Adela Noriega

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Adela Noriega
Born Adela Amalia Noriega Méndez
(1969-10-24) October 24, 1969 (age 45)
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Actress
Years active 1983–present

Adela Amalia Noriega Méndez[nb 1] (born 24 October 1969), better known as Adela Noriega (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈðela noɾˈjeɣa]), is a Mexican actress. Noriega came to prominence as a teenager, starring in teen-oriented coming-of-age telenovelas in the late 1980s. Some of her most notable works include Quinceañera (1987), Dulce desafío (1989), María Isabel (1997), El privilegio de amar (1999), El Manantial (2001) and Amor real (2003). Noriega's success as a leading actress has led her to be known as one of the "Queens" of the genre.

Early life[edit]

Adela Noriega was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico.[1] Her father died when she was in her early adolescence, and her mother died in 1995, after a battle with cancer.[2][3] She has two siblings; an older sister, Reyna, and a younger brother, Alejandro.[4]


Career beginnings[edit]

Noriega was discovered as a child, at the age of twelve she was scouted in a shopping centre while she was walking with her mother.[5] Shortly after, she began to work as a fashion model and started appearing in TV commercials and music videos.[6] After being spotted on a shooting of a commercial by Patty de Llano, wife of the producer Luis de Llano Macedo, she began working as a teen actress. She made her television debut at the age of fourteen in the telenovela Principessa and shortly after she participated in Juana Iris. In both shows she interpreted antagonists. She also guest starred on the comic show Cachún cachún ra ra! for a few years.[1]

Teenage stardom[edit]

Noriega made her debut as a leading actress in 1986, at the age of sixteen when she was cast for her first lead role in Yesenia, a historical telenovela. The telenovela was based upon an adaptation of Yolanda Vargas Dulché's comic book of the same name,[7] which centers around a young Romani woman and her caravan. From then on she began to work solely as a leading actress of many successful telenovelas with an international distribution.

She rose to greater prominence in 1987 when she obtained the leading role in the iconic Quinceañera, telenovela portraying coming-of-age topics. Quinceañera was the first telenovela that geared towards adolescents and revealed the problems they face in this transitional period from childhood to adulthood. Topics such as substance abuse, date rape, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, gangs and self-acceptance were being explored for the first time in this genre.[8] This teen classic had a great impact in Mexico and other countries worldwide.[9] In 2008, it was included in the Associated Press' "10 Most Influential Telenovelas of Latin America" list, "because it represented a precedent in this genre and has had an influence on the collective imaginary."[10][11]

The year after, she returned to television in another successful teen-oriented telenovela; Dulce desafío, directed by Arturo Ripstein.[12] In this teen drama, she played the central character, Lucero Sandoval, a teenage girl who rebels against her emotionally distant father and gets romantically involved with her teacher (Eduardo Yáñez).[9]

Continued success[edit]

Noriega obtained a contract with the rival network Telemundo in 1993 and played the leading role in Guadalupe. For signing a contract with a different company, she was banned from her previous network, Televisa. Nevertheless, the telenovela Guadalupe resulted to be an international success and it was especially well received in the Arabic-speaking states, to such an extent that she was invited to be the guest of honour of the King of Morocco in 1994.[13][14] In 1995, she moved to Colombia and joined RTI, starring in María Bonita, where she interpreted the title character, a singer who stays trapped on a Caribbean island.[5][15]

She returned to Televisa in 1997 and collaborated with the producer Carla Estrada in four consecutive productions. The same year, she appeared on television as the lead character of María Isabel, interpreting a young indigenous woman faced with discrimination and lack of opportunities because of her origin. The telenovela presented the iconography of the tribe Huichol, based on indigenous folk beliefs and traditional symbols, and dealt with racial, cultural and class themes.[16][17][18] For her characterization of the lead female character, Noriega received TVyNovelas Award for "Best Young Actress in a Leading Role."[19]

A year later, she starred in El privilegio de amar, adaptation of Cristal, opposite Helena Rojo in a story that revolved around the world of fashion industry and show business. El privilegio de amar is officially the highest-rated television program in Mexico to date, according to IBOPE.[16][20] The show was internationally successful as well.[21] In 2001, she starred in El Manantial, under the direction of Mónica Miguel and Adriana Barraza, co-starring Mauricio Islas.[22][23] For her performance as the lead female character Alfonsina Valdes Rivero, she received another TVyNovelas Award, among others.

