How Did María Félix, the Iconic Mexican Actress, Die?

María Félix was a legendary Mexican actress and singer who dominated the Latin American cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. She was known for her beauty, charisma, and strong personality, as well as her roles as powerful and independent women. She was also a fashion icon, a muse for artists, and a lover of celebrities. But how did she die and what legacy did she leave behind?

María Félix’s Cause of Death

According to Wikipedia, María Félix died of natural causes on April 8, 2002, in Mexico City. She was 88 years old and it was her birthday. She had been suffering from heart problems for several years and had a pacemaker implanted in 1999. She died peacefully in her sleep at her home, surrounded by her family and friends.

However, her death was not without controversy. Her younger brother, Benjamín Félix, claimed that she had been poisoned by someone close to her. He requested an exhumation of her body to conduct forensic tests to prove his suspicion. According to BBC News, the exhumation took place on August 29, 2002, under tight security and media attention. The results of the tests were announced by Benjamín Félix on September 1, 2002. He said that the initial findings confirmed that his sister died of natural causes and that there was no evidence of poisoning. He said that he was satisfied with the truth and that he had no pressure from anyone to pursue the investigation.

María Félix’s Life and Career

María Félix was born on April 8, 1914, in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. She was one of 16 children (12 of whom survived) of a military officer and a Californian woman of Basque descent. She grew up in a wealthy and conservative family that valued education and culture. She was a rebellious and adventurous child who loved horses and nature. She also developed a passion for reading and writing poetry.

She married Enrique Álvarez Alatorre, a cosmetics salesman, when she was 17 years old. They had a son named Enrique, nicknamed Quique, in 1935. However, their marriage was unhappy and they divorced in 1938. María Félix then moved to Mexico City with her son to pursue a career as a model and actress.

She made her film debut in El peñón de las ánimas (The Rock of Souls) in 1942, opposite Jorge Negrete, who would become one of her most famous co-stars and husbands. She soon became a star with films like Doña Bárbara (1943), La mujer sin alma (The Woman Without a Soul) (1944), Enamorada (Enchanted) (1946), Río Escondido (Hidden River) (1948), La cucaracha (The Cockroach) (1959), Tizoc (1957), La Bandida (The Bandit) (1963), and French Cancan (1955). She worked with renowned directors such as Emilio Fernández, Luis Buñuel, Jean Renoir, and Ismael Rodríguez.

She also had a successful singing career, recording songs composed by her second husband Agustín Lara, who also wrote the famous anthem María Bonita for her. She performed in concerts and radio shows in Mexico and abroad.

She was married four times: to Enrique Álvarez Alatorre (1931-1938), Agustín Lara (1945-1947), Jorge Negrete (1952-1953), and Alex Berger (1956-1974). She also had several affairs with prominent men such as Diego Rivera, Carlos Fuentes, Luis Miguel Dominguín, Charles Chaplin Jr., Errol Flynn, Yul Brynner, Jorge Luis Borges, and Antoine Tzapoff.

She retired from acting in 1970 after starring in La generala (The Lady General). She then devoted herself to breeding race horses in Paris and collecting art and jewelry. She also wrote two autobiographies: Todas mis guerras (All My Wars) in 1985 and Soy como soy y así me quieren (I Am What I Am And That’s How They Love Me) in 1993.

She received numerous awards and honors for her artistic achievements, such as the Ariel Award from the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences, the Gold Medal from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the National Order of Arts and Letters from France, the Golden Bear from the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Donostia Award from the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

María Félix’s Legacy

María Félix is widely regarded as one of the greatest Mexican actresses of all time and one of the most influential figures of Latin American culture. She is admired for her beauty, talent, style, and personality, as well as her courage, independence, and intelligence. She is a symbol of feminism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism. She is also a source of inspiration for many artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers.

Her films are still popular and appreciated by audiences and critics. Her songs are still played and sung by many singers. Her image is still reproduced and displayed in various media and formats. Her life story is still told and studied in books, documentaries, biopics, and soap operas.

She is also remembered for her humanitarian work and social activism. She supported causes such as education, health, women’s rights, animal rights, and environmental protection. She donated money and goods to charities and foundations. She also spoke out against injustice, violence, and discrimination.

María Félix remains a legend and an icon of Mexican cinema and culture. She is a role model for many women and men who aspire to live their lives with passion, dignity, and freedom. She is La Doña, the Divine Beauty.

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