Biographical Dictionary of Mexican Film Performers: "S"


Saavedra, Beatriz: 1950s actress, born in Michoacán. Generally in secondary roles.

Saavedra, Manola [sometimes billed as "Manolita"] (1936-2012) : 1950s actress, born in Spain. Not to be confused with Manolita Saval, another Spanish actress who worked in Mexico. In 1960, Saavedra was denied permission to continue working since she was a foreign national; after receiving Mexican citizenship in 1961, she resumed her career. Saavedra has did stage and TV work (she created and appeared in the '91 TV series "La edad de oro," with Rosita Arenas).

Saavedra, Myrra [sometimes spelled "Mirra"]: attractive brunette actress of the '80s, generally in decorative supporting roles.

Sade, Ana de: young actress, mostly in "serious" films of the 1970s, although she occasionally appeared in more commercial fare.

Sadel, Alfredo (1930-89): Venezuelan singer and occasional actor who worked in a handful of Mexican films in the late 1950s-early '60s.

Safont, Jean [sometimes spelled "Saffont"]: French-born wrestler-turned-actor, on-screen from the '60s into the '80s, generally in lucha libre movies like La venganza de Huracán Ramírez and Santo en la frontera de terror.

Sala, Angel T. : hawk-nosed character of the 1930s and 1940s, most often in unsympathetic roles. Sala had a recurring role as an irascible police detective in the "Fu Man Chu" series.

Salazar, Abel (1917-1995): actor, producer, and director, on-screen beginning in 1941, in both comedy and dramatic roles. Salazar combined producing and acting career in the 1940s and 1950s, but retired from acting in 1965 when he was admitted to the directors' union. He directed his last film in 1989, and died of Alzheimer's disease in 1995. Salazar was married to actresses Gloria Marín and Rosita Arenas.

Salazar, Leopoldo "Polo": character actor, on-screen from the late '40s into the early '90s.

Salcedo, Elvia: Tabasco-born actress of the 1930s and 1940s.

Salinas, Carmen (1933 or '42?--): born in Coahuila, Carmen Salinas began performing at a young age. One of her specialities was imitating other performers, a talent which she has only occasionally displayed on screen. In the '70s she began a string of appearances in films, often playing working-class characters (as well as her share of prostitutes, drunks, and so forth). Salinas won Diosas de Plata for Bellas de noche, Qué viva Tepito! and Mexicano, tú puedes (plus a special award in 1974), and a "Heraldo" prize for Justicia de nadie. Her son Pedro Plascencia Salinas was a noted musician who composed the scores for a number of films before his death of cancer in 1994. Carmen Salinas continues to act but is also one of the producers of the long-running theatrical version of "Aventurera."

Salinas, "Chucho" (1928 or '30?-2001): comic actor, on-screen in supporting roles in the '60s, occasional films afterwards. Retired from acting in the early '80s (not entirely voluntarily), he devoted his time to writing and to community work before perishing in an automobile accident in 2001.

Salinas, Horacio: comic actor, on-screen in the late '60s and early '70s. Notable in an out of the ordinary role in Jodorowky's La montaña sagrada.

Salvat, Susana [Susana Folinger] (1948--): attractive actress who made a few screen appearances in the late '60s and early '70s.

Sánchez, Blanca (1946-2010): TV and film actress from the 1960s on.

Sánchez, Cuco (1921-?): popular composer and singer, on the radio from the late 1930s. Sánchez began making appearances in movies in 1948, generally in musical-guest or supporting roles. One of his rare leading roles was in Fallaste corazón (1969).

Sánchez, Salvador (1943 or '44?--): burly, moustached actor, born in Puebla, who began working in films in the 1970s. He won Diosas de Plata for Canoa and La choca. Sánchez is also very active on TV and the stage.

Sánchez, Sergio (?-2004): supporting actor of the '80s and '90s, often in unsympathetic roles as slick gangster types. Married to actress Isaura Espinosa.

Sánchez Navarro, Manuel (1892-1969): supporting actor whose family relations are more impressive than his screen career (which was mostly undistinguished): he was the son of famous actress Virginia Fábregas, the husband of actress Fanny Schiller and father of actor/producer Manolo Fábregas.

Sánchez Navarro, Rafael (1958--): actor son of Manolo Fábregas; Best Actor Ariel nomination for El otro. Also does TV and stage work.

Sandrini, Luis (1905-1980): Argentine comic actor, on-screen from 1933 (he appeared in the first Argentine sound film, Tango). He worked in Mexico from 1946 to 1949, then returned to his native land where he regained his popularity and prestige.

