Lillian Molieri

Lillian Molieri Bermúdez (18 January 1925 – 13 September 1980 in Managua) was a Nicaraguan actress and dancer. She was noted for her minor roles in Hollywood films and TV series between 1944 and 1957, though most of them went uncredited. She later became a dancer and dance instructor and was honored with the Monje de Oro in 1966 for her radio show.

Lillian Molieri
Lillian Molieri 1946.jpg
Molieri in 1946
Born(1925-01-18)18 January 1925
Managua, Nicaragua
Died13 September 1980(1980-09-13) (aged 55)
Managua, Nicaragua
OccupationActress · Dancer

Early lifeEdit

Lillian Molieri Bermúdez was born in Managua to Mélida Bermúdez and L. Arturo Molieri.[1] Her father was the president of the Nicaraguan National Bank.[2] Her family was of Italian descent, but had lived in Nicaragua for three generations prior to Molieri's birth. The oldest daughter in the family,[1] she attended school at the Convento Notre Dame de Cion and then furthered her education at the Colegio de la Asuncion in Nicaragua.[3] Completing her high school education, Molieri traveled in Europe learning French and Italian.[1] After winning several beauty contests in Nicaragua in the early 1940s, she came to Los Angeles, where her brother Ronald was serving as Nicaragua’s Vice Consul, to improve her English and enrolled in university to study banking.[3][4][5] She was discovered by Paramount while at university and offered her first movie role in 1944.[6][7]

CareerEdit

 
Molieri in 1953

Her first appearance was in The Princess and the Pirate (1944).[1] In 1945, Molieri starred in Lambert Hillyer's western South of the Rio Grande for Monogram Pictures. She sang two songs in the film, appearing opposite Duncan Renaldo as the Cisco Kid. In John Cromwell's Anna and the King of Siam the following year she portrayed one of the wives of the King (Rex Harrison).[1] She had a featured role in Paramount's People Are Funny.[7] In May, 1949, Molieri was married to Adolph Hartman, Jr., a descendant of one of the founders of Anaheim, California.[8]

Because of typecasting, Molieri was often limited to roles where she played stereotypical parts as an exotic, foreign woman. She was often assigned bit parts,[1][9] like in Valentino, with Anthony Dexter. Dexter became her dancing partner and he and Molieri performed routines which toured from the Midwest to Miami. The duo mainly performed Spanish or South American dances, but also included tap and ballroom dancing in their repertoire.[10][11] She also performed in several television roles, most noted was her appearance as "Carlota Romero", Ricky Ricardo's long-lost Cuban girlfriend in an episode of I Love Lucy.[1]

In 1955, Molieri appeared in "The Great McGinty" episode of Lux Video Theatre, appearing opposite Nancy Gates and William Schallert.[12] Her last film was The Three Runaways (1956)[1] and then she left the United States to tour with her parents in Europe for the next three years, while her father served as a diplomat. In 1959, the family returned to Managua[13] and Molieri instituted divorce proceedings to dissolve her marriage with the Catholic Church. She opened a dance studio and performed and taught in Nicaragua from the 1960s. She also hosted a weekly radio show, Aquí con Lillian Molieri (Here with Lillian Molieri), beginning in 1965. The show was an hour-long broadcast on National Radio,[1] which was honored in 1966 with the Monje de Oro, "the Nicaraguan equivalent of an Oscar".[14]

Death and legacyEdit

Molieri died at her home in Managua at age 55 in 1980. She is remembered as one of the first Nicaraguan actors to perform in Hollywood.[1]

FilmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mendoza M., Tammy Zoad (10 February 2013). "Una diva nica en Hollywood" [A unique diva in Hollywood]. La Prensa (in Spanish). Managua, Nicaragua. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Gene Raymond Keeps Bout Story Brewing". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 24 September 1954. p. 67. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ a b "Sister of Nicaraguan Envoy Will Wed Here". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 24 April 1949. p. 84. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ "Nicaraguan Girl Wins Consent for Movie Career". The Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. 30 January 1946. p. 5. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  5. ^ "Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood". Indianapolis, Indiana: The Indianapolis News. 25 October 1945. p. 41. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ "Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood". The Joplin Globe. Joplin, Missouri. 27 April 1945. p. 18. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ a b "Nicaraguan Beauty Prefers Movie Roles". Canonsburg, Pennsylvania: The Daily Notes. 15 August 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  8. ^ Fox, Christy (30 May 1949). "Hartman-Molieri, Potter-Bryce Weddings High-light Week End". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. 21. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  9. ^ "It Takes Practice to Keep an Accent". Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan. 5 June 1953. p. 17. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  10. ^ "The DeCastros". The Miami News. Miami, Florida. 26 February 1953. p. 25. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  11. ^ Carroll, Harrison (1 April 1952). "Tony Dexter Planning Dance Tour Soon". Lancaster, Ohio: The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette. p. 6. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  12. ^ Sculthorpe, Derek (2016). Brian Donlevy, the Good Bad Guy: A Bio-Filmography. McFarland. p. 176. ISBN 9781476666570.
  13. ^ "(untitled)". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 26 April 1959. p. 104. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  14. ^ "(untitled)". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 4 April 1966. p. 60. Retrieved 24 September 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  

External linksEdit