Angélica Aragón

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Angélica Aragón
Born Angélica Espinoza Stransky
(1953-07-11) July 11, 1953 (age 65)
Mexico City, México
Alma mater London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation Actress
Singer
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Shajid (1972-1978)
Partner(s) Rodrigo Martínez (1989–90)
Children
  • María
Awards Silver Ariel Award as Best Supporting Actress (1994)
(1997)
(2002)

Angélica Espinoza Stransky, best known as Angélica Aragón (Spanish pronunciation: [aŋˈxelika aɾaˈɣon]; born July 11, 1953) s a Mexican film, television and stage actress and singer. She is daughter of the Mexican composer José Ángel Espinoza "Ferrusquilla". She is recognized for her performances in various Mexican film productions such as Cilantro y perejil (1997), Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (1999) and El crimen del Padre Amaro (2002) and in diverse American productions like A Walk in the Clouds (1995) and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2002) among others. Also famous for having starred in two famous Mexican telenovelas: Vivir un poco (1985) and Mirada de mujer (1997).

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Angelica Espinoza Stransky is the elder daughter of the Mexican actor and composer José Ángel Espinoza "Ferrusquilla" and Sonia Stransky. She had a younger sister named Vindia (deceased in 2008). On her mother's side, she has two half brothers: Jacqueline and John. Her maternal grandfather, of Czech origin, was a soldier in the service of Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and fought in the World War I. Sonia, her mother, was the secretary of the musician Carlos Chávez.[1] Her parents divorced when Angelica was three years old. She spent her childhood between television and film forums accompanying her father. Angelica lived with her mother and sister in a house in the Colonia del Valle of Mexico City, often living with her father.[2]

Artistic training[edit]

Angelica wanted to study medicine. She studied at the Liceo franco-mexicano, in Mexico City. There she met the Spanish actor Juan Ribó. Angelica joined the theatrical company led by Ribó who was working on Federico García Lorca's works at the Treatro de la Alianza Francesa in Mexico City.[3][4] In 1970 she also participated in a work by the director Antonio Pasi within the Festival Cervantino, in Guanajuato. In 1971 and with the support of her father, she made a small character in the telenovela El amor tiene cara de mujer, produced by Televisa and directed by German director Fernando Wagner. It was through Juan Ribó that Angelica met the actor, director and playwright Alejandro Jodorowsky, participating as an extra in the film La montaña sagrada (1973). Angelica took her artistic surname in tribute to her paternal grandmother, Fredesvinda Aragón, who died in childbirth at the age of 19.[5]

A strike at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México led Angelica to emigrate to United Kingdom. She studied theater, dance and pantomime for seven years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Eventually she also took courses at the London School of Contemporary Dance.[6] Parallel to her theatrical training. Aragón also performed various activities in London. She worked as a cook and performed in a hospital and sold children's clothing at Harrods. She also enrolled at the University of London, where she studied Philosophy of India, History and Languages. Aragón speaks seven languages: Spanish. English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Bengali and Japanese.[7] As a theater student, Aragón also worked for five years (as a room dresser) at the National Theatre in London.[7]


Aragón came to India circumstantially with her then husband. On the recommendation of a professor at the School of Contemporary Dance in London, Aragón gets accepted into Kerala Kalamandalam, one of the most important ritual dance schools in South India. Although this institution accepted only male students, Aragón was able to receive outside classes outside the institution's classrooms.[7] In India, Aragón witnessed many works of the Kathakali theater and participated in some plays.

Television[edit]

Returning to Mexico in 1980, Aragón joins the Mexican telenovelas of Televisa with the producer Valentín Pimstein, whom she met through the Greek director Dimitrio Sarrás.[6] She started with a small role in the telenovela Sandra y Paulina (1980), starring Jacqueline Andere. In 1981 she acts in the telenovela El hogar que yo robé, with Angelica Maria. In 1982 she performs the feminine antagonistic role of the telenovela Vanessa, next to Lucía Méndez. In 1983 she shares stellar with Lucero in the popular children's telenovela Chispita. In 1984 she made two more telenovelas: La fiera, next to Victoria Ruffo and Principessa, telenovela that leaves shortly after having initiated to being offered her first leading role.

In 1985, Valentín Pimstein gives Aragón the starring role of the telenovela Vivir un poco, the first Mexican version of the Chilean telenovela La madrastra, by writer Arturo Moya Grau. In that telenovela, Aragón gave life to the personage of Andrea, a woman unjustly accused of murder and imprisoned for twenty years in a prison in Argentina. The telenovela obtained a great level of hearing and it gave Aragón one of the most outstanding successes of her career.

