Vélez in 1934
|Born||María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez
July 18, 1908
San Luis Potosí, Mexico
|Died||December 13, 1944
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Seconal overdose|
|Resting place||Panteón Civil de Dolores Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Our Lady of the Lake|
|Spouse(s)||Johnny Weissmuller (m. 1933; div. 1939)|
María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez (July 18, 1908 – December 13, 1944), known professionally as Lupe Vélez, was a Mexican stage and film actress, dancer, singer and vedette. She was a vaudeville and revue star in her native country in the early 1920s and a Hollywood star between the end of silent films until the early 1940s.
After achieving fame as a vaudeville actress in Mexico, Velez emigrated to the American film industry and she made her first film appearance in the 1927 film The Gaucho. Her career flourished until the end of the silent era, with successful films like Lady of the Pavements (1928), Where East is East (1920) and The Wolf Song (1929). She was one of the few Hollywood superstars of the silent era to adapt to the talkies.
During the 1930s, Vélez reached enormous popularity by participating in numerous comedy films that exploit her volatile personality and the stereotype of the temperamental Latina woman. Palooka (1934), Strictly Dynamite (1934) and Hollywood Party (1934) are some of her most popular films. In the 1940s, Vélez's popularity peaked after appearing in the Mexican Spitfire films, a series created to capitalize on Vélez well documented fiery personality. She also participated in some theatrical productions on Broadway.
Nicknamed The Mexican Spitfire by the media, Vélez's personal life was as colorful as her screen persona. She had several highly publicized romances and a stormy marriage to actor Johnny Weissmuller. In December 1944, Vélez died of intentional overdose of Seconal. Her death, and the circumstances surrounding it, have been the subject of speculation and controversy.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Death
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Filmography
- 7 References in popular culture
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Vélez was born María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez in the city of San Luis Potosí in Mexico, the daughter of Jacobo Villalobos Reyes, a colonel in the armed forces of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, and his wife Josefina Vélez, an opera singer according to some sources, or vaudeville singer according to others. She was one of five children; she had three sisters: Mercedes, Reyna (also spelled Reina) and Josefina and a brother, Emigdio. According to Vélez's second cousin, the Villalobos family were considered prominent in San Luis Potosí and most of the male family members were college educated which was rare for the era. The family was also financially comfortable and lived in a large home with servants.
At the age of 13, her parents sent her to study at Our Lady of the Lake (now Our Lady of the Lake University) in San Antonio, Texas. It was at Our Lady of the Lake that Vélez learned to speak English and began to dance. She later admitted that she liked dance class, but was otherwise a poor student. After the Mexican Revolution began, Jacobo joined the fight and Vélez was removed from school and returned to Mexico City. To help support the family, she began working in a warehouse as a clerk.
Vélez began her career in Mexican revues in the early 1920s. She initially performed under her given surname name of "Villalobos" but, after her father returned home from the war (he did not die during combat as some sources state), he was outraged that his daughter had decided to become a stage performer. As he viewed the occupation as being beneath their prominent social standing, Jacobo Villabos refused to allow his daughter to continue to "soil" the family name. She chose her mother's maiden name, "Vélez", as her stage name. Vélez and her sister Josefina were introduced by their mother with the popular Mexican vedette María Conesa, who include both girls in her revue show where they sang and dance the shimmy "Oh Charley, My Boy". In 1924, Aurelio Campos, a young pianist and friend of Vélez sisters, recommended Vélez to stage producers Carlos Ortega and Manuel Castro. Ortega and Castro were preparing a season revue at the Regis Theatre and hired Vélez to join the company in March 1925. Later that year, Vélez starred in the revues Mexican Rataplan and ¡No lo tapes!. Her suggestive singing and provocative dancing was a hit with audiences and she soon established herself as one of the main stars of vaudeville in Mexico. At her peak, Vélez earned 35 pesos a day making her one of the era's highest paid vaudeville performers in Mexico. After a year and a half, Vélez left the revue after the manager refused to give her a raise. She then joined the Teatro Principal but was fired after three months due to her "feisty attitude". Vélez was quickly hired by the Teatro Lirico where her salary rose to 100 pesos a day.
Vélez, whose volatile and spirited personality and feuds with other performers were often covered by the Mexican press, also established her ability for garnering publicity. In October 1925, the Mexican newspaper La Prensa reported that she attempted suicide after placing second to her vaudeville rival Celia Padilla in a talent contest. The reports were likely exaggerated (though Vélez did "slash" herself in front of others because of the "injustice that had been done to her"), but the media continued to report on the matter and the feud with Padilla for several months. Lupe also fell out with actresses like Delia Magaña and Celia Montalván.
