Cuban Actress Ninón Sevilla Dies on New Year’s Day


Mexico and Cuba are both paying posthumous tribute to Cuban actress Ninón Sevilla (née, Emelia Pérez Castellanos) a prominent star in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, who died of a heart attack on January 1, 2015. Born in Havana, on November 10, 1921, she started out dancing in nightclubs and cabarets as a rumbera in Cuba, and later moved to Mexico where she became a highly acclaimed actress. Here are excerpts from Prensa Latina:

The dancer, singer and actress, who performed in movies and television, passed away on Thursday at the age of 93. She was highly acclaimed as a dancer in Cuba’s nightclubs and later worked with Cuban comedians Mimi Cal (Nananina) and Leopoldo Fernandez (Tres Patines) at the Marti Theater in Havana on the radio program “La Tremenda Corte”.

She was hired by Puerto Rican producer and director Fernando Cortez to work at the Lyric Theater of the Federal District in Mexico.

Her debut in films was in “Carita de Cielo” (1946), alongside with Maria Elena Marques and Antonio Badu. She also starred in “Pecadora” (1947), with Emilia Guiu, and “Señora Tentacion” (1948), with David Silva. Sevilla also worked with Mexican composer and singer Agustin Lara in the films “Coqueta” (1948) and “Perdida” (1949).

She was directed by Alberto Gout in “Revancha” and “Aventurera”. The latter is considered the best-achieved film of the so-called Mexican rumba cinema. With Gout, Emelia Perez Castellanos performed in “Sensualidad” (1950); with Fernando Soler in “Mujeres Sacrificadas” (1952), and with Roberto Cañedo in “Aventura en Rio”(1953), which was shot in Brazil.

She also participated in motion pictures directed by Emilio (El Indio) Fernandez, like “Victimas del Pecado” (1951), and Julio Bracho in “Llevame en tus Brazos” (1954).

In 1981, she performed in “Noche de Carnaval”, by moviemaker Mario Hernandez, and won the Ariel Award to the Best Actress in Mexico. She had a special appearance in the movie “Hoy Como Ayer”, dedicated to Cuban singer and composer Benny More, in 1987.

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