Actress and politician Carmen Salinas.

Carmen Salinas appeared in 115 films, 70 plays, 23 soaps and 9 TV series

The film star-turned-politician died Thursday at 82

Carmen Salinas, an iconic and prolific Mexican actress who became a federal lawmaker in her 70s, passed away in Mexico City on Thursday.

Her family announced her death in a social media message. She was 82.

Salinas suffered a stroke almost a month ago and was in a coma in a Mexico City hospital until her passing. She is survived by her daughter and seven grandchildren.

Born in Torreón, Coahuila, in 1939, the actress first appeared on television in the 1960s before making her cinematic debut in the 1970 film La vida inútil de Pito Pérez.

In a long career, Salinas appeared in a total of 115 films, 70 plays, 23 telenovelas, or soap operas, and nine television series. She also hosted a popular but controversial Jerry Springer-style talk show in 1999 and 2000.

In her youth, Salinas appeared in <i>Bellas de Noche</i> and other iconic Mexican sexploitation comedies.
In her youth, Salinas appeared in Bellas de Noche and other iconic Mexican sexploitation comedies.

Salinas is perhaps best known for her appearances in Mexican “sex comedies,” a genre known as cine de ficheras.

Her portrayal of the character La Corcholata in the 1975 film Bellas de Noche epitomized the kind of roles she played, said film critic Leonardo García Tsao. She was routinely rude, funny and impulsive at the same time, he told the newspaper El País.

One of the films in which she appeared – El lugar sin límites (1978) – featured the first gay kiss in Mexican cinema. On television, Salinas often portrayed “the selfless mother” in telenovela roles that allowed her to show off both her dramatic and comedic acting skills.

In 2015, the film star turned her hand to politics, entering the lower house of Congress as a deputy for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). She once said that she didn’t want to get involved in politics, but former PRI national president César Camacho Quiroz convinced her that her charisma and proximity to the people would be assets in the role.

But her short political career will forever be overshadowed by her enduring presence on the nation’s television and cinema screens. “She will always be remembered for her good-natured and comedic roles,” García said.

With reports from El País

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