In 1986, the producer and director Carlos Téllez offers Aragón the star of the hit telenovela Cuna de lobos, but she rejects it, being replaced by Diana Bracho. The increasingly constant participation of Aragón in the movies causes her to return to television until 1989 in the telenovela La casa al final de la calle, telenovela of suspense and mystery co-starred by Hector Bonilla and Leticia Calderón. The telenovela was produced by Juan Osorio and directed by Jorge Fons.

In 1990 Aragón stars in the telenovela Días sin luna, next to Sergio Goyri, where she interprets to a painter with a terminal illness. Also performs a special performance in the telenovela En carne propia, production of Carlos Téllez, next to Edith González and Gonzalo Vega.

In 1992 Aragónis invited to act as director of dialogues in the telenovela Madres egoístas, produced by Juan Osorio. In that same year, she plays "Chole", an indigenous Zapotec woman in the telenovela De frente al sol, produced by Carla Estrada, sharing the star with the actress María Sorté. The telenovela was so successful, that in 1993 a sequel titled Más allá del puente was realized.

In 1996, Aragón participates in the telenovela Cañaveral de pasiones, produced by Humberto Zurita and Christian Bach and starring Daniela Castro and Juan Soler. In this telenovela Aragón obtained her first opportunity to direct television as Guest Scene Director. This will be the last telenovela performed to date by Aragón on Televisa.

In 1997, the company Argos Comunicación, offers Aragón the starring role of the telenovela Mirada de mujer]], Mexican adaptation of the Colombian novel Señora Isabel by Bernardo Romero Pereiro. The telenovela was produced by TV Azteca. The story of María Inés Domínguez, a mature woman in love with a younger man, brings to Aragón the greatest success of her television career, in a telenovela that breaks schemas at the time in Mexico. Aragón shared a scene with Ari Telch, Fernando Luján, Margarita Gralia, Evangelina Elizondo and another important cast of actors.

After the success of Mirada de mujer, Aragón makes only sporadic appearances on television, returning with a starring role in 2000, in the telenovela Todo por amor, Mexican version of the Colombian telenovela La madre. In 2003, returns to the television to realize the second part of Mirada de mujer: Mirada de mujer, el regreso. Although the telenovela captures a good audience, it does not, however, manage to overcome the success of the first part. In 2005, Aragón does her last work of weight in television with the miniseries Ni una vez más, about the mistreatment to the woman. She also directs some episodes of the unit program of TV Azteca Lo que callamos las mujeres. It was until 2011 when Aragón returns to television with a small role in the television series A corazón abierto, Mexican version of the American series Gray's Anatomy.

Film[edit]

In 1984, Aragón made her debut in the films, which was hosted by producer Pancho Kohner (son of Mexican actress Lupita Tovar) with J. Lee Thompson's The Evil That Men Do with Charles Bronson.[6] This is followed by three other Hollywood productions: Toy Soldiers (1984), by David Fisher, alongside Jason Miller and Tim Robbins; Samson and Delilah (1984), made for television, alongside Max von Sydow and Victor Mature, and Dune (1984), by David Lynch, alongside Silvana Mangano, Jose Ferrer and singer Sting, among others. Due to her participation in a telenovela in Mexico, Aragón had to reject the offer of the actor and director Robert Redford to co-star with him the film The Milagro Beanfield War, being replaced by the Brazilian actress Sonia Braga.[8]

In the Mexican Cinema Angélica debuted in 1986 in the film Los dos frailes, next to the brothers Fernando and Mario Almada. Eventually she participated in other Mexican productions like Lamberto Quintero (1987), next to the folk singer Antonio Aguilar; Sabor a mí (1988), next to the singer Jose Jose, inspired in the life of the Mexican composer Alvaro Carrillo; La furia de un dios (1988), by Felipe Cazals, alongside Humberto Zurita and Assumpta Serna, and Goitia: un dios para si mismo (1989), by Diego López Rivera and inspired by the life of the painter Francisco Goitia, among others.

At the beginning of the following decade, Aragón participates in films like Pueblo de madera (1990), of Juan Antonio de la Riva, with Mario Almada and Gabriela Roel; Gertrudis (1992), based on the life of the Mexican political activist Gertrudis Bocanegra, together with Ofelia Medina; the American production The Harvest, along with Miguel Ferrer and George Clooney; La señorita (1994), by Mario Hernández, with Jacqueline Andere and María Rojo and Novia que te vea (1994), by Guita Schyfter, for which she obtains her first Silver Ariel Award for best female co-performance, among others.

