Kate del Castillo

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Kate del Castillo
Kate del Castillo at 2015 Miami Film Festival (cropped).jpg
Del Castillo at the 2015 Miami Film Festival
Kate del Castillo Negrete Trillo

(1972-10-23) October 23, 1972 (age 49)
CitizenshipMexican (1972–present)
American (2015–present)[1]
Years active1978–present
(m. 2001; div. 2004)

(m. 2009; div. 2012)
Parent(s)Eric del Castillo
Kate Trillo Graham
RelativesVeronica del Castillo (sister)

Kate del Castillo Negrete Trillo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkejd del kasˈtiʝo neˈɣɾete ˈtɾiʝo]; born October 23, 1972) is a Mexican-American actress. At the age of 19, del Castillo became known for her lead role in the telenovela Muchachitas for Televisa in 1991. Afterwards, she continued her career in film and television in Latin America, playing the leading roles in telenovelas, including Alguna vez tendremos alas (1997), La Mentira (1998), Ramona (2000), and Bajo la misma piel (2003–04).

In 2011, del Castillo earned worldwide recognition for playing the lead role in the Telemundo series La Reina del Sur. In 2017, she went to star in the Netflix political drama series Ingobernable playing First Lady of Mexico Emilia Urquiza. Del Castillo made her Hollywood debut playing a female leading role in the 2007 drama film Under the Same Moon and later appeared in supporting roles in films No Good Deed (2014), The 33 (2015), El Chicano (2019), and Bad Boys for Life (2020).

Early life[edit]

Del Castillo was born in Mexico City, Mexico. She is the daughter of Kate Trillo Graham and Eric del Castillo, a legend of Mexican cinema and a soap opera actor himself. Del Castillo has two siblings: a sister, the journalist Verónica del Castillo, and a half-brother, Ponciano, from her father's side.


Early works[edit]

Del Castillo at the 2012 Imagen Awards

Del Castillo made her acting debut in 1978 when she took part in a film called The Last Escape. She became well known in 1991 when she starred as Leticia in Muchachitas, a telenovela airing in several Latin American countries. The following year, she went to star in Mágica juventud. Her other leading roles in 1990s was in Azul (1996), long-running Alguna vez tendremos alas (1997), and La mentira. In 1995 she appeared in the music video "Fuego de Noche, Nieve de Día" by Ricky Martin.

In early 2000s, Del Castillo played the leading roles in telenovelas Ramona (2000), El derecho de nacer (2001) and Bajo la misma piel (2003-2004). In 2003, she made her American television debut playing a recurring role in the PBS drama series American Family starring Edward James Olmos and Sônia Braga. In 2009, she had a recurring role in the Showtime dark comedy-drama Weeds playing Pilar Zuazo, a powerful woman in Mexican politics. In 2002 and 2003, she embarked on an international tour alongside Argentine actor Saul Lisazo with the play Cartas de Amor (Love Letters). In 2005, she starred alongside Demián Bichir in the romantic comedy film American Visa.[2] In 2006, Del Castillo starred in the film Bordertown, which became her first role in Hollywood. In 2007, she went to star in the drama film Under the Same Moon directed by Patricia Riggen. The film grossed $23.3 million against $1.7 million budget.[3] She also starred in a number of independent movies, include The Black Pimpernel (2007) and Julia alongside Tilda Swinton.[4]

In November 2007, Del Castillo was named one of the "Stars of the Year" and in 2011 one of the "25 most influential women" and "50 most beautiful" by People en Español magazine.[5][6] In 2009, del Castillo was appointed Ambassador for the Mexican Commission on Human Rights and the following year she helped launch the Blue Heart Campaign in order to raise awareness and fight human trafficking.[7]


del Castillo in 2016

In 2011, Del Castillo starred as Teresa "La Mexicana" Mendoza in the Telemundo telenovela La reina del sur based on a novel of the same name by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte, a role that skyrocketed her fame across Latin America. With a $10 million budget it is the second most expensive telenovela ever produced by Telemundo.[8] The series later was renewed for a second season, that premiered in 2019.[9] del Castillo continued her collaboration with Telemundo in 2015, starring in Duenos del Paraiso. The telenovela is inspired by the drug trade of Miami in the 1970s.[10] She also appeared in a number of American television shows, include CSI: Miami, Grimm and Dallas. In 2015, she had a recurring role as Rogelio de la Vega's ex-wife in the CW comedy series, Jane the Virgin.[11]

On November 20, 2015 Del Castillo launched a new brand of tequila named Honor del Castillo in association with the Vivanco Family. She serves as the spokesperson for the brand. Del Castillo has also appeared in advertising campaigns for L'Oréal and Ford.[12]

In 2012, Del Castillo starred in the Mexican film Colosio: El asesinato, which centers around the assassination of the Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio. The following year, she starred in the American prison drama film K-11. In later years, Del Castillo appeared in many American movies, including playing Idris Elba's ex in the 2014 thriller No Good Deed, Antonio Banderas' wife in the disaster-survival drama The 33, All About Nina (2018), El Chicano (2019), and Bad Boys for Life (2020).[13] In 2017, she went to star in the Netflix political thriller series, Ingobernable playing the fictional First Lady of Mexico, Emilia Urquiza.[14] The second season premiered in 2018.

