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Early life and family
Argentina Mercedes González Morel was born to Pablo González Valerio and Juanita Morel, in Mao, Dominican Republic. In 1929, her family emigrated to the United States, and settled down in Manhattan, New York City.
She was called the satin Latin song stylist. and sometimes the Ruban Blue-Bird. Walter Winchell said that she was the finest Latin talent in the entertainment field in 1960.
During the 1939 New York World's Fair she made a concerted effort to persuade Americans to adopt the Dominican Republic’s native dance, the merengue. An initial reluctance eventually subsided, and by 1955 it was the fastest growing dance in the U.S. When Boyar introduced calypso songs to America, many felt the music was not commercial. By 1954 calypso songs were among the bestsellers.
She introduced a new song, That's Why A Woman Loves A Heel, in October 1945. By 1948 Boyar had appeared on every overseas radio network. Boyar entertained at Ciro's in Mexico City and the Hotel Nacional in Havana. Among her numerous nightclub engagements was a December 1955 performance at the Viennese Lantern, at 242 East 79th Street in Yorkville, Manhattan. A lawsuit was taken out by an angry tenant who resided above the club. He contended that Boyar's bongo drummer kept him awake.
Boyar was a fashion designer for stage and motion picture stars. Her designs were very original yet simple. She also created expensive handbags. She had over two hundred gowns to wear to performances in her New York City apartment.
She appeared in Princess Papaya (1945). The concert film directed by Josef Berne included footage of dancer Sylvia Opert. Boyar played a singer in an episode of the television show Mister Peepers, in 1952. In 1961 she received a Universal Pictures screen test.
Her first husband was Federico Horacio "Gugu" Vásquez Henríquez. She was widowed when her husband was captured and executed after landing at Luperón, Puerto Plata in 1949 as part of a plot against Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.
Marlon Brando visited Boyar, who was a friend of his, when she was hospitalized at Lennox Hill Hospital, in January 1955. She married comedian Lee Tully in March 1958 and divorced him in Mexico in June. She was previously married to actor Leslie Nielsen. Boyar and Nielsen were married for five years, separating in August 1955. Nielsen obtained a default divorce in June 1956.
He agreed to pay $19,000 in lieu of alimony with monthly instalments of $500.
Boyar died from complications due to stroke at age 92 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she resided.
- González Hernández, Julio Amable (14 February 2015). "Mónica Boyar, Talento Dominicano de Fama Mundial" (in Spanish). Instituto Dominicano de Genealogía. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "El Cañero #102", El Cañero (102), August 31, 2014: 13
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