Biographical Dictionary of Mexican Film Performers: "J"

Jambrina, Francisco (1902-1967): Spanish character actor, on-screen in Mexico from the '30s through the 1960s. He was married to actress Margot Erbeya (real name, Margarita Ciangherotti); they appeared together in El pulpo humano (The Human Octopus, 1933), but she died in 1935. His last screen appearance was apparently in Santo el enmascarado de plata vs. los villanos del ring ('66).

Jasso, José "Ojón" (1911-1968): comic actor who in appearance somewhat resembled Ernie Kovacs or Jerry Colonna. Started in the carpa and variety theaters, and his film work was mostly in minor supporting roles from the '40s through the '60s. His nickname refers to his bulging eyes. Born in Chihuahua.

Jasso, Omar "El Mocosón" (1924-1976): balding, rodent-faced comic character actor, another carpa veteran, in films from the 1950s onward. Born in Mexico City.

Jiménez, Alfonso "Kilómetro": a comic and "eccentric" dancer (like Resortes) from the carpas and variety theatre who was also a minor supporting actor in 1940s cinema. At one time married to actress Gloria Alicia Inclán (niece of Miguel Inclán).

Jiménez, José Alfredo [José Alfredo Jiménez Sandoval] (1926-1973): prolific singer/composer of rancheras, José Alfredo Jiménez also appeared in numerous Mexican films of the 1950s. Many other movies took their titles from his compositions: Amanecí en tus brazos, Qué bonito amor, La mano de Dios, La vida no vale nada, Me cansé de rogarle, ad infinitum. Jiménez was born in the state of Guanajato, but moved with his family to Mexico City after the death of his father. He got a job as a waiter in the restaurant "La Sirena," and formed a musical group with the owner's son and another young man. It was not until 1950 that one of Jiménez's own songs was recorded professionally. Over the next two decades Jiménez wrote many classic songs; he also became a popular movie, TV, and radio performer. The singer had had problems with alcohol for many years, nearly dying of cirrhosis of the liver in 1968; after several years of good health, he began drinking again and died in November 1973. Jiménez was married to Julia Gálvez (whom he called "Paloma") in 1952 and had two children; he later married the daughter of comedian Manuel Medel and fathered three; much later, he married singer Alicia Juárez, who was 27 years younger than he was (he wrote a song about her entitled-in translation-- "I Should Have Fallen in Love with Your Mother"). Jiménez's life was the subject of a 1988 film biography, Pero sigo siendo el rey, starring Leonardo Daniel (the film was based on a story by Paloma Jiménez, which may explain why the Alicia Juárez character--not referred to by that name--is not very favorably portrayed).

Jiménez, José Luis (1900-78): gentle and even frail-looking character actor on-screen from the '30s until the early '70s, often cast as priests, sympathetic uncles, etc.--as in El vampiro (1957)--although in the 1940s he had leading roles as Saint Francis of Assisi and Porfirio Díaz! Ariel nominations as Best Supporting Actor for Después de la tormenta and Con quién andan nuestras hijas? (both 1955).

Jiménez, Sergio (1937-2007): Mexico City-born actor who made his official debut in the memorable Los caifanes (1966), although he had earlier been in one of the independent films entered in the experimental film contest in 1964-65. His physical appearance generally precluded leading-man roles (although he did star in Un camino in 1972), but Jiménez had a long and successful career as a character actor, receiving Best Actor Ariele nominations for the "Nosotros" episode of Tú, yo, nosotros ('70), El principio ('72), and La pachanga ('81). Has also directed TV.

Jiménez, Yadira: Costa Rican-born dancer/actress, worked for Juan Orol in a few films (when he was in his transition period from María Antonieta Pons to Rosa Carmina) and made a few other appearances from the late 1940s into the mid-50s.

Jiménez Pons, Jaime "Frijolito": child actor of the 1940s and 1950s who later produced some films in the 1970s with his brother Rogelio (Humberto was another brother, who won the Best Child Performer Ariel for El camino de la vida). Jaime received an Ariel award as Best Child Actor for Río Escondido ('47), and was nominated as Best Juvenile Performer for La ciudad de los niños ('56).

Jordán, Carlos (1923-1973): short, bearded character actor of the 1960s and early 1970s who usually played irascible characters.

Jordán, Roberto (1943--): singer/actor, born in Sinaloa, who played some "hip" characters in the late '60s and early '70s cinema, with some later roles in the early '80s for Prods. del Rey.

