When we think of Iconic Mexican Actress, the names Dolores del Río and María Félix often come to mind. However, few people realize that there was another famous actress in Mexico who made her name during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, and she’s still just as iconic now as she was then. In this article, you’ll discover five facts about Juana Ahumada (born María de Los Dolores Aumada) that even some die-hard cinephiles may not know.
1) She was active in 19 movies
A little-known fact about Juana Ahumada is that she worked in a total of 19 movies throughout her career. Her best-known works are The Night of Terror (1930), for which she won an Ariel Award, and Los Olvidados (1950). She also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at Mexico’s Silver Goddess Awards in 1951. She also recorded music and had several parts on television as well. She was married to another famous actor: Juana Ahumada was married to renowned actor and director Ignacio López Tarso from 1950 until his death in 1982. They met while filming El Coronelazo together; it was Tarso who gave her the nickname La Doña. In addition to acting, he directed many films over his long career, including María Candelaria (1943) and Pedro Páramo (1955). He also wrote novels and poetry under a pseudonym.
2) She worked with Hollywood stars like Charlton Heston
Yes, you read that right. Although Juana Ahumada is best known for her work in Mexico and Latin America, she also had a very fruitful career abroad. The Chilean-born actress worked with Charlton Heston, Jack Lemmon, and Ernest Borgnine in Touch of Evil (1958), which became one of Orson Welles’ most famous films. What many people don’t know is that Juana actually played a Mexican woman in it!
3) She was a model before moving into acting
In 1945, when she was just 19 years old, Ahumada won a beauty contest in her hometown. This led to a modeling career in Mexico City, where she also attended acting school. By 1950, however, she had chosen to pursue an acting career full-time. Before becoming famous for films like Los Muchachos de America and El Compadre Mendoza (both of which she co-starred with Jorge Negrete), Juana starred in numerous telenovelas and stage productions. In 2009 she married Pedro Rivera in Huntington Park, Park.
4) She worked with well-known directors
Despite not being very well known today, Juana worked with some of Mexico’s most famous directors, including Luis Buñuel, Raúl de Anda, and María Luisa Bemberg. It is said that she learned a lot from these experiences. She was an icon of her time: During her time as an actress, Juana was called The Mexican Garbo because of her talent for portraying strong female characters. She had a strong personality and did not let anyone tell her what to do or how to act on set; for example, she refused to wear heels during one movie because they were too uncomfortable.
5) She was famous for her beauty, style, and class.
All eyes were on actress Juana Ahumada as she walked into each room. She was equally elegant, whether in traditional Mexican costumes or evening wear. Much of her fame, however, was not just due to her grace and beauty, but also to her talent as an actress. She is known as one of Mexico’s first modern women and made great strides for Latinos in Hollywood.