Biographical Dictionary of Mexican Film Performers


Laboriel, Juan José (1907?-1997): Honduran-born musician and character actor, on-screen in Mexican films from the '30s into the 1970s. One of the few black performers in the "Golden Age," the dignified-looking Laboriel generally appeared in small roles although he was occasionally rewarded with larger parts. His children include Johnny Laboriel, a top rock and roll singer of the 1960s (who died in 2013), actress Ela Laboriel, actress Francis Laboriel (died in 2008),and composer Abraham Laboriel.

Lago, Alicia del: del Lago was a drama student when she was hired to appear in Raíces (1953), beginning a long career in films and TV, which has continued into the '90s. Often stereotyped as an "india" due to her facial features. She received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Tizoc.

Laguardia, Ernesto: handsome young actor, mostly on TV, but has appeared in some films since the late '80s, including "serious" pictures like Principio y fin, De noche vienes, Esmeralda, and Novia que te vea.

"Lalo el Mimo" [real name: Eduardo de la Peña] (1936--): comic character actor, on-screen from the 1970s, mostly in "sexy comedies." Has also produced and directed films. Married to actress Maricarmen Resendes.

Lamar, Adriana [Adriana Gutiérrez] (1908-1946): actress wife of director/actor Ramón Pereda, who appeared in most of his films during the 1930s and 1940s. Died suddenly while filming Rocambole (1946), requiring some last-minute revisions of the script. Pereda retired from filmmaking for several years after this, returning after he married María Antonieta Pons.

Lamarque, Libertad (1908? or 1909?-2000): legendary Argentine singer and actress, on-screen there from the 1930s. Came to Mexico in 1945 after Juan Perón became president of Argentina; Lamarque had incurred the wrath of actress Eva Duarte, who later became Eva Perón (yes, the "Evita"). Lamarque specialized in melodramas (with time out to sing, of course), particularly those in which she could portray long-suffering wives and mothers. She didn't make another film in Argentina until the 1970s. She continued to work as both singer and actress until her death in December 2000. Lamarque received Best Actress Ariel nominations for Otra primavera, La loca, and Cuando me vaya in the 1950s, but couldn't break through the near-monopoly exercised by Marga López and Dolores del Río in this era. Lamarque was married to Alfredo Malverde for 50 years, until his death in the '90s. She had a daughter by a previous marriage.

Landa, Rodolfo [Rodolfo Echeverría Alvarez] (?-2004): long-time supporting player (on-screen from the '30s through the '60s), most often in unsympathetic roles. Active in union and political work. Named head of the Banco Cinematográfico in 1970 when his brother, Luis Echeverría, became president of Mexico (although Rodolfo Echeverría, in an interview, said it was actually the outgoing president, Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, who offered him the post). During Echeverría's term, the Academia de Ciencias y Artes Cinematográficos was revived and the Ariel Awards resumed. Landa, who had been suffering from several debilitating illnesses, died in February 2004.

Langler, Max [Max Langler Montenegro] (1905-1950): deadpan character actor of the '30s and '40s.

Lara, Agustín [Agustín Lara Aguirre del Pino] (1897 or '98?-1970): famous composer who also sang, acted, and consorted with (and often married) numerous beautiful women (including María Félix). Thin, unprepossessing, his face marred by a scar (inflicted by a woman, of course), Lara began working as a pianist and singer in the 1920s, but first achieved fame in the early 1930s on the radio. Lara, known as "El Flaco de Oro" (The Golden Skinny One), appeared in a number of films and his songs were heard in many more. A romanticized version of his life was brought to the screen as La vida de Agustín Lara, starring Germán Robles.

Lara, Vicente "El Indio Cacama": brutish-looking character actor/wrestler in films of the 1950s and '60s. Often wore a bushy beard, which came in handy when he played the "Hombre Lobo" in Santo y Blue Demon contra los monstruos.

Lárraga, Nora: see Karla

Larrañaga, Otilia [Otilia Larrañaga Villareal] (1931--): young dancer and actress on-screen from the 1950s; at one time married to Antonio Aguilar. Received a Best Juvenile Performer nomination for Caras nuevas (1955).

