Ninón Sevilla

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Ninón Sevilla
Born Emelia Pérez Castellanos
(1921-11-10) November 10, 1921 (age 92)
La Habana, Cuba
Occupation film actress, dancer
Years active 1946–present

Ninón Sevilla (born Emelia Pérez Castellanos, on November 10, 1921) is a Cuban-Mexican film actress and dancer who was active during the Golden age of Mexican cinema. She was considered one of the greatest Cuban stars and the queen of the "rumberas film".


Ninón Sevilla was born in Cuba and raised by an aunt in the populous Centro Habana sector. She successfully danced her way through Havana night clubs and cabarets, and arrived in Mexico in 1945, where she made her film debut. Although she had already made an impression with her eccentric attires and hairdos, it was her association with filmmaker Alberto Gout that determined the creation of her erotic film persona.

Soon, she became the icon of the rumbera, an archetype of the Mexican film musicals; a "bad girl" who is dignified by dancing. Ninon was accepted by the Mexican art community and was frequently associated with prominent Mexican artists who reflected the convergence of the characters of art and cinema. Ninón became an erotic star, working with some of the best talent in the film industry (Emilio Fernández, Pedro Armendáriz, Gabriel Figueroa, Agustín Lara, José Revueltas), in sound stages at Churubusco.

She choreographed her own complicated numbers, often in costumes by Gerardo Velazques Delgado, a well known personailty within cinema and art. Ninon's became known in non-Spanish speaking markets, such as Brazil and France. She was also among the first to introduce traces of the santería rites in her dances, and to acknowledge the presence of African elements in the Caribbean cultures in her films' stories.

With the decline of Mexican cinema in the 50s, Ninón Sevilla retired for many years, but she made a successful comeback in 1980, with "Noche de carnaval"; winning the top Mexican award for an actress for the first time in her career. She continues her career in Mexican telenovelas.

She is considered[by whom?] one of the greatest Rumba dancers of the Mexican cinema along with superstars Meche Barba, Rosa Carmina, Amalia Aguilar and Maria Antonieta Pons, frequently referred to as the Tropical Queens.

Her most popular films were Aventurera (1950), Perdída (1950), Víctimas del Pecado (1951), Sensualidad (1951), Mulata (1954) and Yambaó (1957).

Filmography (selected)[edit]

  • Carita de Cielo (1946)
  • Pecadora (1947)
  • Señora Tentación (1948)
  • Revancha (1949)
  • Coqueta (1949)
  • Perdida (1950)
  • Aventurera (1950)
  • Victimas del Pecado (1951)
  • Sensualidad (1951)
  • No niego mi pasado (1952)
  • Llevame en tus brazos (1953)
  • Mulata (1954)
  • Yambao (1957)
  • Mujeres de Fuego (1959)
  • Zarzuela 1900 (1959)
  • Noche de Carnaval (1983)


External links[edit]