In 1926, Frank Woodward, an American man whom had seen Vélez perform, recommended her to stage director Richard Bennett (the father of the actresses Joan and Constance Bennett). Bennett was looking for an actress to portray the role of a Mexican cantina singer in his upcoming play The Dove. He sent Vélez a telegram inviting her to Los Angeles to appear in the play. Vélez had been planning to go to Cuba to perform but quickly changed her plans.
While in Los Angeles, she met the comedian Fanny Brice. Brice was taken with Vélez and later said she had never met a more fascinating personality. She promoted Vélez's career as a dancer and who recommended her to Florence Ziegfeld who hired her to perform in New York City. While Vélez was preparing to leave Los Angeles, she received a call from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer producer Harry Rapf who offered her a screen test. Producer and director Hal Roach saw Vélez's screen test and hired her a role in the comedy short Sailors, Beware!, starring Laurel and Hardy.
Early film career
After her debut in the short film Sailors, Beware!, Vélez appeared in another short film for Hal Roach, What Women Did for Me, in 1927. Later that year, she did a screen test for the upcoming Douglas Fairbanks film The Gaucho. Fairbanks was reportedly impressed by Vélez and quickly signed her to a contract and hired her to appear in the film with him. Upon its release in 1927, The Gaucho was a hit and critics were duly impressed with Vélez's ability to hold her own alongside Fairbanks, who was well known for his spirited acting and impressive stunts.
Vélez made her second major film, Stand and Deliver (1928), directed by Cecil B. DeMille, where she played a Greek peasant girl. That same year, she was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. In 1929, Vélez appeared in Where East Is East, playing a young Chinese woman. She also played a an "upper class señorita" from Taos, New Mexico in The Wolf Song, opposite Gary Cooper and a chanteuse in a café in Lady of the Pavements, directed by D. W. Griffith. (Lupe Vélez was actually the first to sing a number of now classic Irving Berlin songs.) As she was regularly cast in as the "exotic" or "ethnic" women that were volatile and hot tempered (and often considered "fallen women" or simply prostitutes), gossip columnists took to referring to Vélez as "Mexican Hurricane", "The Mexican Wildcat", "The Mexican Madcap", "Whoopee Lupe" and "The Hot Tamale".
By 1929, the film industry was transitioning from silents to sound films. Several stars of the era saw their careers abruptly end due their heavily accented English or voices that recorded poorly due to primitive recording technology. Studio executives predicted that Vélez's accent would likely hamper her ability to make the transition. That idea was dispelled after she appeared in her first all-talking picture in 1929, Tiger Rose, with Rin Tin Tin. The film was a hit, in large part due to Rin Tin Tin's popularity, and Vélez's sound career was established.
With the arrival of talkies, Vélez appeared in a series of Pre-Code film like Hell Harbor (directed by Henry King), The Storm (1930, directed by William Wyler), and the crime drama East Is West with Edward G. Robinson (1930). In 1931, she appeared in her second film for Cecil B. DeMille, Squaw Man. In 1932, Vélez filmed The Cuban Love Song (1931), with Lawrence Tibbett. That same year, she had a supporting role in Kongo (a sound remake of West of Zanzibar), with Walter Huston. She also starred in Spanish-language versions of some of her movies produced by the Universal Studios like Resurrección (1931, the Spanish version of Resurrection), and Hombres de mi vida (1932, the Spanish version of Cuban Love Song). Vélez soon found her niche in comedy, playing beautiful but volatile characters.
In February 1932, Vélez took a break from her film career and traveled to New York City where she was signed by Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. to take over the role of "Conchita" in the musical revue Hot-Cha!. The show also starred Bert Lahr, Eleanor Powell and Buddy Rogers. The show was fraught with problems from the beginning. By 1932, Ziegfeld had lost most of his fortune due to the Great Depression and dwindling audience attendance to pricey Broadway shows. In order to finance the show, Ziegfeld was forced to accept money from Eddie Cantor and two known mobsters: Dutch Schultz and Waxey Gordon who insisted that the racy show be subtitled Laid In Mexico. Upon its March 8 premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre, the show was largely overshadowed by the Lindbergh kidnapping. It was generally panned by critics who found the script weak and the risque elements to be "crass", but praised Lahr's performance and Joseph Urban's set designs. Hot-Cha! ran for 119 performances, closing on July 18, 1932. It failed to recoup its budget due to Ziegfeld's usual extravagance. The show marked the final work of Ziegfeld who died on July 22.
