Mapita Cortés

Mapita Cortés (August 4, 1939 – January 15, 2006 born Maria del Pilar Mercado Cordero in 1939 in the Santurce barrio of San Juan, Puerto Rico – died in Mexico City)[1], was a Puerto Rican actress of telenovelas and the cinema of Mexico. She is the mother of Mexican actor Luis Gatica,[2] the wife of Lucho Gatica,[3] the niece of Puerto Rican actress Mapy Cortés,[3] and the niece in law of Mexican actor Fernando Cortés. Mapita Cortés is also the cousin of famous Paquito Cordero, two years her junior.

Mapita Cortés
Mapita Cortés.jpg
Cortés (left) with her husband Lucho Gatica
Maria del Pilar Mercado Cordero

(1939-08-04)August 4, 1939
DiedJanuary 1, 2006(2006-01-01) (aged 66)
NationalityPuerto Rican
ChildrenLuis Gatica, Mapy (Maria del Pilar), Aída, Juanita, and Alfredo


Cortés was Miss Puerto Rico in the 1957 Miss Universe pageant and finished as one of the top five finalists.[4]

Mapita Cortés had demonstrated desire to become an actress since she was a child. As she and her cousin grew, her cousin became a known personality in Puerto Rico. Mapita Cortés, however, tried her luck in Mexico, since her aunt had adopted her[2] and was a celebrity there. Mapita Cortés took her last name from her uncle and aunt.

Cortés became a sensation in the Mexican film industry during the 1950s, when she appeared in 1958's Misterios de Ultratumba ("Mysteries of the Afterlife", aka The Black Pit of Dr. M).[1] This movie became a contemporary Mexican classic.[5]

Cortés then starred or played important roles in a number of films, following her uncle and aunt's footsteps by becoming a celebrity on her own in Mexico. She decided to establish herself in the North American country permanently after enjoying success there.

While she was doing films, another celebrity, Chilean singer Lucho Gatica, fell in love with her and the two began a romance that would lead to a marriage on May 21, 1960.[2] They had five children[6]: Luis, Mapy (Maria del Pilar), Aída, Juanita, and Alfredo.[4][7] Their son Luis Gatica (born in 1961), would eventually also become a celebrity as a telenovela actor and rock music singer during the 1980s.[2] Mapita Cortés and Lucho Gatica divorced after 18 years of marriage.[8]

After marrying Lucho Gatica, Mapita Cortés semi-retired from the world of show business, becoming a housewife instead and attending to her children. But she returned to activity sporadically, becoming what is known as a character actress in some of Mexico's most famous telenovelas. In 1989, she participated alongside Verónica Castro in Televisa's Mi pequeña Soledad,[2] which became a major hit across Mexico, the United States and even Europe, giving Mapita Cortés a degree of celebrity in countries like Russia and others. Mapita Cortés also had the opportunity to work alongside Mariana Levy, who died in 2005.



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Recuerdan a Mapita Cortés". El Informador :: Noticias de Jalisco, México, Deportes & Entretenimiento (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Luis Gatica llora la muerte de su madre, Mapita Cortés | La Crónica de Hoy". Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  3. ^ a b "Recordando a Miss Puerto Rico 1957, quien fuera esposa del cantante chileno Lucho Gatica". Chilean Charm. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  4. ^ a b "Dan último adiós a Mapita Cortés". vLex (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  5. ^ "Es considerada Mapita Cortés gran belleza del cine mexicano". Uniradio Informa. 1969-12-31. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  6. ^ "Fallece Lucho Gatica". Multimedios (in Spanish). 2018-11-13. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  7. ^ Vergara, Claudio (2018-11-15). "Mi papá Lucho Gatica". La Tercera. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  8. ^ "¿Quién es Alfie Gatica el yerno de Carlos Salinas?". Clase (in Spanish). 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Destacó Mapita Cortés por su belleza y actuación en cine y televisión". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-07-28.

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