In 1995, Angelica participates in the successful film production A Walk in the Clouds, by Alfonso Aráu, with Keanu Reeves, Anthony Quinn and others. In that same year she obtains her second Silver Ariel Award as co-stellar actress for its participation in the film Cilantro y perejil, next to Demián Bichir and Arcelia Ramírez and directed by Rafael Montero. In 1999, she participates in the films Crónica de un desayuno of Benjamin Cann and in the successful Sexo, pudor y lágrimas, of Antonio Serrano.

In 2000, Aragón meets with Alfonso Arau in the film Picking Up the Pieces. In this production, Aragón also served as an assistant director, having the opportunity to lead important figures such as Woody Allen, Kiefer Sutherland, Sharon Stone and others.[9] In 2002, she participated in the controversial and successful film by Carlos Carrera El crimen del Padre Amaro next to Gael García Bernal, and by which he obtains her third Silver Ariel Award of her cinematographic career. In 2004 she participated in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, starring Diego Luna. In 2005 she was part of the cast of the film La mujer de mi hermano, by Ricardo de Montreuil, next to Barbara Mori. In 2006, she participated in the film Bella by Alejandro Gómez Monteverde. In 2009 she participates in the American production From Mexico with Love, next to Kuno Becker, as well as in the Mexican production Recién cazado, starring Jaime Camil and in the American production Looking for Palladin, by the filmmaker Andrzej Krakowski, next to Ben Gazzara. These are just some of her most outstanding film work in this decade.

In the decade of the 2010's, Aragón participates in films like Cinco de mayo: La batalla (2013), again next to the actor Kuno Becker; the Spanish-Mexican co-production Todos están muertos (2014), by the filmmaker Beatriz Sanchiz, sharing a scene with Elena Anaya and Patricia Reyes Spíndola, among others and Treintona, soltera y fantástica (2016), starring Barbara Mori. In 2016 Aragón also lent her voice to a character in the Latin American dubbing of the animated film of Disney Moana. In this same year the actress participates in the film Mr. Pig, directed by Diego Luna and starring by the American actor Danny Glover. For this performance the actress received a new nomination to the Silver Ariel Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress.[10]

Stage[edit]

As mentioned earlier, Aragón began her acting career in various student theater projects at the Festival Cervantino in Guanajuato and at the Teatro de la Alianza Francesa. After getting in touch with Alejandro Jodorowsky, Aragón participates in a small role in the play Zaratustra (1970), where Héctor Bonilla, Carlos Ancira and Isela Vega performed. Also participated with a small roll in the work The Lady of the Camellias (1970), directed by Jose Solé Nájera and carried out by Dolores del Río.

Between the plays in which Aragón has participated emphasize El día que pisamos la luna (1981), of Nancy Cárdenas; Fool for Love (1986), by Sam Shepard, with Ari Telch; Los derechos de la mujer (1988), with Rafael Banquells; Contrabando (1991), of Víctor Hugo Rascón, with Héctor Bonilla; Águila Real (1992), by Hugo Arguelles, about the life of Isabel Moctezuma and premiered in the United States; Las dos camelias (1993), directed by Susana Alexander; Poker de reinas (1993) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, alongside Ofelia Medina and the singers Betsy Pecanins and Margie Bermejo; Cartas de amor, directed again by Alexander, first with Héctor Bonilla (1994), and years later with César Évora (2006) and El juego de la pasión (1995), directed by Mario Espinoza, next to Fernando Balzaretti.

In 1996, Aragón starred in the Hellenic Theater of Mexico City the monologue Maquillaje (Kesho), by the Japanese author Hisashi Inoue, which commemorated 100 years of Japanese emigration to Mexico. For this installation, the actress received permission from one of the main Japanese actors of the Kabuki theater, Nakamura Kankurō V. In the play Aragón interpreted an actress who represents in the stage all the masculine characters, in reverse way to the conventional Kabuki theater. The editing was directed by Wendell Cordz and was one of the most outstanding theatrical successes of the actress.[11]

Other of his more successful plays were El verdadero oeste (2008), directed by José Caballero, next to Plutarco Haza and Fabián Corres; Pequeños crímenes conyugales (2008), directed by Luis de Tavira, with Ricardo Blume; El juicio de Hidalgo (2010), directed and starring by Jorge Ortiz de Pinedo and Relaciones peligrosas (2013), with Jacqueline and Chantal Andere and directed by herself, just to name a few.[6]

As director, she also directed the montages Tengamos el sexo en paz, starring Margarita Gralia (2000); Sueña (2007), with Irma Lozano and Aarón Hernán; Por razones oscuras (2008), starring Esteban Soberanes and Roberto D'Amico and La última palabra (2016), starring Roberto D'Amico and Pablo Perroni. In 2013 she also starred in the musical show Su Majestad, El Bolero with actor Roberto D'Amico.

