Actress. Born María Guadalupe Vélez de Villalobos in San Luis de Potosi, Mexico to an army officer and an opera singer. At 13 she was enrolled in a convent school in San Antonio, Texas, in an unsuccessful effort to curb her rebelliousness. At 15 she was back in Mexico working in a Mexico City department store and taking singing and dancing lessons. At 16 she debuted as an ensemble dancer at the Teatro Principal. Within a year she headed north to Hollywood, where she managed to find bit parts in director Hal Roach's silents. Within three years she managed to earn a role opposite Douglas Fairbanks in "The Goucho." She made the jump to talkies without a problem, starring in "Lady of the Pavements" in 1929. She appeared in a solid string of B-movie leads, and in 1939 she starred "The Girl From Mexico," followed by the sequel "The Mexican Spitfire" which in turn engendered six more titles in the Spitfire series. She married Olympic swimmer turned actor, Johnny Weissmuller in 1933; their turbulent marriage lasted five years. She was also linked romantically to Gary Cooper, Jimmy Durante, Jack Dempsey, Tom Mix, Victor Fleming, and a young actor named Harald Maresch. Apparently the last was responsible for her subsequent pregnancy. Allegedly unwilling to marry her, he demanded that she get an abortion, which she flatly refused. Reportedly already bordering on alcoholism, she apparently spiraled into a cycle of drink and depression. In December of 1944, the 36 year-old actress composed a note addressed to Maresch implicating him as the father of her unborn child and the cause of her shame, and that she would "...prefer to take my life away and our baby's..." she then took an overdose of Seconal. She was found dead the next day in her custom eight foot square bed. Her funeral was held at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California; her body was laid to rest in the ANDA area of Panteón Civil de Dolores cemetery in Mexico City, Mexico.
Bio by: Iola
1904–1984 (m. 1933)