In 1933, she appeared in The Half-Naked Truth with Lee Tracy and Hot Pepper, with Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe. Later that year, she returned to Broadway where she starred opposite Jimmy Durante in the musical revue Strike Me Pink. In 1934, Vélez filmed Palooka and Strictly Dynamite (both with Jimmy Durante). That same year, Vélez was cast as "Slim Girl" in Laughing Boy with Ramón Novarro. The film faced opposition from film censor Joseph Breen who called it "a sordid, vile and dirty story that is definitely not suited for screen entertainment" due its references to prostitution and supposed portrayals of "illicit" sexual activities. M-G-M changed the material that Breen deemed offensive, but poor writing coupled with Novarro's waning popularity and sank the film. Laughing Boy was quietly released and largely ignored. The few reviews it received panned the film but praised Vélez's performance.
Although Vélez was a popular actress, RKO Pictures did not renew her contract in 1934. Over the next few years, Vélez worked for various studio as a freelance actress; she also spent two years in England where she filmed The Morals of Marcus and Gypsy Melody (both 1936). She returned to Los Angeles the following year where she appeared in the final part of the Wheeler & Woolsey comedy High Flyers (1937). In a routine she had been performing since her vaudeville days, Vélez impersonates popular actresses of the era Simone Simon, her longtime rival Dolores del Rio and Shirley Temple.
Vélez made her final appearance on Broadway in the 1938 musical You Never Know, by Cole Porter. The show received poor reviews from critics but received a large amount of publicity due to the feud between Vélez and fellow cast member Libby Holman. The two instantly disliked each other which was furthered when Holman took offense that Porter had written songs specifically for Vélez. Holman was also irritated by the attention Vélez garnered from the show with her impersonations of several actresses including Gloria Swanson, Katharine Hepburn and Shirley Temple. In turn, Vélez reportedly urinated outside of Holman's dressing room door. The feud came to a head during a performance in New Haven, Connecticut after Vélez punched Holman in between curtain calls and gave her a black eye. The feud effectively ended the show.
She enjoyed immense popularity among the Hispanic audiences. Upon her return to Mexico City in 1938 to star in her first Mexican film, Vélez was greeted by ten thousand fans. The film La Zandunga, was directed by Fernando de Fuentes and co-starred Mexican actor Arturo de Córdova. It was a critical and financial success and Vélez was slated to appear in four more Mexican films. She instead returned to Los Angeles and went back to work for RKO Pictures.
Mexican Spitfire series and later years
In 1939, Vélez was cast opposite Leon Errol and Donald Woods in a B-comedy The Girl from Mexico. Despite being a low budget film, it was a hit with audiences and RKO re-teamed her with Errol and Wood for a sequel, Mexican Spitfire. That film was also a success and lead to a series of Spitfire films (eight in all). In the series, Vélez portrays "Carmelita Lindsey", a temperamental yet friendly Mexican singer married to Dennis "Denny" Lindsay (Wood), an elegant American gentleman. These movies were comedies, bordering on slapstick, and it is difficult to say whether the films were seen as poking fun at the prejudices surrounding such marriages, or if it was understood that comedy was used to convey or reflect disapproval of such marriages. Whatever the case, the comedies showed Lupe Vélez's comedic skills to good advantage. Moreover, they were films in which a Latina headlined for eight movies straight –a true rarity. They were also unusual in their early treatment of mixed marriages. The Spitfire films rejuvenated Vélez's career and she was cast in a series of musical and comedy features for RKO, Universal Pictures, and Columbia Pictures Some of these films were Six Lessons from Madame La Zonga (1941), Playmates (1941) opposite John Barrymore and Redhead from Manhattan (1943). In 1943, the final film in the Spitfire series, Mexican Spitfire's Blessed Event was released. By that time, the novelty of the series has begun to wane.
In 1944, Vélez returned to Mexico to star in an adaptation of Émile Zola's novel Nana, which was well received. It would be her final film. After filming wrapped, Vélez returned to Los Angeles and began preparing for another stage role in New York. Although Hollywood studios dictated the image and roles they felt suited an actor or actress, Dolores del Río broke repeatedly with the studios, indicating her desire to find roles she felt suited her image. Once these characters and films proved useless to her, she moved back to Mexico and to more appropriate roles. Vélez apparently planned a similar move in 1944.
Image and personality
Throughout her career, Vélez's onscreen persona of a hot tempered, lusty "wild" woman was closely tied to her off screen personality. The press often referred to her by such names as "The Mexican Spitfire", "The Mexican It girl" and "The Mexican kitten". Vélez consciously chose to promote her "Whoopee Lupe" persona but dismissed the idea that she was wild. In a 1939 interview she stated, "...If I feel like a happy puppy, I wiggle like a happy puppy. When I am mad, I scream. When I'm in love, I sing. When I make love, I scream in ecstasy. Is this being wild? No! It is being Lupe!"