Larrea, Ramón G. [Ramón García Larrea] (?--1981): stocky, balding Spanish character actor, on-screen in Mexico from the early '40s well into the '70s.

Lavat, Jorge (1933 or '34?-2011): brother of actress Queta Lavat, Jorge Lavat had a long career in films (from the late 1950s on), TV and on the stage. He was equally at home as a leading man or a villain, and worked in a wide variety of genres.

Lavat, Queta [Enriqueta Lavat] (1929--): sister of Jorge Lavat. Queta Lavat can be seen in films beginning in the late 1940s as an ingenue, then moved into supporting and character roles as sisters, wives, aunts, mothers, etc. Active on TV well into the '90s.

Lazareno, Norma [Marina del Villar Silva] (1943 or '44?--): born in Veracruz, Norma Lazareno made her film debut in 1954, but had mostly minor roles until the '60s, when she started amassing a large number of screen credits. Married to Pablo Ferré.

Leal, Alfredo (1930-2003): bullfighter turned actor, on-screen from the 1960s. At one time married to singer/actress Lola Beltrán. He occasionally produced and directed, and also did TV.

Leal, Manuel (1945--): better-known as the wrestler "Tinieblas," Manuel Leal made his film debut as a stunt man and extra before he donned his distinctive mask and costume, working on the "Tarzan" TV series (shot in Mexico), playing the Frankenstein monster in Santo y Blue Demon contra los monstruos. As Tinieblas, he appeared in a number of '70s and '80s lucha libre films, as well as Capulina's TV show of the early 1990s. He still wrestles professionally, and has been joined by his son (as Tinieblas Jr.).

Leblanc, Libertad : blonde Argentine actress of the 1960s, noted for her frequent nude scenes. Made some co-productions like La perra (1966), then came to Mexico for a few years in the late '60s, making La endemoniada and Cuatro contra el crimen (both 1967), among others.

Lechuga, Héctor (1918, '27 or '29?--): camel-faced comedian from TV whose peak years of film popularity were the early '70s, especially in a series of films with Alejandro Suárez. Still active on TV and the stage.

Ledesma, Amanda (1914--) [Josefina Rubianez Alzuri]: Argentine actress who, after making a number of pictures in her homeland (as early as 1933), had leading roles in some Mexican films of the 1940s, notably Cuando quiere un mexicano (1944, with Jorge Negrete), but seems to have dropped out of sight after 1949.

Leger, Cecila [aka María Cecila Leger] (1900-1980): veteran bit player, on-screen from the 1930s until her death (one of her final roles was in José Estrada's Pum!, 1980). Although she was capable of playing pleasant characters, Leger also portrayed a number of nasty neighbors, female prison guards, etc.

Legarreta, Andrea: a graduate of Televisa's acting school, the perky Legarreta appears frequently on TV, both as a telenovela actress and show hostess. Has also appeared in a few recent films.

León, Carlos: ubiquitous supporting actor and bit player from the 1950s through the '80s. Not to be confused with the screenwriter of the same name who often worked with Cantinflas.

León, Nathanael "Frankestein" (1915-2001): [first name spelled various ways; full name is Nathanael León Moreno] bald wrestler/character actor, usually cast as villains, but also able to play some comedy roles. On-screen from the late '50s well into the '80s.

Lepe, Ana Bertha [Ana Bertha Lepe Jiménez] (1934-2013): her 4th-place finish in the 1953 Miss Universe contest was Ana Bertha Lepe's springboard to fame (although she had already appeared in minor roles in a few films). Between 1953 and 1959 Lepe made 35 movies, but her career and personal life was seriously threatened in 1960, when her father shot and killed her fiancé, actor Agustín de Anda (she was later married for a brief period to someone else). After a year on an unofficial blacklist, Lepe returned with a vengeance, making 17 features in 1961-62. Her career declined as the decade went on, and she was off-screen from 1969 until 1974, when she made two films for Rogelio Agrasánchez. Since this time, she has only appeared in one movie (El patrullero 777, 1977) and several telenovelas. Lepe, who suffered from ill-health in later years, spent most of her time at her home in Texcoco, where she died in 2013.