In 2003, she returned to television in the highly acclaimed historical telenovela, Amor real, in a story that was set in the Mexican post-independence period of the mid-19th century.[24][25][26] This costume drama registered very high records of audience in Mexico[27] and at the time of its airing on Univision, occasionally it managed to beat leading U.S. networks in the ratings.[28][29] In 2005, Amor real was released on DVD and due to its success, it became the first telenovela to be released with English subtitles.[30][31][32] Noriega received various recognitions for her portrayal of the aristocrat, Matilde Peñalver y Beristáin.[1][33]

In 2005, she portrayed the leading character of the telenovela La esposa virgen, opposite Jorge Salinas. The telenovela was an adaptation of Caridad Bravo Adams' novel, Tormenta de pasiones. Her most recent starring role was as the lead female character Sofía Elizondo in the telenovela Fuego en la sangre, from 2008. Despite receiving mostly bad reviews,[34] the telenovela was a big success in Mexico[20] and the U.S.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Noriega is known for taking a long hiatus between her projects, and is also renowned for being very private. She has a reserved demeanor towards the media and rarely makes media appearances, so little is known about her private life.[36][37]



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Los Amantes del Señor de la Noche Uncredited
1985 Un sábado más Lucía


Year Title Role Notes
1984–1987 Cachún cachún ra ra! Adela Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Revelation in Comedy Series (1985)
1984 Principessa Alina El Heraldo Award for Debutant of the Year
1985 Juana Iris Romina TVyNovelas Award for Best Female Debutant[38]
1986 Yesenia Yesenia Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
1987 Quinceañera Maricruz Fernández Sarcoser TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
Palmas de Oro Award for Best Young Actress
1989 Dulce desafío Lucero Sandoval TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress[39]
1993 Guadalupe Guadalupe Zambrano Santos Telemundo
1995 María Bonita María "María Bonita" Reynoso RTI Colombia
Nominated—TVyNovelas Award (Colombia) for Best Lead Actress
1997 María Isabel María Isabel Sánchez TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress[40]
Nominated—Eres Award for Best Young Actress
1999 El privilegio de amar Cristina Miranda New York Latin ACE Award for Best Television Actress[41]
TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
Califa de Oro Award for Best Young Actress[42]
Nominated—Eres Award for Best Young Actress[43]
2001 El Manantial Alfonsina Valdés Rivero New York Latin ACE Award for Best Television Actress
TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress[44]
Palmas de Oro Award for Best Lead Actress
Bravo Award for Best TV Actress[45]
Sol de Oro Award (Mexico's National Association of Journalists) for Best Actress
Nominated—Award Inte for Best Television Actress
2003 Amor real Matilde Peñalver y Beristáin de
Fuentes Guerra
New York Latin ACE Award for Best Television Actress[1]
TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress[46]
Laurel de Oro Award for Best Actress
Califa de Oro Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Award Inte for Best Television Actress
Sol de Oro Award (Mexico's National Association of Journalists) for Best Actress[47]
2005 La esposa virgen Virginia Alfaro Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress
2008 Fuego en la sangre Sofía Elizondo Acevedo Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress[48]
Nominated—Award Fama for Best Lead Actress

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 "Corazón de fresa" Love interest Lucía Méndez video
"Palabra de honor" Love interest Luis Miguel video

Awards and honours[edit]

Noriega has been honoured with multiple awards for her work in the television industry, and the wide acceptance of her work throughout the years has established her reputation as a "telenovela queen."[49][50] Additionally, she has been named the "queen of ratings" because of the success of the productions she starred in, taking them to the top of the ratings charts each time.[20][27]


  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Noriega and the second or maternal family name is Méndez.


