Dolores Del Rio was a Mexican Hollywood star in the 1920s and 30s. Del Rio was in 1905 born in Durango, Mexico and died in 1983 in Newport Beach, California. She was born into a wealthy family, but during the Mexican Revolution her family lost everything and had to relocate to Mexico City. Del Rio married at a young age (16) and had a successful career in both the US and Mexico. Her and her husband moved to Hollywood after meeting director Edwin Carewe at a friend's wedding (Del Rio was dancing a tango). She started out in silent films and successfully transitioned to talkies, unlike many other silent actresses.
She was often mislabeled (purposely) as Spanish and would have to ask to be correctly described as Mexican. At the time her Mexican heritage limited her opportunities for film roles. She was often, if not exclusively, cast in roles overtly ethnic or exotic. She was often cast in ethnicities other than her own, a chameleon of sorts, a blessing and a curse. Hollywood still will cast ethnically ambiguous actors/actresses for a variety of ethnicities even when someone of the actual background is available. Despite being pigeonholed because of her Mexican heritage, she was an international movie star. When she became disenchanted with the Hollywood portrayal of her, she returned to Mexico and continued to have a successful career on the screen and on the stage.
What's most interesting to me about Del Rio, besides her amazing style, beauty, business savvy and charm, is that she was herself despite her status, fame, fortune and the perceptions others placed on her via stereotyping and media hype. She lived an amazing life, with a long career into her 70s. She did not let anything stop her.
I'm really inspired by her quote "Living for me is made of three things: love, travel, and good books or music. Success–it never made me happy. Fame–when I had it most, I was miserable. Money-love costs nothing".
Think about it. This trailblazer had it all and experienced so much of life. Yet what she most valued are things we all can enjoy.
Instead of being concerned about the success, fame and money, I'd rather focus on the love in my life, the travel I get to experience (even the small everyday journeys), the books I can read and the music I can listen to. With the internet, we have insane access to the world. We can talk to anyone anywhere, travel anywhere (if not in person, virtually), read anything we can find and listen to a huge archive of music from the oldest recorded sound to something recorded three seconds ago on the other side of the world. Next time if I find myself thinking about success, fame, or money, or jealous of someone else's, I'm going to come back to this quote. It's a good reminder of what really matters to me!
What really matters to you? Do you think success, fame or money alone can make you happy?
During the days of silent films, Miss Del Rio's face, elegant and expressive, made her one of Hollywood's important actresses and one – Dorothy J. Gaiter, NY Times
“The two most beautiful things in the world are the Taj-Mahal and Dolores del Río.” – George Bernard Shaw
“I tried to interest my producers in stories about Mexico. I was forced to play glamorous characters which I hated.” – Dolores del Rio via Film International
“I didn’t want to be a star anymore. I wanted to be an actress. By 1940, I knew I couldn’t build a satisfying career on glamour, so I came home.” – Dolores del Rio via Film International
“I am not, by nature, melancholy, weepy, sorrowful, languishing, or sweet. I am the girl of What Price Glory? There, for a bit, I could show my real self. I am, by nature, tempestuous, fiery, stormy, eager.” – Dolores del Rio via
“Take care of your inner beauty, your spiritual beauty, and that will reflect in your face. We have the face we created over the years. Every bad deed, every bad fault will show on your face. God can give us beauty and genes can give us our features, but whether that beauty remains or changes is determined by our thoughts and deeds.” – Dolores del Rio
The Loves of Carmen (1927), What Price Glory? (1927) Ramona (1928), Bird of Paradise (1932), Flying Down to Rio (1933), Madame Du Barry (1934), Wonder Bar (1934), Journey Into Fear (1942). and María Candelaria (1943). See Dolores Del Rio's IMDB page for her full film credits.
- The Face of Deco: Dolores Del Rio
- Dolores del Rio, Mexican Movie Star, Was Photoplay's 'Best Figure In Hollywood' In 1931