Liceaga, Antonio: teenage actor who had major roles in a flurry of films between 1935-37 (including two Juan Orol pictures) but then seems to have found something else to do with his life.

Liévana, Yolanda: ingenue, on-screen in B-level pictures beginning in the late '60s; she continued to work into the early '80s.

Ligarde, Sebastián (1954?--) : 1980s-'90s film, TV and stage actor known for his villainous, even psycho-type roles, although he has played sympathetic characters from time to time. Can be seen in the occasional English-language feature like Remo Williams--The Adventure Begins (1985).

Linares Rivas, José María (1901 or '04-1955): wolfish-looking Spanish actor, on-screen in his native land from the early 1930s, Mexican film debut in Pecadora (1947). Best Co-Starring Actor nomination for Las tres perfectas casadas; received a special posthumous Ariel in 1955.

Linder, Christa: the blonde, blue-eyed Linder, came to Mexico in the late '60s after appearing in a few European movies (she would continue to show up in the occasional Eurofilm throughout the '70s). Linder was always cast in sexy roles which frequently required at least partial nudity, generally comedies but also a few dramas and fantasy films. May be seen in films as late as 1980 (El sexólogo) but her peak years in Mexico were '68-'72, when she made 11 pictures.

Lizalde, Enrique (1936 or '37?-2013): leading man of the 1960s and '70s, noted for his serious demeanor and excellent speaking voice. Received the "Diosa de Plata" award as Best New Performer for his role in Viento negro (1964). Active on TV until his death.

Llamas, María Eugenia "La Tucita" (1944--): like Evita Muñoz "Chachita," María Eugenia Llamas appeared in films as a very young toddler, including standout roles in several Pedro Infante films (Dicen que soy mujeriego and Los tres huastecos, both 1948). Although she won a Best Child Performer Ariel for Los hijos de la calle ('50), Llamas shortly afterwards disappeared from films.

Llano, Amanda del (1920-1964): attractive brunette actress, born in Chiapas, on-screen from the mid-1940s. Best Co-Starring Actress nomination for Reportaje; won the Best Co-Starring Actress for La rebelión de los colgados (1954).

Llausás, Leonor [Leonor del Socorro Llausás] (1929-2003): after getting her start as a sexy actress of the 1950s, the Durango-born Llausás moved into character roles in the '80s and '90s often as cranky, drunk old ladies. Also on TV, notably in "El premio mayor." She won the Best Supporting Actress Ariel for Los Fernández de Peralvillo; also Supporting actress nominations for Una mujer en la calle, Talpa, and Qué viva Tepito!, and a Best Actress nomination for Las poquianchis (the latter two in her character-actress phase, in 1980 and 1976, respectively).

Lobo, Mariana: very cute actress who appeared in a small number of films of the 1970s, cf El valle de los miserables (1974). She's one of my favorites, despite her brief career.

Lobo Negro see Hernández, Guillermo

López, Carlos "Chaflán" (1889-1942): Durango-born character actor of the late 1930s and early '40s. For a short time, López became a comic star, even having his name appear in the title of films (Los millones de Chaflán, 1938, and La última aventura de Chaflán, 1942). The moustached actor drowned shortly after completing his last film, and was posthumously honored in El ametralladora (1943), a sequel to Ay Jalisco, no te rajes! (1941), in which he played Jorge Negrete's sidekick.

López, Chel: short, balding character actor, in films from the 1940s-1960s, usually seen as secondary henchmen. Born in Mérida.

López, Javier "Chabelo" (1935--): Chicago-born comedian whose shtick is dressing like a child (despite his adult size and bulk) and speaking in a falsetto. Originally teamed with Ramiro Gamboa. Frequent film performer from the '50s through the early '70s, also very popular on TV as the host of childrens' shows, into the 1990s.