In 2019, del Castillo made her off-Broadway debut in the Audible Theater production of Isaac Gomez's play The Way She Spoke.[15] The performance earned her Drama Desk, Drama League, and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play nominations, making her the first Mexican actress to be nominated for three theatre awards in New York.[16]

In 2022, del Castillo will star in the Peacock comedy-drama series, Armas De Mujer.[17] She also set to star and produce A Beautiful Lie, a six-part miniseries that a modern take in Spanish on Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.[18]

Personal life[edit]

One of del Castillo's first known romantic relations was with Emilio Azcárraga Jean, son of media mogul Emilio Azcárraga Milmo, and now CEO of the largest mass media company in Latin America, the Televisa Group.[19] On February 3, 2001, she married football player Luis García. The marriage was dissolved on September 1, 2004. In August 2009, del Castillo married Aarón Díaz in a Las Vegas ceremony. On July 26, 2011, it was announced that Kate and Díaz were separating. Del Castillo was briefly romantically connected with Sean Penn from 2015 to 2016, although the actor's representatives contest this.[20] It has been frequently asserted in the media that del Castillo was romantically involved with Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, allegations that the actress vehemently denies.

On August 22, 2005, it was reported by the LAPD that del Castillo's new house in Los Angeles had been broken into by thieves, who took some jewelry from the actress. Del Castillo was in Los Angeles filming Bordertown, a film about the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez, when the burglary occurred. A frequent activist for a variety of causes, she posed in a 2012 PETA ad campaign encouraging pet owners to "fiercely protect" their dogs and cats by keeping them indoors.[21] She became a citizen of the United States in September 2015 and resides in Los Angeles.[22]

During an interview with Cristina Saralegui on the Cristina Show, del Castillo revealed that her favorite band is the English new wave band Duran Duran.[23]

Relationship with El Chapo[edit]

On January 9, 2012, del Castillo publicly posted an essay on Twitter (using Twextra) discussing social issues in Mexico[24] that included controversial statements directed towards Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the infamous head of the Sinaloa Cartel. The essay included requests to Mr. Guzmán to "deal with love, with good things" and to "[begin to] traffic in love." The most controversial portion of the essay stated: "Today I believe more in Chapo Guzmán [than in] the government that hides painful truths from me, that hides the cure for cancer, AIDS, etc., for their own benefit and wealth."[25][26][27][28][29][30]

del Castillo in 2017

Unbeknownst to del Castillo, Guzmán was a longtime fan who harbored romantic feelings for her. Authorities found DVDs of La Reina del Sur at the safe house stormed during Guzmán's initial capture.[31] Del Castillo was contacted by Guzmán's lawyer to discuss producing a biographical film about Guzmán in 2014.[32] As a result of the meetings, she obtained the rights to his life and was unknowingly placed under CISEN surveillance. Communication increased following Guzmán's escape from prison in July 2015.[32] She received a cell phone and the code names Hermosa and Dama from Guzmán.[33] She brokered an interview between American actor Sean Penn and Guzmán in October 2015, shortly before Mexican Marines recaptured him (del Castillo claims in her documentary for Netflix that she did not know Penn intended to interview the drug lord during the meeting).[34][35] CISEN later released photographs of del Castillo at the meetings with Guzmán's lawyer and of the arrival of the actress and Penn to Mexico.


Sean Penn and Del Castillo's actions remain under investigation by the Attorney General of Mexico.[33] She was subpoenaed on January 18, 2016 and was to testify before the public prosecutor at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.[36] Del Castillo was originally under investigation for money laundering in relation to the planned movie about Guzmán and her tequila brand Honor del Castillo.[37] The investigation was suspended in 2017 as there was no evidence that proved that Guzmán ever paid del Castillo any money.[citation needed]

On February 5, 2016, a Mexican judge granted del Castillo's petition for an injunction against any arrest related to the federal investigation into her ties with Joaquín Guzmán. The Mexican Attorney General issued a detain-and-interrogate order on del Castillo; however, that would only become effective if del Castillo set foot on Mexican soil. That order was issued after she did not heed a request to voluntarily appear before Mexican prosecutors.[38]

Kate del Castillo did not return to Mexico until December 2018 and therefore since the injunction was issued[39] in 2016 and 2017 filming locations for Ingobernable were changed to San Diego to accommodate restrictions on her travel.