Vélez's off-screen exploits also served to blur the line between her onscreen persona and her real personality. After her death, journalist Bob Thomas recalled that Vélez was a "lively part of the Hollywood scene" who wore loud clothing and made as much noise as possible. She attended boxing matches every Friday night at the Hollywood Legion Stadium and would stand on her ringside seat and scream at the fighters. Other stories circulated that supported the lusty and exhibitionist aspects of her image. There were reports that Vélez frequently lifted her skirt up while dancing at parties and also flashed people revealing that she did not wear underwear. Bert Lahr, who starred opposite Vélez in Hot-Cha!, claims that she rehearsed in the nude because she felt her costume was too restricting. Ruth Biery, a reporter for Photoplay magazine, later wrote that while visiting the actress at home, she witnessed Vélez "parading before a mirror — showing off herself to herself as openly and unconsciously as small children show off before company."
Vélez's well documented temper and jealousy also served to perpetuate the "Mexican Spitfire" persona. Her often tempestuous romantic relationships became tabloid fodder and often overshadowed her career. Vélez did nothing to stop these stories and regularly contacted gossip columnists to give them stories about her romantic exploits. Oft repeated tales chronicling her notorious temper include Vélez chasing her then lover Gary Cooper around with a knife during an argument and, on one occasion, slashing him severely enough to require stitches. After their breakup, Vélez attempted to shoot Cooper while he boarded a train. During her marriage to actor Johnny Weissmuller, stories of their frequent physical fights were regularly reported in the press. As with Cooper, Vélez reportedly inflicted scratches, bruises and hickeys on Weissmuller during their fights and "passionate lovemaking".
Vélez's ire and jealousy was also targeted at fellow actresses whom she deemed rivals, a habit which began back in her vaudeville days and continued when she began working in films. She reportedly did not like fellow Mexican actress Dolores del Río. Their rivalry began after Vélez believed that had del Río has "stolen" a man she was dating. While the two women were often compared by virtue of both being Mexican, their images were in sharp contrast. Vélez's image was that of a wild, highly sexualized woman who spoke her mind and was not considered a "lady", while del Río's image was that of a sensual yet classy and restrained woman who hailed from Mexican aristocracy. Vélez accused del Río of being a snob and of malinchism. Vélez also disliked Marlene Dietrich whom she suspected of having an affair with Gary Cooper while the two were filming Morocco in 1930. Her rivalries with Jetta Goudal, Lilyan Tashman and Libby Holman were also well documented. In retaliation, Vélez would perform scathing impersonations of the women she disliked at Hollywood parties.
Relationships and marriage
Vélez was involved in several highly publicized and often stormy relationships over the course of her career. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, she was linked to actors Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable (who reportedly ended the relationship shortly after it began due to Vélez's reputation of publicly revealing intimate details about her lovers). Her first long-term, high profile relationship was with actor Gary Cooper. Vélez met Cooper while filming The Wolf Song in 1929 and began a two-year affair with him. The relationship with Cooper was passionate but often stormy. When angered, Vélez reportedly physically assaulted Cooper. Cooper eventually ended the relationship in mid-1931 at the behest of his mother Alice who strongly disapproved of Vélez. By that time, the rocky relationship had taken its toll on Cooper who had lost 45 pounds and was suffering from nervous exhaustion. Paramount Pictures ordered him to take a vacation to recuperate. While he was boarding the train, Vélez showed up at the train station and fired a pistol at him.
After her breakup with Cooper, Vélez began a short lived relationship with actor John Gilbert. They began dating in late 1931 while Gilbert was separated from his third wife Ina Claire. They were reportedly engaged but Gilbert ended the relationship in early 1932 and attempted to reconcile with Claire.
Shortly thereafter, Velez met actor Johnny Weissmuller while the two were in New York. After they both returned to Los Angeles, they dated off and on while Vélez also dated actor Errol Flynn. On October 8, 1933, Vélez and Weissmuller were married in Las Vegas. This relationship was also stormy with reports of domestic violence and public fights. In July 1934, after ten months of marriage, Vélez filed for divorce citing cruelty. She withdrew the petition a week later after reconciling with Weissmuller. On January 3, 1935, she filed for divorce a second time and was granted a interlocutory decree. That decree was dismissed when the couple reconciled a month later. In August 1938, Vélez filed for divorce for a third time again charging Weissmuller with cruelty. Their divorce was finalized in August 1939.
