In the early hours of this morning, iconic Spanish singer and actress , Sara Montiel, passed at the age of 85, in Madrid.
María Antonia Abad Fernández, her original name, was born in La Mancha, in the town of Campo de Criptana (Ciudad Real). This Spanish beauty, known as the “Universal Mancha”, captivated the world of cinema in the fifties for her beauty and talent.
She came to share the spotlight with icons as Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster in the movie “Veracruz”. In Spain starred one of the great successes of Spanish films “El último cuplé” (1957), for whose 50th anniversary she was honored in Miami.
Sara Montiel died in her home in the neighborhood of Salamanca in the Spanish capital, apparently of natural causes, according to medical sources.
From the beginning of her career she became an erotic icon. Playing seductive songs like “Fumando espero”, “Bésame mucho”, “La violetera” o “Amado mío”.
In American cinema she signed millionaire contracts for Warner Bros and United Artists. She worked with directors like Anthony Mann, her first husband, and seduced in movies, handsome actors like Cooper, Lancaster or Charles Bronson.
Montiel received the Gold Medal for Merit in Work and Gold Medal of the Fine Arts Circle (1958), the National Guild Award Show (1959) and the Cinema Writers Circle Award (1959), the title of Actress of the Year (1959) and the Gold Record (1959, for “La violetera”).
The Film Academy in 1997 awarded her its Gold Medal and, among other honors, the Hollywood Golden Eagle (1986, the Spanish Oscar), the Order of the French Arts and Letters (1982) Cinema Circle of Writers Award (1999), and a Silver Biznaga – ” La Película de Oro ” the Malaga Film Festival (2007) for ” El último cuplé “.
She was married four times. In 1957 with American director Anthony Mann, from whom she separated in 1961 and obtained the annulment in 1963. In 1964 she married the producer José Vicente Ramirez Olalla, and in 1979, after nine years together, she married Spaniard Pepe Tous. According to Sara, this last one was “the love of her life”. He died in 1992 and with him, she adopted two children: Thais and Zeus.
In 1993 she married Tony Hernandez, a 39 year-old cuban, an admirer of the artist of disreputable character, from whom she separated in 2003.