|Birth Day:||November 19, 1929|
Mexican and Cuban actress who played a key role in the subgenre film Rumberas after becoming a Rumba dancer.
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Rosa Carmina was born in La Habana and was discovered by a director who wanted to replace his previous muse with her.
Rosa Carmina Riverón Jimenez was born in Havana, Cuba on November 19, 1929. Daughter of Juán Bruno Riverón and Encarnacion Jimenez and the youngest of four brothers. From an early age she showed interest in dancing, and studied at the School of Dance in Cuba. In 1946 the famous Spanish producer, director and film actor Juan Orol divorced the Cuban rumbera María Antonieta Pons, ending their film collaboration in the Mexican Cinema. Orol then traveled to Cuba to search for a new star for his films. He launched a competition in Havana where about five hundred girls attended (among the contestants were the future stars Ninón Sevilla and Mary Esquivel). He was unable to find an actress to play the character of a Japanese spy in the film A Woman from the East, so he decided to return to Mexico. However, Orol unexpectedly received a call from Enrique Brion, his agent in Cuba. Brion had come by invitation to the graduation celebration of Juanita Riverón, Rosa's sister, where he heard Rosa Carmina sing. Brion told Orol about his discovery. Upon meeting Rosa the next day, Orol claimed to have felt a great emotion, and thought to himself: She is the Woman from the East.
In 1950, Rosa shot with the production company Producciones Rosas Priego. At this studio, Rosa Carmina had the opportunity to make dramatic films with very different plots: she filmed movies like Treacherous (1950), with Fernando fernández; In the Flesh (1951), with Rubén Rojo; Ladies Specialist (1952), with Rafael Baledón; Voyager (1952), again with Fernandez, and The Second Woman (1954), with Antonio Aguilar, among others. Rosa Carmina was also originally considered to star in the film un extraño en la escalera, directed by the filmmaker Tulio Demicheli, next to Arturo de Córdova. However, Rosa rejected the project to join a new film project with Orol. She was then replaced by Silvia Pinal.
Rosa Carmina began her artistic career in the Mexican Cinema starring the film A Woman from East (1946), directed by Juan Orol. Rosa had signed a contract to film two more films with Orol. Her second project was Tania, the Beautiful Wild Girl (1947). Her third film made with Orol was Gangster's Kingdom (1947). Both this film and its sequel, Gangsters Versus Cowboys (1948), are now considered cult films in the Gangster film genre, and have an important place in several film libraries around the world. In both films Rosa Carmina plays the femme fatale, the object of the conflict between the male characters in the story, a situation that contributes to elevate to star as one of the most representative sex symbols of the Mexican cinema of the time. In some Orol films the actress played herself. To close the 1940s, Rosa Carmina filmed two more films with Orol: Wild Love (1949) (controversial film based on a story by José G. Cruz, who spoke about a love conflict between a young man and his own uncle) and Cabaret Shangai (1950). Rosa Carmina success in film increases due to her versatility, she soon proved to be a complete vedette, because she not only showed talent for dancing but also singing and acting. In 1951, Rosa Carmina films the trilogy Percal, which consisted of three films: The Poor's Hell, Women Perdition and Men without Soul. This trilogy was based on a popular original comic of José G. Cruz. The success of the comic magazine in the audience was overcome by the film version.
Despite being virtually exclusive star of Orol films and his production company (España Sono Films), he gives her the opportunity to film with other producers. After her filmic collaborations with Producciones Rosas Priego and CLASA Films Mundiales, Rosa Carmina rejoins the Orol film team with The Goddess of Tahiti (1953). In 1954, Juan Orol produces and directs in Cuba Sandra, the Woman of Fire (1954). The movie was one of the most important and memorable blockbusters films by Rosa Carmina and Orol. Rosa Carmina continued her filmic collaborations next to Juan Orol in three more films: Crime Syndicate (1954), Under the Fear Influence (1955) and Dangerous Secretary (1955). In total, between 1946 and 1955, the legendary Orol directed her in sixteen films. Despite the peculiar style of cinema Juan Orol, these films help to enrich the myth of Rosa Carmina and give it the undisputed title of Queen of the Gangsters of the Mexican Film noir.
In the mid 1950s, the Rumberas film experienced a decline. Like other exponents of the genre, Rosa Carmina made fewer productions in this genre. In 1956 she filmed the Spanish-Mexican co-production Love Me with Music (1956), directed by Ignacio Iquino. The film was a great success in the Spanish market, making Carmina one of the few Mexican stars to achieve success in Spain. From this point on, Rosa Carmina performed musical numbers only sporadically in her films.
In 1956, Rosa Carmina received an offer to make a film in France with actress Viviane Romance, but because the movie would contain lesbian scenes, Juan Orol recommended that she reject the project. In 1959 she starring the film My Private Secretaries, with the American-Cuban actor Cesar Romero.
In the late 1950s and during the 1960s, Rosa Carmina ventured into other film genres. Carmina's career stands out because of her versatility in working in different genres while keeping the same success with the public. Few actresses in the Mexican cinema were able to do this. She was part of the era of the Luchador films for her involvement in films like The Last Fight (1959) and The White Shadow (1964). She also ventured into the fantasy and horror film genres in films like The Cobra Mystery (1959), Infernal Face (1963) and Macabre Footprint (1963). In 1974, Rosa Carmina met for the last time with Juan Orol in the film México by Night, where they made their last appearance Sandra and the serie of characters created by Orol to his classic films. In 1975, Rosa appeared in the film Beauties by Night, which introduced the Mexican sex comedy that flourished between the 1970s and 1980s in the Mexican Cinema.
In 1976, the Peruvian Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa directed her in Captain Pantoja and the Special Services, based on his novel of the same name. Rosa was considered for the role of Chuchupe. Mario Vargas Llosa himself claimed to have inspired her for the character in the novel. However, they realized that Rosa was too physically attractive to play an obese and decadent woman. The character was then performed by Katy Jurado, although a special character was created so that they could keep Rosa Carmina in the cast: La Cubana. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures and made in the Dominican Republic.
In 1976 she starred in a successful music season in the Blanquita Theater of Mexico City, alongside the comedian Adalberto Martínez and the Cuban rumbera Amalia Aguilar.
In 1981, Rosa appeared in the Arturo Ripstein film Rastro de muerte. Her last film was Teatro Follies, a musical film made for television in 1983, in which she shared credit with María Victoria and Tongolele.
Rosa Carmina has had a very selective presence on Mexican television. She was one of the first figures to present a musical show on Mexican television. At the end of her film career, Rosa made her debut in the Mexican telenovelas in 1984, in the telenovela La pasión de Isabela (1984). Probably her most memorable works in this medium are the telenovelas Juana Iris (1985) and Muchachita (1986), where she played special characters written especially for her by the writer Ricardo Renteria. In 1992 she participated in the telenovela Maria Mercedes (1992), the first of the successful television soap opera trilogy known as the Trilogy of the Marias, starring the singer Thalía. She played a minor character and got her role due to her friendship with the soap opera's writer Carlos Romero. This is, to date, her last professional work as an actress.
In 1992, Rosa was considered for a role in the film The Years of Greta. However, her physical attractiveness was again an impediment to the realization of the character she was intended to play, so she was replaced by the Mexican actress and rumbera Meche Barba.
Currently, Rosa Carmina is 91 years, 11 months and 6 days old. Rosa Carmina will celebrate 92nd birthday on a Friday 19th of November 2021.
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