San Martín, María Eugenia: blonde actress, on-screen from the late '50s through the early 1970s.

"Santanón" [Rafael Muñoz Andrete]" (?-2002): bald "little person" actor, generally in supporting roles as the villain's sidekick. Santanón was the actor inside the skunk's costume in the Caperucita Roja series (he was also a big, sword-wielding cat in El Gato con botas). Late in his career Muñoz had a major dramatic role as the father of Manuel López Ochoa in Padre nuestro que estás en el cielo (1971).

Santo, El [Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta] (1915-1984): professional wrestler who began a second career as a film star in 1958. Over the next 25 years, El Santo made more than 50 features and became a cult figure in Mexico and abroad. He was also featured in a series of comic books which ran from the early 1950s until the 1980s. After retiring from the ring in 1983, El Santo stayed active as a stage performer, which is what he was doing when he was stricken with a fatal heart attack in February 1984. One of his sons, El Hijo del Santo (Jorge Guzmán), is also a professional wrestler and has made a few movies as well.

Santos, Daniel (1916-1992): blind? Puerto Rican singer who made a few Mexican (and co-production) movie appearances, as early as El ángel caído (1948) and as late as Vírgenes de la nueva ola (1967).

Santos, Gastón [Gastón Santos Pué] (1931--): the son of powerful politician Gonzalo N. Santos, Gastón Santos was born in San Luis Potosí and educated in a Texas military academy. In the early 1950s, he traveled to Portugal and learned the art of rejoneo (mounted bullfighting). Back in Mexico, the handsome playboy bullfighter signed a contract with Alameda Films and worked in 10 films between 1956 and 1961, mostly as a Western hero. After two comeback films in 1965-66, Santos retired from the screen (except for a cameo appearance in Bang Bang al hoyo in 1970). He currently raises and trains horses on his hacienda in San Luis Potosi.

Santos, Lina: sexy actress, former Miss Coahuila, in both theatrical films and videohomes, onscreen since 1986 and still active.

Santoveña, Hortensia: character actress from the early 1950s into the early '80s, often in rather harsh or bitter roles, but occasionally seen in more sympathetic and even comic parts.

Sañudo, Paco (1921-1998): character actor Paco Sañudo, born in the state of Sinaloa, appeared in a number of Mexican movies of the 1970s and 1980s in supporting roles. He also worked in the TV industry, dubbing foreign programs into Spanish. He was shot to death in July 1998, the victim of an apparent street robbery in Mexico City.

Saval, Manolita (1923-2001): born in France of Spanish parents, Manolita Saval made her Mexican film debut in 1938. She had ingenue and leading lady roles through the mid-1940s, and then made occasional appearances in supporting parts, as late as La guerra de las pasteles (1978).

Schiller, Fanny [Fanny Schiller Hernández] (1901-1971): veteran character actress, an actors' union activist and the mother of Manolo Fábregas. Fanny Schiller's mother was an actress, and she grew up in the show business milieu, making her professional stage debut at the age of 16 and her screen debut in 1926. Schiller eventually earned over 175 film acting credits. In the 1940s and 1950s she was often cast as society women or domineering stepmother-types; later in her career Schiller occasionally played eccentric old ladies. She received a "Heraldo" award for her role in Los cuervos están de luto, and two Arieles: Best Supporting Actress for Cantaclaro and for La mujer que yo amé (she was also nominated as Best Supporting Actress for Las abandonadas, and for Best Female Co-Star for A media luz).

Schillinsky, Estanislao (1910-1985): born in Lithuania (some sources list Poland), Estanislao Schillinsky and his brother were performers in a Soviet circus on a tour of Mexico in the early 1930s. Estanislao decided to stay, and worked his way up from the carpa theaters to the better-paying variety theaters, as a musician, straight man, and writer. He was closely associated with Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" from the mid-1930s through the mid-'40s (in fact, the two men were brothers-in-law: Schillinsky was married to Olga Ivanova and Cantinflas later married Olga's younger sister Valentina). Cantinflas and Schillinsky made their film debuts in the same movie in 1936, No te engañes, corazón. Schillinsky formed a comedy team with Manolín (Manuel Palacios) from the late 1940s to the 1960s, on radio, TV, and in films.

Segar, Stillman "Stim": see PRODUCTION PERSONNEL

Segarra, Consuelo: bulldog-faced character actress in more than 50 films in the 1933-46 period, specializing in minor roles as sweet old ladies.

Segura, Aurora: attractive blonde actress of the 1940s and 1950s, although generally in supporting roles. She did have the female lead in a few pictures, such as El Enmascarado de Plata (1952). Born in Spain.

