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Lyn May, born Lilia Mendiola de Chi in Acapulco, Guerrero, is a Mexican actress, exotic dancer and acrobat of Chinese descent. She was very well known in the 1970s, when she was a central figure in the Mexican exploitation genre known as "cine de ficheras".
As a young child, at six years old, she sold necklaces, suntan oil, and other products on the beaches of Acapulco. Unable to attend school since she needed to make money for her family, she taught herself to read. According to interviews, she also suffered sexual abuse during her childhood. At age 14, she ran away from home with a boyfriend, and had two daughters. When her boyfriend left her, she became a go-go dancer to support her daughters. After she was discovered and taken to Mexico City, where she was introduced to television presenter Raúl Velasco, who signed her to a one-year contract at a cabaret, she changed her name to Lyn May. She sent her children to live at a private boarding school in the United States, leaving her in Mexico City to focus on her career. She became an exotic dancer with an unusual act that consisted of her singing on a pedestal, then holding her right leg straight up tight to her body and pivoting around the pedestal on the other foot, never losing her balance. She began working in the Iris Theater, later she starred at The Capri night club located in the Hotel Regis that was destroyed after the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City. She also made tours throughout Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. She invested in real estate both in Mexico and the United States in order to provide for her family.
The Iris Theater was frequented by many celebrities, and she was romantically involved with several, resulting in her appearance on the cover of gossip magazines. At age 20, she was noticed by movie director Alberto Isaac, who hired her for a role in his movie Tívoli, which went on to become a success. In her own words, she "didn't act much, but mostly danced well and looked sexy."
After the success of Tívoli, she became synonymous with the Mexican exploitation subgenre "cine de ficheras", which was widely popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
While not having acted since the 1990s, she remains a popular and well-known figure in Mexico, appearing frequently in interviews, gossip magazines, and she is a favorite of Raul "El Gordo" Molina the star of the talk show El Gordo y La Flaca. In 2008, her husband, Antonio Chi Su, died of stomach cancer after four years of illness.
- Spanish-language interview with biographical information
- Spanish-language interview where she describes being abused as a child, and being a prostitute