Actress Ofelia Guilmain, an adored actress of the stage, small and big screens in Mexico, died Jan. 14 of cardiovascular failure related to pneumonia. She was 83.
The prolific actress compiled 41 television credits and 33 film credits throughout her six-decade long career. She will perhaps best be remembered for her work in live theater, where she defined many of the most important female roles ever to appear beneath a curtain, perhaps most notably the lead in Federico Garcia Lorca’s “La Casa de Bernarda Alba.”
When she wasn’t acting, Guilmain was in the audience, famously attending theater on a regular basis, even up until December, when she was admitted to the hospital for nagging bronchitis.
Guilmain was born in Madrid, but she moved to Mexico City at a young age. She had her first roles in the early 1940s, but her career didn’t really take off until the late 1950s, when a handful of movie roles opened the door for her to enter into the infant world of Mexican television. Her first TV role was on Televisa’s “Cadenas de amor” (Chains of love) soap opera. That led to “Cuidado con el angel” (Careful with the angel), the first-ever morning telenovela.
Once in the telenovela door, Guilmain worked the popular Latin American format ceaselessly, working in dozens of skeins and, in some years, two or three at once. Last year, she played a central role in the Televisa telenovela “Amarte es mi pecado” (Loving you is my sin), and also in the made-for-TV biopic, “Mi verdad” (My story), about the failed love affair of two popular actors.
“I profoundly lament the sad parting of Madame Ofelia Guilmain,” President Vicente Fox said in a release. “Her theatrical work lifted the scenic arts to unique and unsurpassable heights.”
She is survived by four children.