José José [José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz] (1948--): singer and sometimes actor, son of tenor José Sosa Esquivel. José José began his career as a pop singer in the 1960s, and made some film appearances in the early '70s. He later starred in a film biography of his life, Gavilán o paloma (1984), which detailed his personal problems with alcohol and women. José José, who is still an active performer, was married to actresses Natalia "Kikis" Herrera Calles and Anel Noreña (played in the film by Gina Romand and Christián Bach); his son by Noreña, José Sosa, is an actor.

Joselito [José Jiménez Fernández] (1946 or '47?--): one of the first and most popular juvenile singer/actors of 1950s-1960s Spanish cinema, Joselito made his film debut at the age of 10. Over the next decade he starred in numerous Spanish films, as well as some Mexican-Spanish co-productions such as El caballo blanco (1961, with Antonio Aguilar).

Joselo [José Díaz]: long-faced Venezuelan comedian who came to Mexico for a few film appearances in the 1960s, cf Un extraño en la casa ('66).

Juárez, Alicia: buxom ranchera singer who made a few films in the 1970s, but was chiefly known as the young widow of José Alfredo Jiménez, whom she married in the U.S. while on a personal appearance tour.

Hermanas (or Hermanitas) Julián: female singing group who can be seen in various Mexican films of the 1950s. One of the sisters (Rosalía) married Germán Valdés "Tin Tan," and their beautiful daughter, Rosalía Valdés, had an acting career in the 1970s but retired young and now lives in the United States.

Julissa: [Julissa de Llano Macedo] (1945--): actress daughter of Rita Macedo and producer Luis de Llano Palmer (Julissa's brother, Luis de Llano Macedo, is also a TV producer). She made her film debut in 1961 and was also a pop singer. Very popular in youth-oriented films of the '60s, later worked in a mix of serious pictures and comedies. Now chiefly a TV producer and music promoter. Julissa was married to singer Benny Ibarra, and their two sons Benny and Alex are also performers. Best Actress nomination for her performance in the "Nosotros" episode of Tú, yo, nosotros and for La pachanga; won Best Supporting Actress for Distrito Federal.

Julio César [Julio César Agrasánchez]: one of the sons of producer Rogelio Agrasánchez Linaje, Julio César played little kid roles in his father's films, cf Las momias de Guanajuato (1970).

Junco, Tito [Augusto Junco Tassinari] (1915-1983): Veracruz-born actor, older brother of Víctor Junco, who appeared in many Mexican films from the 1930s into the 1980s. Tito Junco and his brother left Veracruz and came to Mexico City in the 1930s, where they worked as extras in movies for several years before progressing to more substantial parts. In the 1940s and 1950s, Tito specialized in villainous roles, but in later years he did play more sympathetic parts. In the 1970s, the Junco brothers were among those actors who broke away from ANDA, the national actors' union, to form their own Sindicato de Actores Independientes; however, this attempt failed and Tito Junco had to rejoin ANDA in order to work in films. He died in December 1983 of a heart attack. Junco received an Ariel nomination as Best Co-Starring Actor for Que Dios me perdone ('47). Ironically, one of his best roles was in La sombra del caudillo ('60), a film which was suppressed by the Mexican government and never released commercially during the actor's lifetime.

Junco, Víctor [Víctor Ciriaco Junco Tassinari] (1917-1988): actor brother of Tito Junco, Víctor was--after his apprenticeship as an extra and bit player--sometimes used as a leading man in the 1940s and 1950s, but as he grew older he gravitated to unsympathetic parts, often as brutal politicos, gangsters, and the like. Ariel nomination as Best Co-Starring Actor for La otra ('46); won the Best Supporting Actor prize for Misterio ('79).

Jurado, Katy [María Cristina Jurado García] (1924 or '25?-2002): Mexican actress, on-screen from the 1940s, who also had a significant Hollywood career in the 1950s and afterwards. Jurado, who was born in Guadalajara, is perhaps best-known internationally for her role as the former lover of Gary Cooper in High Noon (for which she won a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actress; she also received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for Broken Lance). She was married to author Víctor Velázquez and then for a time to actor Ernest Borgnine. In the '70s and '80s, Jurado appeared in some Mexican films in character leads (cf Barrio de campeones), but was off-screen for more than a decade until returning for Arturo Ripstein's El evangelio de las maravillas (1997). In the summer of 1998, Jurado suffered serious medical problems while visiting her family near Monterrey, and had to undergo a series of operations. Best Co-Starring Actress Ariel for El bruto ('52); Best Actress Ariel for the "Caridad" episode of Fe, esperanza y caridad ('72); nominated as Best Actress for La seducción ('79). In 1997 she received the Ariel de Oro for her career as an "actress of Mexico and the world."

Jurado, Sergio: young actor seen in secondary roles of the early 1960s. Likeable enough but not very distinctive.

Posted 3 November 1998, last edit 1 June 2014 by