In 2014 Aragón was invited by the director Patrick Swanson to participate in the theatrical assembly The Christmas Revels in the Sanders Theater of the Harvard University.[12]

Music[edit]

Although in the United Kingdom she had an artistic training that included music, Aragón decided to enter the record market in 1997 with a disc titled Silencio corazón, born with the intention of preserving the compositions of her father, José Ángel Espinoza "Ferrusquilla". The album was recorded independently.[13] In 2009 she released the album Échame a mi culpa: vida y canciones de "Ferrusquilla", in which she toured musically the biography of her father supported by a theatrical project with the actor Roberto D ' Amico. In 2010, and on the occasion of the Bicentennial of Independence of Mexico, Aragón publishes a third record production produced by her father and titled México: mi palabra más bella.[14] In 2013, the actress presents her third album titled Su Majestad, El Bolero, a tribute to the bolero genre. The disc was presented in the Lunario del National Auditorium.[15]

Social and political activism[edit]

Aragón has also given workshops and theater degrees in various parts of Mexico. For several years, she has been part of the campaign known as Lectura en voz alta, responsible for promoting reading in children and adults in rural regions of Mexico.[16]

Angelica Aragón has been an intelligent and persistent political activist, both outside and inside her country. She has worked in favor of women (against sexual abuse and in favor of obtaining and promoting better working and socio-economic conditions for women, who need to work less and receive more). she has signed a large number of manifestos, alongside many other characters from literature, film and the world of Mexican and international culture.

Personal life[edit]

When Aragón was 19 years old, she married Shajid, an Indian musician from Calcutta and whom she met at a music festival in Mexico shortly before. Shajid is currently in charge of the Department of Music of the National Theater of the United Kingdom. She lived in India for a year.[7] The marriage concluded soon after.[17] In 1989, while Aragón was filming Goitia: un dios para si mismo in Zacatecas, she had an affair with an old friend of his youth, the historian Rodrigo Martinez. As a result of this relationship, her only daughter, María, was born.[18]

Filmography[edit]

Telenovelas[edit]

Actress[edit]

Director (telenovelas)[edit]

Director (series)[edit]

Films[edit]

Hollywood[edit]

Mexico[edit]

  • Los dos frailes (1986)
  • Lamberto Quintero (1987) - María de los Ángeles
  • La furia de un dios (1988)
  • sabor a mí (1988)
  • Goitia: un dios para si mismo (1989)
  • Pueblo de madera (1990) - Corner shop owner
  • Gertrudis (1992) - Pilar Molina
  • Novia que te vea (1994) - Sarica Mataraso
  • La señorita (1994)
  • Ámbar (1994) - Armandina
  • En el aire (1995) - Teresa
  • Sucesos distantes (1996) - Irene Gorenko
  • Pensamientos (1996) - Flor
  • De muerte natural (1996) - Nicolasa
  • Cilantro y perejil (1997) - Teresa
  • Fibra óptica (1998) - Doña Carmen
  • Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (1999) - Carlos' mother
  • Entre la tarde y la noche (2000) - Minerva
  • Crónica de un desayuno (2000) - Estela
  • El grito (2000) - Blanca
  • ¿Y si Cristobal despierta? (2000) - Mariana
  • El crimen del Padre Amaro (2002) - Agustina Sanjuanera
  • Desnudos (2004) - Diana's mother
  • La mujer de mi hermano (2005) - Cristina
  • cañitas: presencia (2007) - Doña Elvia
  • La Virgen Negra (2008) - Lurdita
  • Todos hemos pecado (2009) - Woman in love
  • Recién cazado (2009) - Sebastián,s mother
  • El atentado (2010) - Aunt Avelina
  • Tequila (2011) - Remedios
  • Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla (2013) - Doña Soledad
  • Todos están muertos (2014)- Paquita
  • Alicia en el país de María (2014)- Reyna
  • Elvira te daría mi vida pero la estoy usando (2015) - Elvira's mother
  • Estar o no estar (2015) - Matrushka
  • Treintona, soltera y fantástica (2016) - Catalina
  • Mr. Pig (2016) - Chila

Peru[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]