After her divorce became final, Vélez began dating actor Guinn "Big Boy" Williams in late 1940. They were reportedly engaged but never married. In late 1941, she became involved with author Erich Maria Remarque. Actress Luise Rainer later recalled that Remarque told her "with the greatest of glee" that he found Vélez's volatility wonderful. He recounted to Rainier an occasion when Vélez became so angry with him that she took her shoe off and hit him with it. After dating Remarque, Vélez was linked to boxers Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.
In 1943, Vélez began an affair with her La Zandunga co-star Arturo de Córdova. De Córdova had recently moved to Hollywood after signing with Paramount Pictures. Despite the fact that de Córdova was married to Mexican actress Enna Arana with whom he had four children, Vélez granted an interview to gossip columnist Louella Parsons in September 1943 and announced that the two were engaged. She told Parsons that she planned to retire after marrying de Córdova to "cook...and keep house". Vélez ended the engagement in early 1944, reportedly after de Córdova's wife refused to give him a divorce.
Vélez then met and began dating a struggling young Austrian actor named Harald Maresch (who went by the stage name Harald Ramond). In September 1944, she discovered she was pregnant with Ramond's child. She announced their engagement in late November 1944. On December 11, five days before her death, Vélez announced she had ended the engagement and kicked Ramond out of her home.
On the evening of December 13, 1944, Vélez dined with her two friends, Estelle Taylor and Benita Oakie. In the early morning hours of December 14, Vélez retired to her bedroom where she consumed 75 Seconal pills and a glass of brandy. Her secretary, Beulah Kinder, found the actress' body on her bed later that morning. A suicide note addressed to Harald Ramond was found nearby. It read:
"To Harald, May God forgive you and forgive me too, but I prefer to take my life away and our baby's before I bring him with shame or killing him. - Lupe."
On the back of the note, Vélez wrote:
"How could you, Harald, fake such a great love for me and our baby when all the time you didn't want us? I see no other way out for me so goodbye and good luck to you, Love Lupe."
The day after Vélez's death, Harald Ramond told the press that he was "so confused" by Vélez's suicide and claimed that even though the two had broken up, he had agreed to marry Vélez anyway. He admitted that he once asked Vélez to sign an agreement stating that he was only marrying her to "give the baby a name", but claimed he only did so because he and Vélez had had a fight and he was in a "terrible temper". Actress Estelle Taylor, who was with Vélez from 9pm the previous night until 3:30 am the morning Vélez died, told the press that Vélez had told her of her pregnancy but said she would rather kill herself than have an abortion (Vélez was a devout Roman Catholic). Beulah Kinder, Vélez secretary, later told investigators that after Vélez broke off the relationship with Ramand, she planned to go to Mexico to have her baby. Kinder said Vélez soon changed her mind after concluding that Ramand "faked" the relationship and considered having an abortion.
The day after Vélez's death, the Los Angeles County coroner requested that an inquest be opened to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death. On December 16, the coroner dropped the request after determining that Vélez had written the notes and that she had intended to kill herself. On December 22, a funeral for Vélez was held at the mortuary at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Among the pallbearers were Vélez's ex-husband Johnny Weismuller and actor Gilbert Roland. After the service, Vélez's body was sent by train to Mexico City where a second service was held on December 27. Her body was then interred at Panteón Civil de Dolores Cemetery.
Alternate theories and urban legend
Despite the coroner's ruling that Vélez committed suicide to avoid the shame of bearing an illegitimate child, some authors have theorized that the official account was not entirely true.
In the book From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture, Rosa-Linda Fregoso writes that Vélez was known for her defiance of contemporary moral convention and that it seems unlikely that she could not have reconciled having a child out of wedlock. Fregoso believes that, in the final year of her life, Vélez had exhibited signs of extreme mania and depression. Fregoso goes on to speculate that Vélez's death may have been the result of an untreated mental illness such as bipolar disorder.
Journalist Robert Slatzer (who later claimed to have been secretly married to Marilyn Monroe) claimed that a few weeks before Vélez's death, he interviewed her at her home and she confided in him that she was pregnant with Gary Cooper's child (by that time, Cooper was married to socialite Veronica "Rocky" Balfe). According to Slatzer, Vélez said that Cooper refused to acknowledge the child believing that Harald Ramond was the father. After Vélez died, Slatzer said he asked Cooper about the situation and Cooper confirmed that it was possible he might have been the father. Slatzer further claimed that he also interviewed Clara Bow (who had also dated Cooper in the 1920s) who revealed that shortly before Vélez's death, Cooper called her and screamed that he was going to kill Harald Ramond for impregnating Vélez. Slazter claimed that Bow told him that she never believed Vélez's baby was fathered by Ramond, and that she was convinced that Vélez had attempted to get Ramond to marry her to protect Cooper's reputation. Biographer Michelle Vogel speculated that if Cooper was the father, his rejection of Vélez and their child coupled with the idea of having to the raise a child alone may have sent Vélez "over the edge".