  1. ^ a b c d "La cara angelical que asegura el éxito de sus telenovelas". El Universal (in Spanish). (Mexico City). October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Datos biográficos" (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  3. ^ (November 27, 1995). "Los enredos de María". Semana (in Spanish). Colombia. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  5. ^ a b "Archivo". El Tiempo (in Spanish). (Colombia). April 3, 1995. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ Anciones, Isabel. "Adela Noriega. El azar y su enorme talento la han llevado a convertirse en una estrella." (in Spanish). Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ Gutiérrez, Alfonso. "Historietas que colorearon a México (parte 2)". Ocio (in Spanish). Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Quinceañera, la telenovela juvenil mexicana sobre el verdadero amor y la amistad" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Martínez, Adelaido (July 31, 2011). "La telenovela juvenil mexicana: Historias para un público olvidado" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ Associated Press (December 27, 2008). "Las 10 telenovelas más influyentes de AL" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  11. ^ (August 11, 2010). "Las 10 telenovelas más influyentes de Latinoamérica" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dulce desafío (TV Series)". Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ Hess, Stephanie (2008). El intercambio comercial, cultural y tecnológico entre Argentina y Túnez. (in Spanish). Diplomica Verlag. p. 44. ISBN 978-3-8366-1802-1. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ Morocco:
  15. ^ "A la hora del café..." (in Spanish). April 2, 1995. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Arredondo, César (2013-03-03). "Carla Estrada recibe homenaje y es estrella de exhibición en OC". La Opinión (in Spanish). Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  17. ^ Romero, Rolando (April 30, 2005). Feminism, Nation and Myth: La Malinche. Arte Público Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-55885-440-6. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  18. ^ "María Isabel, la mejor sobremesa" (in Spanish). February 10, 1998. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Adela regresa con Maria Isabel" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  20. ^ a b c "¿Cómo se mide el raiting en México?". Reporteros Hoy (in Spanish). September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "En octubre Televisa arrasó en el mercado hispano de Estados Unidos" (in Spanish). November 12, 2002. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  22. ^ Morales, Magaly (July 16, 2003). "Telemundo Puts Its Faith In Movies, Not Telenovelas". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  23. ^ "El manantial (Serie de TV)". Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Univision Debuts 'Amor Real' - an Unforgettable Love Story of Epic Proportions; Sweeping Tale Set in Turbulent 19th Century Mexico". Business Wire. October 19, 2004. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Amor Real (TV Series)". Artistdirect. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  26. ^ "'Amor real', la sustituta de de 'Amar en tiempos revueltos' durante este verano" (in Spanish). Spain: 2012-07-18. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Audience history of primetime telenovelas in Mexico (1997-2007)" (PDF). IBOPE. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  28. ^ Cabot, Heather (January 15, 2006). "Romance! Revenge! Telenovelas Draw U.S. Viewers". ABC News. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  29. ^ "The highly rated television run concludes March 4th" (PDF). Xenon Pictures. Retrieved October 29, 2011. 
  30. ^ Singer, Paola (August 22, 2005). "'Telenovelas' Become A Vibrant New Niche In the DVD Market". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  31. ^ " Amor Real". Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  32. ^ Sutter, Mary (April 4, 2005). "Televisa's 'Love' is real on DVD". Variety. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  33. ^ "La 1 recupera la telenovela 'Amor real' para tratar de levantar sus tardes" (in Spanish). Spain: July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  34. ^ Silvag, Gustavo (December 29, 2008). "Arrasaron con su ‘Fuego...’". El Universal (in Spanish). (Mexico City). Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Superó Univisión a cadenas anglosajonas con novelas mexicanas". El Informador (in Spanish). (Mexico). Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  36. ^ Manrique, Carmen Elena (October 14, 2011). "Refuerzan elenco". Listín Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Adela Noriega, ¿qué hacía antes y qué hace ahora?" (in Spanish). 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  38. ^ (April 3, 2013). "Premios TVyNovelas 1986: la cuarta entrega" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  39. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Young Lead Actress for Dulce Desafio (in Spanish). YouTube. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  40. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Young Lead Actress for María Isabel (in Spanish). YouTube. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  41. ^ (February 8, 2003). "Tongolele y Peluffo serán galardonadas en Nueva York" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Califa de oro para artistas". June 15, 1999. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  43. ^ Barnette, Robyn (September 28, 1999). "My article about "El Privilegio de Amar"". Rinconlatino. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  44. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Lead Actress for El Manantial (in Spanish). YouTube. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  45. ^ "Premio Bravo" (in Spanish). October 17, 2002. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  46. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Lead Actress for Amor Real (in Spanish). YouTube. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  47. ^ Pérez Fonseca, Gerardo. "Enamorados de Amor Real" (in Spanish). Univision. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  48. ^ (2009). "Fuego en la sangre, la máxima nominada" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  49. ^ C. Saralegui named Noriega "the indisputable "Queen of telenovelas"" on The Cristina Show, December 29, 2003. (IMDb). Video Retrieved October 23, 2011
  50. ^ "The cover of People en Español" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 29, 2011.  (May 2003 issue)

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