Flor Silvestre

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This article is about the singer and actress. For the film, see Flor silvestre (film).
Flor Silvestre
Flor Silvestre in Ánimas Trujano.jpg
in Ánimas Trujano (1962)
Born Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla
(1930-08-16) 16 August 1930 (age 84)
Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active 1943–present
Spouse(s) Paco Malgesto
(married 1953–1959)
Antonio Aguilar
(married 1959–2007)
  • Dalia Inés
  • Marcela Rubiales
  • Francisco Rubiales
  • Antonio Aguilar, Jr.
  • Pepe Aguilar
Relatives Enriqueta Jiménez (sister)
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts

Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla (born 16 August 1930),[1] commonly known by her stage name Flor Silvestre (Spanish pronunciation: [floɾ silˈβestɾe]), is a Mexican singer and actress whose multifaceted career spans seventy years.[2] Lauded as one of the most beautiful and shapely entertainers of her time, she is famous for her sentimental singing style with which she obtained success in the ranchera and bolero genres; her greatest hits include "Cielo rojo", "Mi destino fue quererte", "Renunciación", "Cachito de mi vida", "Gaviota traidora", "Caricia y herida", "Qué bonito amor", and "Pesares".[3]

As an actress, she is regarded as one of the folkloric leading ladies of the "golden age" of Mexican cinema.[4] Her most prominent performances are featured in the films Primero soy mexicano (1950), El bolero de Raquel (1957), La cucaracha (1959), and Ánimas Trujano (1962), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[5] She also lended her name and likeness to the title character of La Llanera Vengadora, a comic book series.[6]

She married twice and has five children. Her second husband was singer and actor Antonio Aguilar. Her younger sister (Enriqueta Jiménez) is also a singer and actress.

Early life[edit]

Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla was born in Salamanca, Guanajuato,[1] to Jesús Jiménez Cervantes and María de Jesús Chabolla Peña (c. 1907 – 5 September 1993).[7] She is the third of seven children: Francisco, Raquel, Guillermina, José Luis, Enriqueta, María de la Luz, and Arturo.[8] Her maternal grandparents were Felipe Chabolla and Inés Peña.[7]


Silvestre made her singing debut at the age of 13 in Mexico City; she sang the songs "La canción mexicana", "Yo también soy mexicana", and "El herradero" and received an ovation from the audience.[9] Shortly after, she was invited to sing on the XFO radio station, where she sang "La soldadera" by popular songwriter Jesús Morales.[9] Her first stage names were La Soldadera ("the female soldier"), based on the success of the aforementioned song, and La Amapola ("the poppy"), because an announcer told her that she looked "like a flower", until she was required to choose another name since those were already in use.[9] She then chose Flor Silvestre ("wild flower"), the title of a 1943 film starring Dolores del Río, as her stage name.[9]

In the late 1940s, Silvestre won a singing contest sponsored by the XEW radio station which led to many contracts, including one for her to perform at the important Teatro Colonial, where she caught the attention of showmen who contracted her for tours across northern Mexico and South America.[9] Upon her return from those tours, she sang at El Patio, where she met producer Gregorio Walerstein, who invited her to participate in films.[9]

Silvestre made her acting debut alongside Joaquín Pardave and Luis Aguilar in the comedy Primero soy mexicano (1950), a Walerstein production.[8] She worked with Aguilar and Francisco Avitia again in El tigre enmascarado (1951). Around the same time, she signed a contract with Columbia Records and released the singles "Llorar amargo" and "Oye morena".[10] She played the female lead in El lobo solitario, La justicia del lobo, and Vuelve el lobo (all in 1952). In 1955, she and Miguel Aceves Mejía starred the radio program Su programa Calmex, sponsored by Calmex Sardines.[11]

Silvestre's first color film was Miguel M. Delgado's La doncella de piedra (1956). Her first film co-starring Antonio Aguilar, her future husband, was La huella del chacal (1956). She traveled to Nicaragua for Rapto al sol (1956), another color film. On Mother's Day 1957, she participated with great success in the television play Secreto de familia.[12] One of her famous most roles was as Leonor, the mother of Cantinflas' godson, in the popular Eastmancolor comedy El bolero de Raquel (1957). She received top billing for the first time in Pueblo en armas (1959) and its sequel ¡Viva la soldadera! (1960), both directed by Miguel Contreras Torres. She had a small supporting role opposite María Félix in Ismael Rodríguez's Mexican Revolution epic La cucaracha (1959).

In the early 1960s, Silvestre starred with popular comedy duo Viruta and Capulina in Dos locos en escena (1960). Silvestre was cast along with Toshiro Mifune and Columba Domínguez in the award-winning film Ánimas Trujano (1962), another film directed by Ismael Rodríguez. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and contains her best known role among American and international audiences. In this decade, she would avert her roles from low-budget westerns and comedies to star in Mexican Revolution drama films starring her husband Antonio Aguilar, such as Caballo prieto azabache (1968), Lauro Puñales (1969), and El ojo de vidrio (1969).

By the 1970s, Silvestre had created a symbolic persona of a folkloric woman-hero, therefore she became the star of a comic book entitled La Llanera Vengadora,[6] which translates as "the avenging plainswoman," that used her likeness and name. The magazine featured a female hero who sought justice, and was dressed in brightly colored cowboy garb.[6] In this decade, she had some musical guest roles in films, but still maintained her leading lady status in many of Mario Hernández's productions. In the later two decades the films Sabor a sangre and Persecución y muerte de Benjamin Argumedo both in 1980 are among her noted roles, and Triste recuerdo in 1991, which was her last screen appearance, is one of her most memorable roles. She was 62 years old when she decided to leave Mexican cinema, but has appeared frequently in interviews, award festivals, and talk-shows.