Sen, Pilar (1918-1973): Spanish actress whose career in Mexican cinema was oddly fragmented and sporadic--4 credits in the 1940s, 4 credits in 1959-62, 3 more in mid-decade, and 4 credits (her last) in 1970 alone.

Septién, Pedro "Mago" [Pedro Septién Orozco] (1920--): sports announcer who basically played himself in numerous films (mostly wrestling and boxing oriented) from the mid-1940s to the early '70s.

Sequeyro, Adela "Perlita": see DIRECTORS

Serrano, Irma (1933? or '45?--): flamboyant actress and singer who in recent years has dedicated herself to politics, serving as a senator from the state of Chiapas (since 1994). Serrano made her screen debut in 1961 but was blacklisted later in the decade, allegedly because of a broken romance with Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. She made a comeback in the early 1970s and had a major stage success with the sexy and outrageous Naná (later filmed). Serrano's last film role to date was a supporting role in Juana la cubana, but she continues to be a public figure due to her political position and outspoken nature. Serrano has written three autobiographical books which have all been best-sellers.

Serret, Virginia (?-1958): born in Veracruz, Virginia Serret appeared in films between 1937 and 1952, moving from small roles to female leads, and then dropping back into supporting parts.

Sevilla, Carmen [María del Carmen García Galisteo] (1930 -- ): the beautiful Carmen Sevilla was born in Spain (Sevilla, to be exact) and began her career as a dancer. She made her film debut in Jalisco canta en Sevilla (1948), one of Jorge Negrete's two Spanish-made movies. She worked steadily in Spain and other European countries in the '50s and '60s, taking time out to appear in Mexican films like Gitana tenias que ser! (1952, with Pedro Infante), and La guerrillera de Villa (1967). Sevilla, who married composer Augusto Algueró, worked less frequently in the '70s.

Sevilla, Mario: supporting actor in nearly 100 movies of the '50s and '60s, recognizable because of his white hair and pencil-thin moustache.

Sevilla, Ninón [Emilia Pérez Castellanos] (1926--): Cuban-born actress and dancer who made her Mexican screen debut in 1946. In the late 1940s and early 1950s she was one of the most popular screen performers, mostly in dramas-with-music like the classic Aventurera, directed by Alberto Gout (who made six pictures with Sevilla). However, by the late 1950s her movie career was in decline, in large part due to the changing tastes of the public. Sevilla returned to acting in the 1980s and won the Best Actress Ariel for Noche de carnaval (1981). She is still active, mostly in telenovelas.

Seydel, Renata: blonde Chilean-born actress who had a brief career (a dozen credits between 1965 and 1968) in 1960s Mexican cinema. She was generally cast in supporting roles in youth-oriented pictures, but Seydel did play the female lead in Alma Grande en el desierto (1966). She returned to the screen for one role in 1973.

Sheridan, Beatriz (1934-2006): after attending the University of Missouri and studying with Seki Sano, Beatriz Sheridan made her professional acting debut in 1959. Since then she has worked steadily on stage, on TV, and in films. She received the Best Actress Ariel for Confidencias and an Ariel for Best Supporting Actress for Misterio. Sheridan chiefly worked as a telenovela director in later years.

Silva, David [David Silva Guglielmeti] (1917-1976): the son of an opera singer, David Silva got his professional start in radio in the mid-1930s, then worked his way up from extra to leading man in the 1940s. During his period of greatest popularity, Silva personified the "common man" hero, particularly in films directed by Alejandro Galindo. In later years, Silva moved into character roles. In the early 1970s he was diagnosed with diabetes, which eventually led to the loss of both legs and his eventual death. Silva won the Best Actor Ariel for Campeón sin corona, and was nominated for Esquina, bajan!, and Espaldas mojadas; he also received a Best Male Co-Star nomination for El topo. Silva was married to actress Paquita Estrada from 1951 until his death.

Silva, Rebeca (1953--): sexy actress, born in Jalisco, whose career begin in the 1970s. Mostly plays working-class type roles. Sometimes known as "The Body." She received a Best Supporting Actress Ariel nomination for Qué viva Tepito!

Silva, Roberto: a cousin of David Silva, Roberto Silva was an opera singer who had substantial roles in a handful of 1940s films, but appeared infrequently thereafter (his last recorded movie was Ojos tapatíos in 1960). Not to be confused with the art director Roberto Silva.