López, Marga (1924-2005): Argentine-born actress who came to Mexico in 1938 as part of a sister act. Married announcer-impresario Carlos Amador in 1941, but divorced him several years later (they remarried in 1961, but this second marriage didn't last; López was romantically involved with Arturo de Córdova over the last years of the actor's life, and stood by him after he suffered a crippling stroke). López was one of the most popular and honored actresses in Mexican cinema of the 1940s and 1950s, earning three Arieles (Best Female Co-Star for Soledad; Best Actress for Salón México and La entrega) and five additional nominations (Negro es mi color, Un rincón cerca del cielo, Un divorcio, Después de la tormenta, Feliz año, amor mío). She received the lifetime achievement Ariel de Oro in 1993. Although her film career declined in the 1970s and 1980s (she returned for Reclusorio in 1995), López has continued to stay very active on the stage and on TV.

López Moctezuma, Carlos (1909-1980): one of the most famous character actors in Mexican cinema, Carlos López Moctezuma was born in San Luis Potosí; he came to films from the stage, making his movie debut in 1938's El Látigo. For the first two decades of his career, he was one of the premiere villains of the screen, but in the 1950s he gradually made the move to more sympathetic character roles, and continued to appear in movies right up until his death. López Moctezuma, who was married to actress Josefina Escobedo, won three Arieles in his long career: Best Actor for Río Escondido; Best Male Co-Star for El rebozo de Soledad, and Best Supporting Actor for Como México no hay dos! (1979 version). He was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Canaima.

López Ochoa, Manuel [José Manuel López Ochoa] (1933 or '34?-2011): Tabasco-born TV announcer (he won the award for best announcer in 1959) turned actor and singer. Made his dramatic debut on TV in 1961. His films were mostly Westerns and rancheras, including two films as the comic book character "Alma Grande." Only sporadically appeared on-screen since the 1970s, but was working for a TV station in Los Angeles prior to his death.

López Rey, Marcela: exotic-looking Argentine actress who, after appearing in a dozen or so pictures in her native land beginning around 1960, came to Mexico and made a fair number of movies, starting with Los días del amor in 1971 (she was also in 1968's La cama, but this was a co-production shot in Argentina).

López Somoza, Luis: although Luis López Somoza's film credits begin as early as 1938 and run though at least 1965, he is best known for his roles in a handful of pictures including Aventurera (1949) and Susana (1950, for which he received a Best Juvenile Actor Ariel nomination). In both of these films he was a callow young man bewitched by a seductive woman (Ninón Sevilla, Rosita Quintana).

López Rojas, Eduardo (1937-1999): Heavy-set character actor, born in the U.S. of Mexican parents, who first gained fame in Los caifanes (1966), along with Ernesto Gómez Cruz and Oscar Chávez. López Rojas has been nominated for two Arieles: Best Male Co-Star for Actas de Marusia, and Best Actor for La mujer de Benjamín. He appeared in the recent Hollywood "Latino" production Mi familia. López Rojas suffered from diabetes and a chronic kidney ailment, and passed away from cardiac arrest shortly before a scheduled operation in July 1999.

López Tarso, Ignacio [Ignacio López López] (1925--): probably the preeminent actor in Mexico of the past forty years, Ignacio López Tarso was born in Mexico City but grew up in Guadalajara. After a stint in the army, López Tarso went to the United States as a "bracero" but broke his back while working in a orange grove and returned to Mexico, where he was bedridden for a year. During that time he read voraciously and upon his recovery he enrolled in the acting school of the Instituto de Bellas Artes. He quickly rose to prominence as a stage actor, and made his first film in 1955 (Chilam Balam). Since then, López Tarso has worked incessantly (it seems) on TV, the stage, and in the movies. He won a Best Actor Ariel for La rosa blanca (although the film was made in 1961, it was suppressed for more than a decade, and thus López Tarso didn't get his award until 1973, after it was finally released and the Arieles had been reinstated); he was also nominated for Best Actor Arieles for El profeta Mimí and Rapiña.

