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Carmen Sevilla, an Iconic Spanish Film Queen, Passes Away at 92


[Carmen Sevilla, a captivating actress, singer, and dancer who rose to stardom in the mid-century Spanish cinema, then gained international recognition playing Mary Magdalene in the Hollywood epic “King of Kings” in 1961, has passed away at the age of 92. Her son, Augusto J. Algueró, announced her death, revealing that she had been battling Alzheimer’s disease and was residing in a nursing home in Madrid.

Ms. Sevilla was known for her glamorous persona, often compared to the likes of Ava Gardner, with her exquisite features, flowing dark hair, and arched eyebrows. Her fans lovingly called her “la novia de España,” the bride or sweetheart of Spain. She even received a congratulatory telegram from Pope John XXIII when she married composer and conductor Augusto Algueró in a grand ceremony in 1961.

Throughout her career, Ms. Sevilla appeared in over 60 movies, primarily in Europe and Mexico. She starred in musicals like “Imperial Violets” (1952) and dramas such as “Vengeance” (1958), which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Initially, she portrayed modest characters, like the chaste nun in “Sister San Sulpicio” (1952), but eventually began taking on more adventurous roles.

In addition to her film career, Ms. Sevilla found success in music, recording popular songs in collaboration with her first husband. She even appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1965, a rare opportunity for a Spanish entertainer on American television.

In the early 1990s, Ms. Sevilla transitioned to television and became a beloved figure in Spain. She hosted various shows and continued to make regular appearances until her retirement in 2010. Her contributions to Spanish popular culture and her ability to evolve with the times earned her the title of “national grandmother.”

Born in Seville, Spain, in 1930, Ms. Sevilla began her career in the film industry at the age of 16. With the guidance of Estrellita Castro, she quickly rose to prominence and starred in numerous films alongside acclaimed actors.

Overall, Carmen Sevilla left a lasting legacy in Spanish cinema and entertainment. Her talent, beauty, and grace will always be remembered, making her an eternal figure in the history of Spanish popular culture.


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