Silvestre, Armando [Armando Silvestre Carrascosa] (1926--): handsome and muscular actor, born in Tijuana (some sources say San Diego, and Silvestre did attend school in California). Silvestre has been on-screen since the late 1940s (he has worked in Hollywood as well, mostly cast as Indian braves) and continues to appear in videohomes, U.S.-made video features, and the occasional theatrical film.

Silvestre, Flor [Guillermina Jiménez Chagoya] (1929--): "folkloric" singer and actress, born in Guanajato. Married to Paco Malgesto (one of their children is Marcela Rubiales, who became an actress herself), and then to Antonio Aguilar (her two sons by Aguilar, Toño and Pepe Aguilar, are also singers who have occasionally acted in movies). Since "Flor Silvestre" is her stage name, she should probably be filed under "F," but this varies. Her sister is singer Queta Jiménez "La Prieta Linda."

Sobrevals, César (?-1995): moustached supporting actor, on-screen from the 1970s, usually in unsympathetic roles.

Solares, Alfredo "Pelón": balding (hench his nickname) comic supporting actor, in many comedies from 1980 on. Solares won an Ariel Award as Best Supporting Actor for El homicida (1989).

Solares, Carlota (1909-1980): supporting actress, on-screen from the '40s through the 1970s. Also worked in radio and on TV.

Soler, Andrés (1898-1969) : the gaunt Andrés Soler worked in nearly 200 films between 1935 and 1969. Although he had a variety of roles--including sinister villains in a number of 1940s movies--Soler is best remembered for playing eccentric supporting characters in the 1950s and 1960s. He received an Ariel nomination as Best Co-Starring Actor for El bruto.

Soler, Domingo (1901-1961): although he played such famous characters as Padre Morelos, "Juan" (Jean) Valjean, and the painter Goya, in addition to numerous roles as businessmen, fathers, uncles, etc., Domingo Soler seemed born to portray kindly priests, which he did a score of times during his long (1933-61) career. He won the first Best Actor Ariel for La barraca, and was later nominated as Best Male Co-Star for El rebozo de Soledad, and Los Fernández de Peralvillo. Domingo Soler was married to actress Margarita Cortés.

Soler, Fernando (1896-1979) : the eldest of the Soler brothers, Fernando Soler was an actor (over 100 films), director (22 films), screenwriter, and producer. His acting roles ranged from dramatic leads to jovial comedy parts. His most familiar character was a gruff older man whose stern exterior (usually) cloaked a heart of gold, although he also frequently portrayed frisky (in comedies) or tragic (in dramas) older men in love with younger women. Soler, who was married to actress Sagra del Río, won the Best Actor Ariel for No desearás la mujer de tu hijo, and was also nominated for El grito de la carne.

Soler, Julián (1910-1977): youngest of the four Soler brothers, Julián was the only romantic leading man of the quartet. He received an Ariel nomination as Best Actor for El secreto de Juan Palomo. However, in the mid-1940s he began to cut back on his acting roles, concentrating on directing; Soler eventually directed over 80 features, mostly mainstream commercial comedies and dramas. He was married to Julieta Palavicini, and they had four children, including Juan Manuel Soler Palavicini, who had a brief career as a director in the 1970s-80s, and Fernando Soler Palavicini, who became an actor.

Soler, Mercedes (1914-1971): the youngest of 8 Soler children, Mercedes Soler made her screen debut in 1933, and appeared in about 2 dozen movies over the next 25 years. She married actor Alejandro Ciangherotti and two of their sons went on to significant acting careers: Alejandro Ciangherotti Jr. and Fernando Luján.

Solís, Javier [Gabriel Siria Levario] (1931? or '32-1966): singer-actor who had supporting roles in numerous films of the 1950s and early 1960s before achieving stardom which was cut short by his premature death of complications following gall bladder surgery.

Sosa, Roberto [Roberto Sosa Martínez] (1970--): sensitive-looking young actor, on-screen from the early '80s (the Roberto Sosa who appears in Canoa (1975) is not the same person), but who achieved stardom in the '90s with the leads in pictures like Lolo and El patrullero. Sosa has won two Ariel Awards: in 1990, Best Co-Starring Actor for Lola and in 1997, Best Supporting Actor for De muerte natural. He was also nominated three times as Best Actor, for Angel de fuego, Lolo, and Fibra óptica.

Soto, Fernando "Mantequilla" (1911-1980): comic actor, son of Roberto Soto. A familiar figure in films of the 1940s, often as the hero's sidekick, both in urban films and the occasional ranchera. He continued to work through the 1970s, but his best roles were behind him. Soto won the Best Co-Starring Actor Ariel for Campeón sin corona.

