Silvia Pinal, the diva of Mexican cinema

There were sentimental relations between Silvia Pinal and Pedro Infante, with whom she worked in the film "El Inocente", a classic that is aired every year on the last day of December. But it was always a friendship. Only that.

Silvia Pinal, the diva of Mexican cinema
Silvia Pinal. From Wikimedia Commons

"All my aunts and my mother were very pretty and leggy; my aunt Concha was very beautiful, brunettes like a gypsy, gorgeous, slim, the prettiest of them all, and the first to become independent. This was basic for my history and my future, although, of course, at that time I had not been born yet", says Silvia Pinal in her autobiographical book.

Today, the last diva of Mexican cinema turns 90 years old. And practically more than 70 in the artistic environment, if we take into account the time when, as a teenager, she participated in academic performance of La Traviata, for which she had rehearsed for days, went out of tune, was embarrassed, and cried.

Her teacher told her that she did not have to worry, as she was normal without mastering the stage. And a classmate recommended she enter INBA, where her teachers were, among others, Carlos Pellicer, Salvador Novo, and Xavier Villaurrutia, sharing classes with Luis Gimeno and Bárbara Gil.

"There I made my first steps in the play 'Sueño de una noche de verano' (A Midsummer Night's Dream). My character was that of a humble lady of the court because we first-year students were not entitled to roles or anything: however I was happy to be in the cast and even happier to step on a stage like Bellas Artes," she says in the text.

And it reflected something, because when she was only 14 years old, a journalist who had seen her in the experimental play "Los caprichos de Goya", dedicated a line to her: "This girl is going to be a big star". Three years later, at 17, she had her film debut ("Bamba"), producer Miguel Contreras Torres told her she was a brute and stupid because she couldn't cry on stage.

"He was very rude to me, that horrid old man. He scolded me a lot, I mean, I was very green, I recognize that, but from that to him yelling and scolding me, it was for being violent," she recalled in an interview with the Mexican paper EL UNIVERSAL, from 2019.

That "welcome" only boosted her career. She has more than 100 productions as an actress in film and television, not counting theater. She has three Ariel awards for Best Actress ("Un rincón cerca del cielo", "Locura pasional" and "La dulce enemiga"), as well as a Golden Award for her career, which includes films in Europe.

Pinal was romantically linked to Pedro Infante, with whom she worked in the film "El inocente", a classic that is aired every year on the last day of December. But there was always friendship. Just that. And anger because he would come to eat the fish tamales she carefully kept.

The other divas besides Pinal Silvia is part of the increasingly smaller group of actresses of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican Cinema alive, which includes María Victoria, 94 years old; Elsa Aguirre who will be 92 on the 25th; Yolanda Montes "Tongolele", 89 years old and Irma Dorantes, 86 years old. María Victoria sang with Pedro Infante in the XEW; Elsa worked with the "Idolo de Guamúchil" in "Cuidado con el amor" (1954) and Irma was the last partner of the interpreter of "Amorcito corazón".

And all of them, when they were over seven decades old, continued to demonstrate their talent. "Tongolele" danced a decade ago in a presentation at the Guanajuato International Film Festival as she did in the films "El rey de barrio" (1950) and "Amor a ritmo de go-go" (1966).

"Dancing makes me feel alive," she said on that occasion. Her most recent screen appearance was in 2012, as part of the cast of "El fantástico mundo de Juan Orol", by Sebastián del Amo, playing herself. In 2005, Elsa Aguirre was part of the revival of "Cada quien su vida", a play set in 1950, playing "Tacón Dorado", a dancer for which she painted her wavy hair blonde.

The Chihuahua-born actress has a Golden Ariel for her career, awarded by the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2003. Her first film appearance was in 1946 with the movie "El sexo fuerte", alongside Mappy Cortés and Rafael Baledón, and her most recent small screen participation was in "Belinda" (2004).

In the inter counted more than 40 works alongside Cantinflas ("Ama a tu prójimo"), Luis Aguilar ("Cuatro noches contigo"), Dolores del Río ("Casa de mujeres") and Antonio Aguilar ("La muerte de un gallero"), interspersing sweet and innocent characters as in "Una mujer decente" or cold and distant in "La perversa".

Two years ago she was recognized in Acapulco, where she attended and happily thanked the award. "Before I used to say I didn't deserve it, but now we have worked and I want to feel useful until the end of my days", she said on that occasion. The tapatía María Victoria, meanwhile, launched in 2013 in the digital market a collection called "La música de mis películas", since in this audiovisual area she had about 40 productions.

"Por qué peca la mujer" (1952) and "Del rancho a la televisión" (1953) launched her to stardom, but it was with her character of Paquita in two films of 1954 and 1955, that she had the public at her feet. On television, her character of Inocencia Escrabarzaleta Dávalos Pandeada Derecha in "La criada bien criada" (The Well-Bred Maid), made her a hit with children.

The 2009 telenovela "Sortilegio" was her last screen presence. Irma Dorantes has had work closer to this date. In 2014 the comedy "La hija de Moctezuma" premiered, with María Elena Velasco "La India María" and shortly before she had been in "Cartas a Elena".

Of all the surviving divas, she was the one who worked the most in cinema after the Golden Age, with more than 100 feature films such as "Mi querido viejo", with Vicente Fernández, "Los amores de Juan Charrasqueado", with David Reynoso and "La diosa del puerto", with Fernando Almada.

It was also one of those that sheltered the cast of "Teresa", where a twenty-something Salma Hayek began to emerge. Still, in 2018 she was part of the project "¿Quieres que te lo cuente otra vez?" (Do you want me to tell you again?), performing read-aloud organized by INBA in cultural centers.