The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story premiered in 2017 on Netflix, based on the events surrounding del Castillo's communications with El Chapo.[40]


Kate at the 2015 Miami Film Festival


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Los de abajo
1990 El último escape Bárbara
1997 Educación sexual en breves lecciones Ana
1997 Reclusorio Estrella Uribe Segment: "Sangre entre mujeres"
2004 Avisos de ocasión Amanda
2005 American Visa Blanca
2006 Bordertown Elena Díaz
2006 Lime Salted Love Isabella Triebel
2007 El precio de la inocencia / Trade Laura
2007 The Black Pimpernel Consuelo Fuentes
2007 Under the Same Moon Rosario Reyes
2008 Julia Elena
2008 Bad Guys Zena
2009 Down for Life Esther
2011 ¿Y dónde están los hombres? Cleotilde
2012 Colosio: El asesinato Verónica
2012 K-11 Mousey
2013 A Miracle in Spanish Harlem Eva
2014 El crimen del Cácaro Gumaro Kate / Rosario
2014 No Good Deed Alexis
2014 The Book of Life La Muerte (voice)
2014 Visitantes Ana
2015 The 33 Katy Valdivia de Sepúlveda
2016 El Americano: The Movie Rayito (voice)
2018 All About Nina Lake
2019 El Chicano Cartel Leader
2020 Bad Boys for Life Isabel Aretas
2022 Hunting Ava Bravo Ava Bravo


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Muchachitas Leticia Bustamante Television debut
1992 Mágica juventud Fernanda
1994 Imperio de cristal Narda Lombardo
1995 Mujer, casos de la vida real Unknown role Episode: "Aunque parezca mentira"
1996 Azul Alejandra
1997 Alguna vez tendremos alas Ana Hernández Main role
1998 La mentira Verónica Fernández-Negrete Main role; 100 episodes
2000 Ramona Ramona Main role
2001 El derecho de nacer María Elena del Junco Main role
2002 American Family Ofelia 10 episodes
2003 Bajo la misma piel Miranda Murillo Ortiz
2004 Kate Del Castillo en La Riviera Maya Kate Television film
2009 The Cleaner Josefina Episode: "Does Everybody Have a Drink?"
2009 Weeds Pilar Zuazo 5 episodes
2009 El Pantera Coco 2 episodes
2011–present La Reina del Sur Teresa Mendoza Main role; 123 episodes
2011 CSI: Miami Anita Torres Episode: "Killer Regrets"
2012 Grimm Valentina Espinosa Episode: "La Llorona"
2013 Dallas Sergeant Marisela Ruiz Episode: "JR's Masterpiece"
2014 Killer Women Esmeralda Montero Episode: "Queen Bee"
2015 Dueños del paraíso Anastasia Cardona Main role; 69 episodes
2015 Jane the Virgin Luciana Leon 3 episodes
2016 Telenovela Kate Episode: "The Rivals"
2017–2018 Ingobernable Emilia Urquiza Main role; 27 episodes
2017 The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story Herself Main role; 3 episodes
2021 Mr. Mayor Victoria Santos Episode: "#PalmTreeReform"
2021 Maya and the Three Lady Micte, the Goddess of Death Main role; 9 episodes
2022 Armas De Mujer Ángela Peacock series


Awards and nominations
Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1992 Premios TVyNovelas
Best Female Revelation
1995 Best young actress
Imperio de cristal
Alguna vez tendremos alas
La mentira
Premios Ariel
Best Actress
American Visa
Festival de Cine Iberoamericano de Huelva
Colón de Plata for Best Actress
Premios Diosa de Plata
Best Actress
La misma Luna
Premios People en Español
Best Actress
La Reina del Sur Won
Best Couple (with Iván Sánchez) Nominated
Best Couple (with Rafael Amaya)
Platino Awards
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV series
Ingobernable Nominated