Soto, Roberto "Panzón" (1888-1960): famous comic actor and stage producer of the 1920s-1940s, who had a limited film career. His sons Roberto Soto Jr. and Fernando Soto "Mantequilla" also became actors.

Soto la Marina, Armando "El Chicote" (1909-1983): scrawny character actor, best-known for his sidekick roles in numerous rancheras of the 1940s.

Soto Rangel, Arturo (1882 or '83-1965): veteran character actor, often cast as fathers, grandfathers, etc., although sometimes cast in stern and unsympathetic parts. He was nominated for an Ariel as Best Supporting Actor for Las abandonadas, then won the Best Suppporting Actor Ariel for Maclovia.

Sorté, María (1951--): actress and singer who made her screen debut in the mid-'70s, and continues to appear in films and on TV today.

Sour, Hilda: Chilean-born actress who starred in the first Chilean sound film (1933), then stopped off in Argentina for a few years before coming to Mexico in 1947. After a handful of films, Sour went back to South America in 1950.

Souza, Pilar (1923-1999): Pilar Souza made her professional acting debut in 1949, and worked steadily on the stage, on TV and films for the next 50 years. She also taught acting for more than 2 decades. Souza's movie career was chiefly concentrated in the 1960s-70s.

Stauffer, Teddy (1907? or '09?--?): Teddy Stauffer was born in Switzerland and trained to be a classical musician before switching to jazz in the late 1920s. He led a popular swing band in Europe before leaving for the USA in 1940. He became friends with stars like Errol Flynn, and was briefly married to Hedy Lamarr. Stauffer is given a good deal of the credit for establishing Acapulco as a world-class resort (he initiated the high-diving "clavadistas" spectacle). He appeared in several German films in additional to roles in Mexican movies between 1960 and 1970.

Stefani, Angel di: tall, distinguished-looking actor and stuntman, born in Italy. Di Stefani was inside the makeup for the Aztec Mummy films, among other movies, but also appeared frequently with his own face showing.

Stiglitz, Hugo (1940--): Hugo Stiglitz (his last name is sometimes spelled Stieglitz) shot to fame in the early 1970s in a number of René Cardona Jr. movies (including Robinson Crusoe, Noche de los mil gatos, and Sobrevivientes de los Andes--aka Survive!). He has had a substantial international film career as well, and in recent years has produced and directed some of his own pictures.

Su, Margo (1928-1993): actress of Chinese descent who had a sporadic acting career in the '50s and '60s, and later took over the Teatro Blanquita. Her sister was exotic dancer Su Muy Key, who met a tragic end in 1951.

Suárez, Alejandro (1941--): burly comic actor, in films and on TV from the 1960s onward, sometimes teamed with Héctor Lechuga. Brother of Héctor Suárez.

Suárez, Carlos (?--1998): actor and production manager, best-known as the manager (and frequent on-screen sidekick or villainous opponent) of El Santo for many years. However, the moustached, scowling (and later bald) Suárez can be seen in character roles in numerous films beginning in the 1950s.

Suárez, Héctor (1938--): actor and comedian, on-screen from the mid-'60s. Very popular on television in Mexico and the USA. His brother Alejandro Suárez is a comic actor, and his son Héctor Suárez Gomis is also an actor. He received a Best Male Co-Star Ariel nomination for Mecánica nacional, and also won three Diosas de Plata (Trampas de amor, En la cuerda del hambre, El Milusos).

Suárez, José [José Suárez Sánchez] (1919-1981): Spanish leading man who made his screen debut in his homeland in 1944. In the mid-'50s he appeared in the co-production (shot in Spain) Señora Ama with Dolores del Río, then came to Mexico for another co-production, Tres melodías de amor (1955). Between 1967-71 he appeared in four more Mexican movies (or co-productions).

Suárez, Lupe: character actress, best-known as "Mamá Dolores" in the first screen version of El derecho de nacer (1951). She repeated her Cuban "mammy" role several times in the '50s, and also appeared in a similar part in La maldición de mi raza (1964).

Suárez, Miguel [Miguel Suárez Arias] (1909-93): character actor of the '50s and '60s, often seen as mild-mannered doctors, lawyers, fathers, etc.

Superzán [Alfonso Mora] (?-2006): superhero character created by Rogelio Agrasánchez in the early 1970s. The gold-lamé clad wrestler appeared in 7 films (the same performer also appeared as the "Avispón Escarlata" in Vuelven los Campeones Justicieros), and had a brief professional wrestling career.

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Posted 3 October 2000, updated 1 June 2014 by D. Wilt (