Adela Noriega

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Adela Noriega
Born Adela Amalia Noriega Méndez
(1969-10-24) 24 October 1969 (age 46)
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]


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 was well-received in the Arab world 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]


  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. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Datos biográficos" (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  3. ^ (27 November 1995). "Los enredos de María". Semana (in Spanish). Colombia. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Archivo". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Colombia. 3 April 1995. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Anciones, Isabel. "Adela Noriega. El azar y su enorme talento la han llevado a convertirse en una estrella." (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Gutiérrez, Alfonso. "Historietas que colorearon a México (parte 2)". Ocio (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Quinceañera, la telenovela juvenil mexicana sobre el verdadero amor y la amistad" (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Martínez, Adelaido (31 July 2011). "La telenovela juvenil mexicana: Historias para un público olvidado" (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Associated Press (27 December 2008). "Las 10 telenovelas más influyentes de AL" (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  11. ^ (11 August 2010). "Las 10 telenovelas más influyentes de Latinoamérica" (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dulce desafío (TV Series)". Retrieved 19 July 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 10 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Morocco:
  15. ^ "A la hora del café..." (in Spanish). 2 April 1995. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Arredondo, César (3 March 2013). "Carla Estrada recibe homenaje y es estrella de exhibición en OC". La Opinión (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Romero, Rolando (30 April 2005). Feminism, Nation and Myth: La Malinche. Arte Público Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-55885-440-6. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "María Isabel, la mejor sobremesa" (in Spanish). 10 February 1998. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Adela regresa con Maria Isabel" (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "¿Cómo se mide el raiting en México?". Reporteros Hoy (in Spanish). 15 September 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "En octubre Televisa arrasó en el mercado hispano de Estados Unidos" (in Spanish). 12 November 2002. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Morales, Magaly (16 July 2003). "Telemundo Puts Its Faith In Movies, Not Telenovelas". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "El manantial (Serie de TV)". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "Univision Debuts 'Amor Real' - an Unforgettable Love Story of Epic Proportions; Sweeping Tale Set in Turbulent 19th Century Mexico". Business Wire. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  25. ^ "Amor Real (TV Series)". Artistdirect. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "'Amor real', la sustituta de de 'Amar en tiempos revueltos' durante este verano" (in Spanish). Spain: 18 July 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "Audience history of primetime telenovelas in Mexico (1997-2007)" (PDF). IBOPE. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  28. ^ Cabot, Heather (15 January 2006). "Romance! Revenge! Telenovelas Draw U.S. Viewers". ABC News. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "The highly rated television run concludes March 4th" (PDF). Xenon Pictures. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  30. ^ Singer, Paola (22 August 2005). "'Telenovelas' Become A Vibrant New Niche In the DVD Market". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  31. ^ " Amor Real". Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  32. ^ Sutter, Mary (4 April 2005). "Televisa's 'Love' is real on DVD". Variety. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  33. ^ "La 1 recupera la telenovela 'Amor real' para tratar de levantar sus tardes" (in Spanish). Spain: 19 July 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  34. ^ Silvag, Gustavo (29 December 2008). "Arrasaron con su 'Fuego...'". El Universal (in Spanish). (Mexico City). Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  35. ^ "Superó Univisión a cadenas anglosajonas con novelas mexicanas". El Informador (in Spanish). (Mexico). Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  36. ^ Manrique, Carmen Elena (14 October 2011). "Refuerzan elenco". Listín Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  37. ^ "Adela Noriega, ¿qué hacía antes y qué hace ahora?" (in Spanish). 27 December 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  38. ^ (3 April 2013). "Premios TVyNovelas 1986: la cuarta entrega" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  39. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Young Lead Actress for Dulce Desafio, YouTube; retrieved 14 July 2011.(Spanish)
  40. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Young Lead Actress for María Isabel, YouTube; retrieved 14 July 2011.(Spanish)
  41. ^ (8 February 2003). "Tongolele y Peluffo serán galardonadas en Nueva York" (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  42. ^ "Califa de oro para artistas". 15 June 1999. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  43. ^ Barnette, Robyn (28 September 1999). "My article about "El Privilegio de Amar"". Rinconlatino. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  44. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Lead Actress for El Manantial (in Spanish).; retrieved 14 July 2011.
  45. ^ "Premio Bravo" (in Spanish). 17 October 2002. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  46. ^ TVyNovelas for Best Lead Actress for Amor Real (in Spanish). YouTube; retrieved 14 July 2011.
  47. ^ Pérez Fonseca, Gerardo. "Enamorados de Amor Real" (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  48. ^ (2009). "Fuego en la sangre, la máxima nominada" (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  49. ^ C. Saralegui named Noriega "the indisputable "Queen of telenovelas" on The Cristina Show (aired 29 December 2003). (IMDb). Video; retrieved 23 October 2011
  50. ^ "The cover of People en Español" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 October 2011.  (May 2003 issue)

External links[edit]