  1. ^ "Kate del Castillo ya es ciudadana estadounidense". mx.hola.com. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "American Visa (2007)" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  3. ^ "Under the Same Moon". Box Office Mojo.
  4. ^ "Julia (2009)" – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  5. ^ "Kate del Castillo una de los 50 más bellos". People en Español (in Spanish). April 24, 2011. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  6. ^ "Las 25 mujeres más poderosas". People en Español (in Spanish). September 27, 2011. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  7. ^ Byrne, Alla (March 25, 2011). "5 Things To Know About Reina del Sur Star Kate del Castillo". People. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  8. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (April 1, 2011). "How the Telenovela Is Beating the Networks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "La realidad detrás de "Dueños del paraíso"".
  11. ^ Foresto, Alessandra (September 15, 2015). "Kate del Castillo Is the Latest Star to Join the Jane the Virgin Cast". POPSUGAR Latina.
  12. ^ Martinez, Ana Isabel (January 13, 2016). "Smitten with actress, Mexico's 'Chapo' tripped up by flirting". Reuters. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  13. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (February 20, 2019). "Kate del Castillo Cast In 'Bad Boys for Life' At Sony".
  14. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 23, 2015). "Netflix Orders 'Ingobernable' Mexican Political Drama Series Starring Kate del Castillo".
  15. ^ Serratore, Nicole (July 19, 2019). "Off Broadway Review: 'The Way She Spoke' With Kate del Castillo".
  16. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe. "BWW Interview: Kate del Castillo Talks THE WAY SHE SPOKE, LA REINA DEL SUR and More". BroadwayWorld.com.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (February 12, 2021). "Roselyn Sánchez, Sylvia Sáenz & Jeimy Osorio Join Kate Del Castillo In Peacock's 'Armas De Mujer'".
  18. ^ Hopewell, John (November 11, 2021). "Kate del Castillo to Star in 'A Beautiful Lie' for Pantaya, Endemol Shine Boomdog, Cholawood (EXCLUSIVE)".
  19. ^ "Kate del Castillo fue novia de Emilio Azcárraga Jean". Peopleenespanol.com. June 25, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  20. ^ Pasquini, Maria; Aradillas, Elaine (October 20, 2017). "Kate del Castillo Claims She Had Sex with Sean Penn After Their Trip to Visit El Chapo". People. New York City. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Kate del Castillo, la nueva cara de PETA Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine," Huffpost Voces, May 11, 2012.
  22. ^ Saldana, Janel (September 24, 2015). "Kate Del Castillo Has Some Words For Donald Trump And His Son". Latin Times. New York City: IBT Media. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  23. ^ Ruiz, Jessica Lucia (January 12, 2016). "Who Is Kate Del Castillo? 20 Things To Know About Mexican Actress Involved In Sean Penn, 'El Chapo' Secret Meeting". Latin Times. New York City: IBT Media. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  24. ^ People en Español (January 10, 2012). "Kate del Castillo causa revuelo en Twitter". Peopleenespanol.com. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  25. ^ "Lo que dijo Kate del Castillo sobre 'El Chapo', en Aristegui CNN (Video)". Aristegui Noticias. January 9, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  26. ^ Agren, David (January 10, 2016). "Soap actor Kate del Castillo: from Mexican starlet to drug lord's sweetheart". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Governments are hiding the cures for cancer and AIDS". Twextra (in Spanish). January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  28. ^ Shoichet, Catherine E. (January 11, 2012). "Mexican actress: Drug lord could be 'hero of heroes'". CNN. Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Broadcasting Systems. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  29. ^ "Del Castillo praises Guzman in Twextra posting". MSNBC. January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  30. ^ Carlyle, Erin (January 11, 2012). "I believe more in El Chapo Guzmán than in the governments". Forbes. New York City. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  31. ^ "Mexico mounted huge manhunt to catch "El Chapo" Guzman". Associated Press. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  32. ^ a b López-Dóriga, Joaquín. ""Ola ermoza"…". Milenio. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  33. ^ a b Loret de Moda, Carlos. "'Hermosa', el nombre clave de Kate". El Universal. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  34. ^ Penn, Sean (January 9, 2016). "El Chapo Speaks". Rolling Stone. New York City. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  35. ^ "The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Del Castillo Story". IMDb. Kate del Castillo, Eric del Castillo, Veronica del Castillo. Retrieved January 17, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  36. ^ "Kate del Castillo subpoenaed by Mexican prosecutors over 'Chapo' Guzmán dealing". Fox News Latino. New York City: News Corp. January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  37. ^ Castillo, Mariano (January 19, 2016). "'El Chapo' associate Kate del Castillo investigated, Mexican official says". CNN. Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Broadcasting Systems. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  38. ^ "Mexican judge grants Del Castillo protection against arrest". Fox News. New York City: News Corp. February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  39. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne (October 24, 2017). "In the Netflix docu-series 'The Day I Met El Chapo,' Kate del Castillo tells her story". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  40. ^ "Actress Kate Del Castillo Shares How Her Meeting With El Chapo Almost Ended Her Career". People en Español (in Spanish). March 20, 2019. Retrieved January 16, 2022.

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