Personal life[edit]

Silvestre gave birth to her first child, Dalia Inés, when she was 16 years old.[13] Dalia Inés publicly omits the name of her biological father, who was a radio announcer, since she says that she considers Antonio Aguilar as her father figure.[13] Silvestre later married television presenter Paco Malgesto.[13] Their children are Marcela Rubiales Jiménez, a singer and actress, and Francisco Rubiales Jiménez, a voice-over actor.[13]

In an interview with Don Francisco in Don Francisco presenta, Silvestre confirmed that during her first few films with Antonio Aguilar she had not been romantically involved with him.[14] It wasn't until the film Heraclio Bernal when both decided to divorce their respective spouses (Aguilar being married to actress Otilia Larrañaga and Silvestre being married to television presenter Paco Malgesto) to marry each other.[15] Aguilar and Silvestre finally married on 29 October 1959, shortly before the release of their most recent film La cucaracha. Their marriage produced two sons: Antonio Aguilar hijo and Pepe Aguilar.

On 28 February 2012, Silvestre underwent surgery to extirpate the cancer-stricken half of her right lung.[16] She responded well to the surgery and has since been recuperating.[17]


  • In 1969, Musart Records awarded her The Golden Clover (Trébol de Oro) for being one of the company's best-selling artists.[18]
  • In 2001, the National Association of Actors awarded her the Eduardo Arozamena Medal for her 50-year career.[19]
  • In 2010, the twenty-first edition of the World Mariachi Day (Día Mundial del Mariachi) awarded her the Pedro Infante Medal for "her outstanding work and dissemination of Mexican music".[20]
  • In 2012, the Confederation of Livestock Organizations awarded her a "bull sculpture" for her contribution to Mexican culture.[21]
  • In 2013, the Association of Mexican Cinema Journalists awarded her the Special Silver Goddess for her career.[22] Mexican actor Ignacio López Tarso presented her with the award and said: "For me it is a great honor and personal satisfaction to give you this award, to a great figure of Mexican cinema who, walking or on horseback, made the best movies of the Mexican film industry".[22]
  • In 2014, the Government of the State of Zacatecas paid tribute to her career and gave her a special accolade at the Teatro Calderón in the state capital as part of the First Corrido Festival.[23]

Selected discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • La sentimental (Musart, 1964)
  • La acariciante voz de Flor Silvestre (Musart, 1965)
  • Celosa y otros éxitos (Musart, 1966)
  • Boleros rancheros con la acariciante voz de Flor Silvestre (Musart, c. 1967)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 6 (Musart, 1967)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 7 (Musart, 1968)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 8 (Musart, 1968)
  • Canciones con alma (Musart, 1973)
  • Flor Silvestre con el Mariachi Oro y Plata de José Chávez (Musart, 1976)
  • Flor Silvestre con tambora (Musart, 2001)
  • Soledad (Green Dream, 2010)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Flor Silvestre canta sus éxitos (Okeh, 1964)
  • Los éxitos de Flor Silvestre (Musart, 1972)
  • El disco de oro de Flor Silvestre (Musart, 1977)
  • 15 éxitos (Musart, 1989)
  • 15 éxitos, vol. 2 (Musart, 1997)
  • 15 grandes éxitos (Musart, 1998)



  1. ^ a b "Guillermina Jimenez-chabolla, "United States, Border Crossings from Mexico to United States, 1903-1957"". FamilySearch. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Flor Silvestre recibe Diosa de Plata especial por su trayectoria". El Informador. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cielo rojo", "Mi destino fue quererte", and "Renunciación" were included in three of Flor's greatest hits compilation albums: Los éxitos de Flor Silvestre (1972), El disco de oro de Flor Silvestre (1977), and 15 éxitos (1989).
  4. ^ "Cine Confidencial: Folklóricas del cine mexicano". Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Cineastas y profesionales de Guanajuato - Sistema de informacion cultural". Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "An International Catalogue of Superheroes". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Maria de Jesus Chabolla Pena Mexico, Distrito Federal, Civil Registration, 1832-2005". FamilySearch. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Flor Silvestre, estandarte de la música ranchera". Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Kühne, Cecilia (23 October 2003). "Una flor que comenzó cantando". Imagen. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Novedades de esta Semana y de más Exito". El Siglo de Torreón. 8 July 1951. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Advertisement for Su programa Calmex". El Siglo de Torreón. 2 January 1955. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "El Cine en México: Flor Silvestre Artista de Cine y TV.". El Siglo de Torreón. 9 June 1957. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Muestra Dalia Inés 'orgullo' familiar". lasnoticiasmexico.com. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Flor Silvestre recordó a su Charro". Univision Interactive Media. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  15. ^ "Dificiles momentos". La Cronica de Hoy. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Le extirparon la mitad del pulmón derecho a la mamá de Pepe Aguilar". TVyNovelas. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Flor Silvestre fue operada de tumor en el pulmón". Univision. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Billboard Feb 28, 1970". Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Guzmán Frías, Habacuc (14 November 2001). "Reconocen trayectoria de la dinastía Aguilar". El Universal. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Camacho, Alma Rosa (28 September 2009). "Flor Silvestre y Lucha Villa serán homenajeadas". Esto. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  21. ^ Camacho, Alma Rosa (16 November 2012). "Antonio Aguilar y Flor Silvestre, homenajeados". Esto. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Camacho, Alma Rosa (1 August 2013). "Reconocen a histriones del cine mexicano". El Sol de Puebla. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  23. ^ Ortiz, Isela (16 June 2014). "Emotivo homenaje a Flor Silvestre". El Sol de Zacatecas. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 

External links[edit]