Loyá, Xavier [name sometimes spelled "Javier"] (1932--): Mel Torme-lookalike actor, born in Mexico City, on-screen from the late 1950s into the early '90s. Generally at his best in roles where he was somewhat weak, neurotic, or disturbed, although he has a relatively normal part in the famous Santo vs. las mujeres vampiros.

Loyo, Verónica (1932--): actress who had substantial roles--including some leads--in around a dozen 1950s films, but wasn't all that distinctive and seems to have disappeared from acting since then.

Loza, José "Pepe" [José Loza Martínez] (1934--): José Loza began his career as an actor in "carpa" theatres, then gradually worked his way up from bit parts to supporting roles in films and on TV. In the early '80s he turned to directing and writing.

Lozano, Gloria: supporting and occasional leading actress of the 1950s (around a dozen films). She was nominated for a Best Co-Starring Actress Ariel for La culta dama (1956), which she also produced.

Lozano, Irma (1947?-2013): cute actress, born in Monterrey, who came to Mexico City in the mid-'60s to appear on the stage and in films. After somewhat less than a decade as an ingenue, she began to move into character roles. Irma Lozano was the mother of actress María Rebeca (José Alonso is her father).

Lucero: [real name: Lucero Hogaza] (1969--): young pop singer/actress, originally billed as "Lucerito." After gaining fame on the telenovela "Chispita" in 1982, she made some films but now works chiefly on TV and as a singer. Married singer Mijares in a big, televised wedding several years ago.

Lucero, Enrique (1927-1989): sad-looking, Chihuahua-born character actor, on-screen from the '50s through the '80s, often cast as "indios" or working-class Mexicans. Received a Best Actor nomination for his role as the Communist-hating priest in Canoa (1975).

Luis Miguel [Luis Miguel Gallego Bastery] (1970--): Luis Miguel was born in Puerto Rico, the son of singer "Luisito Rey." As a teenager he made some films, beginning with Ya nunca mas (1983; he allegedly dislikes being reminded of this now); he has gained enormous popularity in the past few years as the romantic interpreter of pop ballads and has apparently no further interest in acting. Has been romantically linked with Daisy Fuentes off-and-on for the past several years.

Luján, Fernando [Fernando Ciangherotti Soler] (1938? or 1941?--): actor son of Alejandro Ciangherotti and Mercedes Soler, brother of actor Alejandro Ciangherotti Jr., and father of actor-singer Fernando Ciangherotti. Made his film debut in La cobarde (1952). Often used as a comic actor--especially in the '60s--but is also capable of playing dramatic roles, as in Arturo Ripstein's El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (1998). Luján is married to actress Martha Mariana de Castro.

Luke, Jorge (1942-2012): hawk-faced actor, on-screen from the late '60s, often in action films. Former architecture student. One-time husband of Isela Vega. His sister, Patricia Luke, was also an actress. Has two Ariel nominations in his career: Best Actor for Las puertas del paraíso, Best Supporting Actor for Morir de madrugada. Luke has also appeared in a number of international productions like Ulzana's Raid (1971, with Burt Lancaster).

Luna, Humberto: comic actor (mostly) in the 1980s; in recent years has hosted a TV talk/variety show.

Luna, Mabel: blonde actress of the early '70s; rather hard-faced but with an attractive body, she can be seen in Santo vs. la mafia del vicio and Peor que los buitres, among others. Some sources say she was born in Argentina.

Luna, Margarito (?-1977): born in Guanajuato, the broad-faced, moustached Margarito Luna appeared in bit parts--often as villainous henchmen, campesinos, or workers--from the 1940s through the '70s.

Luquín, Ester [Ester Padilla; first name sometimes spelled "Esther"]: actress, on-screen in the '40s and '50s in supporting roles. At one time married to Angel Infante, and in 1960 she was sentenced to five years in prison for a 1958 shooting incident involving Infante's son by his first wife, another young man, and Luquín's brothers.

Lynn, Tana: blonde actress of the late '40s-'50s, often cast as gringas, cabareteras, etc. Received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in En la palma de tu mano (1950).

Posted 11 Feb 99 by; updated 1 June 2014

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