Vélez's death was recounted in the 1959 book Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger. In Anger's retelling, Vélez planned to stage a beautiful suicide scene atop her satin bed, but the Seconal she took did not mix well with the "Mexi-Spice Last Supper" that she had eaten earlier that evening. As a result, Anger said she became violently ill. Instead of dying on her bed as planned, Anger claimed that a dazed Vélez stumbled to the bathroom to vomit, slipped on the bathroom floor tile and fell head first into the toilet where she subsequently drowned. Anger claimed that Vélez's "chambermaid" Juanita found her mistress the next morning (Vélez's secretary Beulah Kinder found her boss's body on her bed, not in the bathroom or with her head in the toilet). Despite the fact that Anger's version of events contradict published reports and the official ruling, his story became something of an urban legend and is often repeated as fact. Vélez's biographer Michelle Vogel points out that it would have been "virtually impossible" for Vélez to have "stumbled to the bathroom" or even get off her bed after having consumed such a large amount of Seconal. Seconal is noted for being fast acting even in small doses and Vélez's death was likely instantaneous. Her death certificate lists "Seconal poisoning" due to "ingestion of Seconal" as the cause of death, not drowning. Further, there was also no evidence to suggest Vélez had vomited.
References in popular culture
- In Robert Stone's novel Children of Light, a troubled actress refers to a suicide-by-drowning scene she has just acted out as "Lupe Vélez takes a dunk."
- Vélez is mentioned in the Michael Chabon novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, as well as the 2000 film Wonder Boys, adapted from the Chabon novel of the same name.
Films and television
- In 1949, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the Puerto Rican dancer Marquita Rivera was chosen to star in a biographical film based on the life of the actress. However, due to the controversy over Vélez's suicide at that time, the film was never produced. The Cuban rumbera Amalia Aguilar was also in talks to star in a film about Vélez but later decided not to work in Hollywood and returned to Mexico.
- Andy Warhol's underground film, Lupe (1965), starring Edie Sedgwick as Vélez, is loosely based on the night of her suicide. The film features Sedgwick (in her last film role for Warhol) preparing a "beautiful suicide" only to end up drowning in the toilet bowl.
- In August 2009, the short film Forever Lupe premiered at the Seattle Latino Film Festival. Directed by Martín Caballero, the film is based on the life of Vélez and features Mexican actress Marieli Romo as Vélez.
- In 2012, it was reported that Mexican director Carlos Carrera was preparing to film the life of Lupe Vélez in a Mexican-American production. Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera was chosen to play Vélez.
- Vélez is played by the Cuban-Venezuelan actress María Conchita Alonso in the 2014 film Return to Babylon.
- In the pilot episode of the sitcom Frasier, "The Good Son", Frasier Crane's producer Roz Doyle tries to improve Frasier's outlook on his life by telling him the story of Lupe Vélez who she says "decided to take one final stab at immortality". Roz retells the urban legend version of Vélez's suicide reminding Frasier that "Even though things might not happen like we planned, they can work out anyway." When Frasier asks "how it worked out for Lupe", Roz tells him "All she wanted was to be remembered. Will you ever forget that story?"
- In the 1997 The Simpsons episode "Homer's Phobia", guest star John Waters takes the Simpson family, sans Homer, on a driving tour of Springfield's shopping district. During the tour, he points out a store where he claims Vélez bought the toilet she drowned in.
- (Vogel 2012, p. 9)
- "Lupe Velez's Sister Asks Court Advice". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Daytona Beach, Florida). July 25, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Jameson, Hodge Armitage 1997, p. 490)
- (Rodriguez 2004, p. 65)
- (Vogel 2012, pp. 35-36)
- (Vogel 2012, p. 32)
- (Vogel 2012, p. 35)
- (Vogel 2012, p. 19)
- (Rivera Viruet, Resto 2008, p. 27)
- (Frazier 2002, p. 326)
- (Rivera Viruet, Resto 2008, p. 29)
- (Olsen, Hudson 2002, p. 90)
- Cohen, Harold R. (February 24, 1932). "Lupe Velez In Town to Join "Hot-Cha!"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). p. 17. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Nolan 1995, p. 168)
- (Cullen, Hackman, McNeilly 2004, p. 1157)
- (Parish, Lenoard 1979, p. 381)
- (Mordden 2008, p. 288)
- "Hot-Cha!". playbillvault.com. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Kenrick 2010, p. 208)
- (Soares 2010, p. 196)
- (Jenkins 2007, p. 136)
- (McBrien 2011, p. 215)
- (Stephens 1998, p. 25)
- (Citron 2005, p. 164)
- (Jameson, Hodge Armitage 1997, p. 484)
- (Greco Larson 2006, p. 61)
- (Austin 1991, p. 197)
- Thomas, Bob (December 14, 1950). "Lupe Velez Legend Of Hollywood". The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida). p. 22. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Lugo Cerra 2013, p. 61)
- Jenkins, Henry. ""You Don't Say That In English: The Scandal of Lupe Velez". mit.edu.
