Mexican thesp Catalina Margarita Lopez Ramos died July 4 in Mexico City from heart failure after two months of declining health. She was 81.
Known as Marga Lopez, she performed in more than 80 movies, appeared in 16 telenovelas and acted onstage. She was most recognized for her melodramatic roles as a desperate, downtrodden woman. She later reinvented herself as a matronly grandmother figure.
She received three Ariel awards, Mexico’s highest film honor, as well as a lifetime achievement Ariel in 1983.
Born in Argentina and later nationalized as a Mexican, Lopez first took to the stage as a child in a song-and-dance team with her siblings in the ’30s. A Latin American tour brought her to Mexico, where she returned in the ’40s to work in a cabaret and met her first husband, movie producer and businessman Carlos Amador, whom she married at 17.
She began her film career in 1945 with a bit part as a cabaret waitress in “The Disobedient Son” (El hijo desobediente), the first feature film of celebrated Mexican comic German Valdes Tin Tan.
She graced dozens of films during Mexico’s golden age of cinema in the 1950s, including Luis Bunuel’s “Nazarin” in 1958. In 1964, she first starred opposite thesp Auturo de Cordova, who became her second husband. They were married until his death in 1973.
She is survived by two children and a sister.