Guerrero, Maria (1867–1928)

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Guerrero, Maria (1867–1928)

Spanish actress and theatrical impresario. Name variations: María Ana de Jesús Guerrero. Born on April 17, 1867; died on January 23, 1928; eldest child of Ramón Guerrero (a prosperous merchant) and Casilda Torrijo; married Fernando Díaz de Mendoza (an actor), on January 10, 1896; children: Luis Fernando, Carlos.

Born in Madrid on April 17, 1867, Maria Guerrero was the eldest child of a prosperous merchant, Ramón Guerrero, and Casilda Torrijo . Her father provided furniture and other scenery for Madrid's theaters, and Maria showed a dramatic interest from an early age. She learned French fluently in her youth and studied with Teodora Lamadrid, a famous Spanish actress. Maria made her debut in 1885 under the direction of Emilio Mario at the Teatro de la Princesa and later moved with him to the Teatro de Comedia. Her early roles were frivolous comedies.

She soon insisted on appearing in important dramatic parts, both in classical Spanish plays and new works written by José Echegaray, Benito Pérez Galdós, Jacinto Benavente, and Juan Eduardo Marquina. Guerrero and her father formed a company and remodeled Madrid's Teatro Español. They hired aristocratic playboyturned-actor Fernando Díaz de Mendoza as a male lead. He and Maria married on January 10, 1896. When the company struggled financially in Madrid, Guerrero toured Spain and in 1897 spent a season in Buenos Aires. She was at her apogee as actress and theatrical impresario in the early 20th century. An attempt at filmmaking in 1916 failed, in part because she appeared affected and also because her impressive voice was useless in a silent movie. She and Fernando built the huge Teatro Cervantes in Buenos Aires. Still active as an actress, she died on January 23, 1928.

sources:

Manzano, Rafael. Maria Guerrero. Barcelona: Ediciones G.P., 1959.

Kendall W. Brown , Professor of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

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Guerrero, Maria (1867–1928)

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