- (Fleming 2003, p. 92)
- (Donnelley 2003, p. 708)
- (Frazier 2002, p. 327)
- (Wanamaker 1984, p. 38)
- (Bach 2011, p. 134)
- (Vogel 2012, p. 291)
- (Ruíz, Sánchez Korrol 2006, p. 793)
- (Golden 2013, p. 229)
- "Lupe Velez and John Gilbert's Marriage Hinted". Eugene Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). October 15, 1931. p. 9. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Weissmuller, Jr., Reed 2008, pp. 73-74)
- "Married Since Oct 8. Admits Lupe Velez". Reading Eagle (Reading, Pennsylvania). October 31, 1933. p. 17. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Lupe Velez Decides To Drop Divorce Suit". Reading Eagle (Reading, Pennsylvania). July 20, 1934. p. 21. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Lupe Velez Starts Divorce Suit Again". The Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, Missouri). January 3, 1935. p. 1. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Lupe, Johnny Find They Agree Once". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). August 17, 1939. p. 4. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Lupe Velez To Marry Polo Player". Reading Eagle (Reading, Pennsylvania). October 17, 1940. p. 11. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Austin 1994, p. 112)
- (Vogel 2012, p. 158)
- (Tims 2004, pp. 130, 186)
- (Vogel 2012, pp. 140-141)
- "Friends Volunteer As Pallbearers for Lupe Velez". The Evening Independent (Massillon, Ohio). December 16, 1944. p. 2. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Grief Over Broken Romance Blamed in Lupe Velez Death". The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). December 14, 1944. p. 2. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Lupe Velez Takes Life". Ludington Daily News (Ludington, Michigan). December 14, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Vogel 2007, p. 153)
- "Lupe Velez Found Dead After Overdose". The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia). December 16, 1944. p. 4. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- (Vogel 2007, p. 13)
- (Fregoso 2010, p. 63)
- (Jenkins 2007, p. 152)
- "Coroner Demands Full Inquiry on Lupe Velez Death". The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). December 15, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Lupe Velez's Body To Lie In State". The Miami News (Miami, Florida). December 20, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Mother Collapses At Rites of Lupe Velez". Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Canada). December 23, 1944. p. 11. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- "Stampedes Occur At Funeral Of Lupe Velez". The Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa, Alabama). December 28, 1944. p. 2. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Rhoads 2009, p. 281)
- (Fregoso 2010, pp. 63-64)
- "Robert F. Slatzer, 77; Author Claimed Brief Marriage to Monroe". latimes.com. April 15, 2005. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Vogel 2012, pp. 160-161)
- (Donnelley 2003, p. 173)
- (Fregoso 2010, pp. 61-62)
- (Vogel 2012, pp. 153-153)
- "Hollywood Star Walk: Lupe Velez". latimes.com. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
- (Stone 2012, p. 137)
- (Vogel 2012, p. 221)
- (Muñoz Castillo 1993, p. 126)
- (Bockris 2009, p. 235)
- "Redescubrirá cineasta mexicano a Lupe Vélez en el festival de Seattle" (in Spanish). vanguardia.com.mx. August 10, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- "Apasiona a Ana de la Reguera encarnar a Lupe Vélez" (in Spanish). informador.com.mx. May 23, 2012.
- Smith, Liz (July 29, 2014). "Liz Smith: Producer Wendy Finerman preps 'Drumline 2' in Atlanta". bostonherald.com. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- (Angell, Casey, Lee 1999, pp. 24-25)
- "Homer's Phobia" in The Simpsons Archive
- Agrasánchez Jr., Rogelio (2001). Bellezas del Cine Mexicano / Beauties of the Mexican Cinema (in Spanish). Archivo Fílmico Agrasánchez. ISBN 968-5077-11-8.
- Angell, David; Casey, Peter; Lee, David (1999). The Frasier Scripts. Newmarket Press. ISBN 1-557-04403-1.
- Austin, John (1994). Hollywood's Babylon Women. Shapolsky Publishers, Inc. ISBN 1-56171-257-4.
- Austin, John (1991). More of Hollywood's Unsolved Mysteries. SP Books. ISBN 0-944-00773-2.
