Mimí (1888-1953): famous stage actress who acted and produced a number of silent films in Mexico (and directed at least one). Out of the business from 1919 through 1931, she returned to films when sound came in, mostly in character roles as somebody's mother (sometimes sweet old ladies, but just as often strong, even forbidding dowagers).

Derbez, Silvia (1932-2002) [Lucille Derbez]: durable film actress and telenovela pioneer (she starred in the first televised soap opera in Mexico, "Senda prohibida," in 1958) who made her screen debut in Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948), which was shot in Mexico. As she aged, Derbez moved from ingenue roles to playing mothers and, currently, grandmotherly types. Nominated for an Ariel award for El rey de México (1957). Her son Eugenio Derbez is a popular TV comic actor who has made some film appearances, and was married to actress Victoria Ruffo.

Diestro, Alfredo del (1879-1951): portly character actor, born in Chile of Spanish parents, who was married to actress Emma Roldán. Usually played somebody's kindly father or uncle. Notable in the title role in the famous El compadre Mendoza (1933).

Dilián, Irasema (1924-1996) [Eva Irasema Warschalonska]: Irasema Dilián was born in Río de Janeiro, Brazil, of Polish parents. She began her film career in Italy, appearing in Vittorio de Sica's Maddalena, zero in condotta (Maddalena, Zero in Conduct, 1940). Over the next few years she worked for de Sica, Riccardo Freda, and Mario Soldati, alongside performers such as Alida Valli, Isa Miranda, Vittorio Gassman, and Rossano Brazzi. She appeared in four Spanish films between 1946 and 1949 before coming to Mexico and making her debut in Muchachas de uniforme (Girls in Uniform, 1950), a remake of the 1931 German picture Madchen in Uniform. Over the next several years the rather waif-like blonde would star in a number of substantial projects with such major stars as Arturo de Córdova and Pedro Infante, and play the leading female role in Luis Buñuel's Abismos de pasión (1953). Some of her Mexican films were scripted by her Italian husband, Arduino "Dino" Maiuri. Dilián's last Mexican-made film was Pablo y Carolina (1955), although she did appear in several co-productions (one shot in Cuba, one in Spain) in 1956. She appeared in at least one other Spanish film (1958). Dilián was nominated for an Ariel for Paraíso robado (1952).

Dondé, Manuel (1906-1976): prolific, Campeche-born character actor from the '30s through the '70s, often in villainous roles. He was nominated three times for Ariel awards: Enamorada (1947), Cuatro contra el mundo (1951), and Subida al cielo (1953). One of his final roles was in Cuartelazo (1976). Married to actress Inés Murillo, and uncle of Lorena and Tere Velázquez.

D'Orgaz, Elena [Elena Delgado de Baviera] (1919-1947 or'48?): occasional leading actress of the 1930s, a favorite of José Bohr and Raphael J. Sevilla. She made several films in Venezuela in 1941, and continued to appear in Mexican films--now mostly in secondary roles--until her death.

Domínguez, Columba (1929 or '30?--): actress protegé of director Emilio Fernández. She lived with him from 1945 to 1952 (their daughter Jacaranda was born in 1951), but remained on good terms with the noted director afterwards, working in a total of 13 films for him between 1945 and 1962. She also appeared in numerous pictures--mostly melodramas--during the 1950s and occasionally thereafter. She was nominated for an Ariel for Maclovia (1949) and received a special award from Imcine at the 1996 Arieles.

Dorantes, Irma [Irma Aguirre Martínez] (1934--): Yucatecan-born actress and occasional singer who made her debut as a teen-aged extra in the late 1940s. She married Pedro Infante in 1952 (although his previous divorce was later nullified) and their daughter, Irma Infante, is also an actress. Later married producer Carlos Amador. Although her career was aided by her association with Infante, Dorantes forged her own identity and had leading roles in numerous second-level films of the late 1950s through the mid-'60s, with occasional character parts afterwards.

Dosamantes, Susana (1948--): strong-featured actress who debuted in 1968 and has worked steadily since, lately mostly on TV, although she also works in action pictures and "videohomes." Her daughter, Paulina Rubio, is a pop singer and occasional actress.

Douglas, María (1922 or '25?-73) [Claudia Monterde]: blonde actress who made a few film appearances, beginning in the 1940s, but was mostly known for her stage work. Despite her stage name, she was born in Mexico City. She was nominated for three Arieles: for El monje blanco (1946) , La dama del alba (1951), and La ausente (1953).

Duval, María [María Dussange Ortiz] (1937 or '39?--): attractive brunette singer/actress, born in Querétaro, who began making films in 1957 and quickly became a popular second lead. She "retired" and made no pictures in 1960, but returned in 1961 and began her period of busiest activity, with 6 films in 1963, 7 in '64, and 6 in 1965. Her movie work decreased at the end of the decade, and her last known roles were in 1971. Has also done TV and stage work.

Posted by on 11 June 1998, updated 1 Jan 2001.

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