Carmen Salinas: Fichera, adventurous and foul-mouthed: Mexican actress Carmen Salinas dies

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Carmen Salinas poses during the inauguration of the photographic exhibition 'Mujer Chingona', in March 2020.
Carmen Salinas poses during the inauguration of the photographic exhibition ‘Mujer Chingona’, in March 2020.Getty Images

From a devoted mother, talkative neighbor to foul-mouthed and drunk cabaret, Carmen Salinas died many times on stage, but this time she did so in real life. Carmelita, as she was known in the middle of the performance, died this Thursday night at the age of 82 due to a stroke that led her to a coma for a month. The family announced on their social networks about his death, after weeks in suspense about his recovery. “We appreciate the messages of support and expressions of respect towards our family,” they said through of a statement. Behind him he leaves a long career that includes 115 films, 70 plays, 23 soap operas, nine television series and the hosting of a controversial one talk show, in addition to serving as a federal deputy for three years.

Born in northern Mexico (Torreón, Coahuila, 1939), she began her artistic career with dramatic roles, as in the film The useless life of Pito Pérez (1970) the The corner of the virgins (1972), directed by Alberto Isaac. “Then he made the leap to comedy thanks to his voice and his way of speaking, which made him a personal hallmark for his career,” says Leonardo García Tsao, a film critic and former director of the National Cinematheque, in an interview.

At the end of the seventies, Salinas took one of the steps that most marked her career as an actress: the cinema of ficheras, of women who sold their time to dance or accompany clients of the seedy cabarets of twentieth-century Mexico. When the client agreed, he gave the girl a token that in the end he could exchange for money. “His character from La Corcholata in Beauties at Night (1975) presented her in her most common role: rude, but comical, rapturous, ”says García Tsao.

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It’s hard to imagine staging like The place without limits (1978), where the first homosexual kiss was given in Mexican cinema, Midnight dolls (1979), a drama that revealed the mistreatment of women in the cabarets, or her role as Concha in Long live Tepito! (1981), which earned her an Ariel Award nomination for best female co-performance opposite Leonor Llausás.

The selfless mother of Mexican television

But the cabaret and the chips didn’t last forever. At the end of the eighties, when the financing of Mexican cinema by the State was reduced, Carmen Salinas returned to television and its great strengths: melodramas and soap operas. Although his career began in 1964 in the soap opera The neighborhood (1964), it was not until 1992 when he returned to the Televisa studios for the production of Maria mercedes, whose role as Doña Filigonia, a mixture of devoted mother and sympathetic confidant of the poor, won the hearts of audiences.

In Maria from the neighborhood (1996) continued to exploit his talkative and comic side at the same time as understanding and sweet with the suffering of the protagonist, played by Thalía and her adopted son in a plot wrapped in tragedies and suffering that end with a wedding, like almost all soap operas in Mexico. Not to mention his multiple appearances in Mexico’s spoiled dramatic miniseries: Woman, real life cases (1990-1997) or more recently in The rose of Guadalupe (2009).

But it was driving de Even in the best families which surrounded her with real controversy. The talk show Televisa, aired between 1999 and 2000, featured supposedly real dramas that always ended in beatings on the air. ‘My husband hits me when we make love and I’m liking it’, ‘My husband’s lover is a bitch’, read two of the program’s spaces that, at its best, had four million viewers, but which it was canceled by television due to the avalanche of claims.

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The artist deputy and her anecdote with Caro Quintero

The actress poses with the former PRI leader at an event in Tepito with Lourdes Ruiz, the queen of albur, in June 2015.
The actress poses with the former PRI leader at an event in Tepito with Lourdes Ruiz, the queen of albur, in June 2015.Moisés Pablo / CUARTOSCURO

Between 2015 and 2018, Salinas served as a federal deputy championed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). According to the website of the Chamber of Deputies, the actress presented 36 initiatives, of which only 11 were approved. “They put me into this, I didn’t want to,” the then 77-year-old legislator said at a news conference.

However, she explained that she was invited to the political arena by the former president of the PRI César Camacho Quiroz, who explained that her charisma, her closeness to people as well as her personality had earned her a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. The critics did not wait, not only because it was a ficheras actress, but because Salinas Lozano only had primary education. “To those who do not like it, I’m sorry”, He said in an interview with the newspaper The universal.

His anecdotes were as varied as his characters. In July of last year, Salinas boasted in a YouTube video that he had met drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, founder of the Guadalajara cartel. “He told me to shake hands with me nephew, but I did not understand, until the end because he thought that Carlos Salinas was my relative, since his father was called Raúl Salinas Lozano and my name was Carmen Salinas Lozano “, said the actress.

In addition to her long career in film and television, Salinas was a producer on the play Adventuress (1997-2013) where alongside actresses such as Niurka, Edith González and Itatí Cantoral they gave life to the story of Elena Tejero in the iconic Los Angeles Hall, in Mexico City. “He will always be remembered for his lighthearted and comical roles,” concludes García Tsao.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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