Libertad Lamarque Biography

Libertad Lamarque Bouza, 24 November 1908, Rosario, Argentina, d. 12 December 2000, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico. Lamarque was named Libertad (Liberty) because at the time of her birth her anarchist father was in prison. Her first theatrical work came as a child when she and her several siblings appeared in politically slanted plays. In her late teens, she moved with her family to Buenos Aires where she began performing as a professional singer and also made her first records of tango songs. She made her motion picture debut in a 1930 silent film and was in ¡Tango! (1933), one of Argentina’s earliest talking pictures. Her private life was stormy and for many years following her first marriage, in 1928, she and her quickly estranged husband squabbled over custody of their daughter, meanwhile remaining married because divorce was illegal.

Lamarque’s fame spread throughout Argentina, owing in large part to her tango recordings and her growing popularity as a screen actress. Then, while making the film La Cabalgata Del Circo (1945), she had a serious disagreement on the set with another actress, Eva Duarte. Not long afterward, Duarte married Colonel Juan Domingo Peron and when he came to power in Argentina, in 1946, Lamarque found herself barred from film studios. That same year, Lamarque left her homeland to take up residence in Mexico where she continued to specialize in singing tango, but more importantly became a leading actress in the newly vibrant Mexican film industry. She appeared in some 60 films, including Luis Buñuel’s Gran Casino (1947), La Dama Del Velo (1950) and Creo En Ti (1960). These many films, together with her live appearances, numerous records, and a later highly successful career on radio and television made her one of the country’s best-known entertainers. She continued working into old age and at the time of her death had a continuing role in a television soap opera, Carita De Angel, playing the role of Mother Superior Piedad Early in 2005 Lamarque received a lifetime achievement award from the Mexican Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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