Carmen Sevilla, the beloved Spanish actress, and singer, passes away at 92 after battling Alzheimer’s

Commemorating Sevilla's cinematic legacy, uncovering rumors of her love affair, and reflecting on her decade-long struggle with Alzheimer's.

Yesterday, it was revealed that actress, host, and singer Carmen Sevilla passed away at 92 in Madrid, Spain. Carmen Sevilla’s death was confirmed by her son Augusto Algueró after more than a decade fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

The actress stood out so much for her beauty and sympathy that she was nicknamed “the bride of Spain.” She was so beautiful that she had a long list of suitors: from the bullfighter Carlos Arruza or the singer Frank Sinatra to the famous comic actor Mario Moreno Cantinflas, Jorge Negrete, and Pedro Infante.

As an actress, she had a great international projection and many offers to record in the United States, the Mecca of cinema. In 1950 she filmed with Jorge Negrete, the Mexican idol, Jalisco canta en Sevilla. Such was her success that she was recognized and demanded outside Spain. She even filmed with Charlton Heston the film Marco Antonio y Cleopatra (1972), where she was the protagonist.

She also participated in La Venganza (1958), the first Spanish film nominated for an Oscar (in the 1959 edition) as Best Foreign Language Film. She also tried her luck in singing and recorded more than fifteen albums in the genres of copla, bolero, tango, and chotis.

Did she have an affair with Pedro Infante?

In 1953 the Spaniard met Pedro Infante when she was 23 years old. They both worked in the movie Gitana tenías que ser, and it is believed that love was born there, even though the singer was married then.

The star of La Promesa revealed that since she met the Ídolo de Guamúchil, he dedicated himself to being the best host because he always cared about her, gave her gifts, and was a very “loving” person.

This constant in their companionship led her to fall in love; however, this attraction would not have gone further.

However, there is a rumor that the two protagonists eloped to Mérida during the movie’s filming, where they enjoyed a romantic day.

Supposedly, during one of their breaks, Pedro had the idea of taking the Spaniard to Yucatan, his favorite place and where he owned several properties.

One of the anecdotes that would confirm this would be the moment when the Immortal Idol bought a slave for Carmen; in order, for it to be similar to his own, he turned to his trusted jeweler, who would have made the jewel. The artisan even said that this was real.

Afterward, they visited the Virgin of Izamal, and, supposedly, such was the emotion of the actress that Infante decided to have a gold crown made for the virgin, according to fans of the actor, although this is not confirmed.

Although Sevilla never confirmed if this was real, she shared that Pedro’s death was difficult for her because she considered him one of her closest friends in Mexico, a person she trusted and who listened to her when she missed her native country the most.

Who was Carmen Sevilla?

María del Carmen García Galisteo, known as Carmen Sevilla because of her birthplace, was one of the most recognized Spanish actresses of the previous century. The singer and television presenter was one of the last surviving figures of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

The actress’s early years were spent in Heliópolis, a middle-class neighborhood in Seville, where she borrowed her artistic name from. After entering a conservatory and being inspired by her father, Antonio García Padilla, and her grandfather José García, she began a music career.

In 1947, Sevilla would have her film debut in the movie “Serenata Española,” although she had no credits due to her brief appearance. However, she would not give up. Two years later, in a collaboration between Mexican and Spanish productions, she would star in “Jalisco canta en Sevilla” alongside Jorge Negrete, consolidating herself as one of the favorites on the big screen.

She alternated between America and Europe, participating in 1958’s “La Venganza,” the first Spanish film nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. At the peak of her career, Sevilla would arrive in Hollywood to be part of “King of Kings,” the production based on Jesus of Nazareth in which she played Mary Magdalene.

For two decades, the actress remained a favorite, but with the arrival of the 70s, the public’s preference turned to other new figures, so she tried to enhance her career. After initial success, she was part of “Mark Antony and Cleopatra,” where she shared credits with Charlton Heston.

However, in 1978, after several rejections, he presented “Faces,” his last film. After this, she would return to television to join the Argentinean production “La Viuda Blanca” and as host of “Telecupón.” Since 1998, the Spanish actress would have sporadic appearances, being remembered for her appearance in “Campanadas De Fin De Año.”

On Monday, June 26, Carmen Sevilla was admitted in an emergency to a medical center, and her condition was not positive, something that is not surprising considering that she had been fighting Alzheimer’s disease for more than a decade.

“Unfortunately, she doesn’t recognize me but receives the tokens of affection and love we give her. It is a very hard and difficult situation for everyone,” his son told El Mundo a few months ago.

Although he was diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2009, it was not until April 2012 that he made public his decision to retire completely from the spotlight, living at his residence in Madrid.

“She is almost 92 years old and will be 92 in October. Her current life is very reduced,” added the young man, almost foreseeing that his mother’s departure, one of the greatest Spanish artists in history, was very close.