- Bach, Steven (2011). Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend. Univ Of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-816-67584-8.
- Bockris, Victor (2009). Warhol: The Biography. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-786-73028-5.
- Citron, Stephen (2005). Noel & Cole: The Sophisticates. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0-634-09302-9.
- Corona, Moises (1996). Lupe Vélez: A medio siglo de ausencia. EDAMEX. ISBN 968-409-872-3.
- Cullen, Frank; Hackman, Florance; McNeilly, Donald (2004). Vaudeville Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performances In America 1. Psychology Press. ISBN 0-415-93853-8.
- del Palacio, Celia (2014). Hollywood era el cielo: Boigrafía novelada de Lupe Vélez. Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial México. ISBN 6071133262.
- Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Music Sales Group. ISBN 0-711-99512-5.
- Fleming, E.J. (2004). The Fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling and the MGM Publicity Machine. McFarland. ISBN 0-786-45495-4.
- Floyd, Conner (1993). Lupe Vélez and Her Lovers. Barricade Books. ISBN 0-942-63796-8.
- Frazier, David K. (2002). Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases. McFarland. ISBN 0-786-41038-8.
- Fregoso, Rosa Linda (2010). "2". In Mendible, Myra. From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-77849-X.
- Golden, Eve (2013). John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-813-14162-1.
- Greco Larson, Stephanie (2006). Media & Minorities: The Politics of Race in News and Entertainment. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-847-69453-4.
- Jameson, Elizabeth; Hodge Armitage, Susan, ed. (1997). Writing the Range: Race, Class, and Culture in the Women's West. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-806-12952-2.
- Jenkins, Henry (2007). The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture. NYU Press. ISBN 0-814-74283-1.
- Loaeza, Guadalupe (2011). La puerta falsa: de suicidios, suicidas y otras despedidas... (in Spanish). Editorial Océano. ISBN 9789709338904.
- Lugo Cerra, Julie (2013). Culver City Chronicles. The History Press. ISBN 1-614-23876-6.
- McBrien, William (2011). Cole Porter. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 0-307-79188-2.
- Moreno, Luis (2001). Rostros e Imagenes (in Spanish). Editorial Celuloide. ISBN 9789709338904.
- Mordden, Ethan (2008). Ziegfeld: The Man Who Invented Show Business. Macmillan. ISBN 1-429-95152-4.
- Muñoz Castillo, Fernando (1993). Las reinas del trópico: María Antonieta Pons, Meche Barba, Amalia Aguilar, Ninón Sevilla, Rosa Carmina (in Spanish). Grupo Azabache. ISBN 968-6084-85-1.
- Nericcio, William (2007). Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-71457-2.
- Nolan, Frederick (1995). Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway. Oxford University Press. pp. 0–195–35611–X.
- Parish, James Robert; Leonard, William T. (1979). The Funsters. Arlington House. ISBN 0-870-00418-2.
- Ramírez, Gabriel (1986). Lupe Vélez, la mexicana que escupía fuego (in Spanish). Cineteca Nacional Mexico.
- Rivera Viruet, Rafael J.; Resto, Max (2008). Hollywood: Se Habla Español. Terramax Entertainment. ISBN 0-981-66500-4.
- Rodriguez, Clara E. (2004). Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-33513-9.
- Ruíz, Vicki; Sánchez Korrol, Virginia (2006). Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1 1. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34681-9.
- Soares, André (2010). Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-604-73458-2.
- Stephens, Autumn (1998). Drama Queens: Wild Women of the Silver Screen. Conari Press. ISBN 1-573-24136-9.
- Stone, Robert (2012). Children of Light. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 0-307-81417-3.
- Tims, Hilton (2004). Erich Maria Remarque: The Last Romantic. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-786-71357-7.
- Vogel, Michelle (2012). Lupe Velez: The Life and Career of Hollywood's Mexican Spitfire. McFarland. ISBN 0-786-48997-9.
- Wanamaker, Marc (1984). The Hollywood Reporter: Star Profiles. Gallery Books. ISBN 0-831-74515-0.
- Weissmuller, Jr., Johnny; Reed, William; Reed, W Craig (2008). Tarzan, My Father. Burroughs, Danton. ECW Press. ISBN 1-550-22834-X.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lupe Velez.|
- Lupe Vélez at the Internet Movie Database
- Lupe Vélez at the Internet Broadway Database
- Lupe Vélez at the TCM Movie Database
- Lupe Vélez at AllMovie
- Did Lupe Vélez Really Drown in the Toilet? at straightdope.com
- Lupe Vélez as an infant in 1908 (University of Washington, Sayre Collection)