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Katy Jurado, diva and villain of our cinema

El cine mexicano en su etapa dorada supo llevar por derroteros intrigantes a sus sensuales villanas, y entre ellas destaca de manera particular la tapatía María Cristina Estela Jurado García, mejor conocida como Katy Jurado (1924-2002), actriz exuberante, de mirada lánguida y enormes ojos que impresionó a Emilio Fernández, quien le propuso un papel en La isla de la pasión, ópera prima del "Indio" en 1941. Sin embargo, por aquel entonces, Katy tenía 16 años, no obtuvo el permiso de sus padres y declinó la oferta. Fue hasta 1943 cuando, estando ya casada con el actor Víctor Velázquez, debutó como adolescente fatal en Internado para señoritas, de Gilberto Martínez Solares.

Katy Jurado Katy Jurado

Also in 1952, Jurado made the leap to Hollywood when she starred in the Western High Noon as Helen Ramírez, ex-lover to Gary Cooper's sheriff, who faces four vengeful pistoleros alone. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her part in the film. She went on to make films like: El corazón y la espada, with César Romero; Arrowhead, with Charlton Heston; Broken Lance, with Spencer Tracy (a role that gained her a nomination for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor); Trapeze, with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis; The Racers, with Kirk Douglas; The Badlanders, with Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine (to whom she was briefly married); One-Eyed Jacks, directed by and starring Marlon Brando, alongside Pina Pellicer; and Barrabás with Anthony Quinn.

She later returned to Mexico to make Y Dios la llamó tierra, in which she plays the daughter of the town President (played by David Silva), a woman desired by the whole town, during the Cardenismo years. Later, she was an exuberant prostitute in two films with a revolutionary bent: in The Bandit (1962) she stars alongside María Félix as La Jarocha, and in Ismael Rodríguez' La mujer del carnicero (1968), a story of horror, passion, fear and shame.

She made Stay Away Joe with Elvis Presley in 1968, and reached an impressive level of histrionic maturity in Jorge Fons' Fe, esperanza y caridad (1972), where she plays a woman suffering an emotional and bureaucratic ordeal as she attempts to reclaim the body of her husband, who died in an absurd accident. In the seventies and eighties she took on notable roles in films like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, El Elegido, El recurso del método and Jorge Fons' extraordinary film Los albañiles, where she plays the unfaithful wife of a murdered nightwatchman (Ignacio López Tarso). She also starred in The Children of Sánchez, The Widow of Montiel and Under the Volcano.

Even up to the nineties the extraordinary, atypical actress Jurado was still surprising in roles like Mamá Dorita, the wife of the false prophet played by Paco Rabal in Arturo Ripstein's El evangelio de las maravillas. When she was 78 years old, she starred in Leopoldo Laborde's Un secreto de Esperanza.