María Elena Velasco
María Elena Velasco Fragoso (17 December 1940 – 1 May 2015) was a Mexican actress, comedian, singer-songwriter, dancer, screenwriter, film producer, and one of Mexico's few major female film directors. She is best known for creating and portraying La India María, a comical character based on indigenous Mexican women.
|María Elena Velasco Fragoso|
|Birth name||María Elena Velasco Fragoso|
|Born||17 December 1940|
Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
|Died||1 May 2015 (aged 74)|
Mexico City, Mexico
|Medium||Film, television, music, theatre|
|Genres||Character comedy, slapstick|
|Subject(s)||Indigenous Mexican women|
(m. 1965; died 1974)
After the death of Tomás Velasco, the family moved to Mexico City, where she worked as a dancer at the Teatro Tívoli. Later, she became one of the showgirls of the Teatro Blanquita, where she also participated in sketches starring comedians such as José "El Ojón" Jasso and Óscar Ortiz de Pinedo, among others.
In 1962, her popularity at the Teatro Blanquita attracted the attention of producer Miguel Morayta, who cast her in her first film role in the drama Los derechos de los hijos (1963), starring Elvira Quintana and Carlos Agostí. Juan Bustillo Oro gave her the small part of Petra, a maid, in México de mis recuerdos (1963). In 1964, she began to include comedic material to her appearances in sketches and, in the meantime, played servants in television programs. She soon developed a comedy character named Elena María, a rural Mexican woman. Her breakthrough came when director Fernando Cortés recommended her to portray an indigenous woman named "María" in one of Mantequilla's sketches. The character was dressed in traditional garb consisting of traditionally braided and ribboned hair and colorful native-type blouses and skirts. In an effort to make her portrayal more authentic, she observed the gestures and mannerisms of indigenous women; her own mother made dresses for the character. She later appeared in the western El bastardo (1968), where she was credited for the first time as "María Elena Velasco 'La India María'".
In 1969, Velasco appeared as La India María in a comic segment of the weekly program Siempre en domingo, hosted by Raúl Velasco (who is unrelated to María Elena). The segment quickly became a hit and she starred in other successful television programs. Her first La India María film, Tonta, tonta, pero no tanto (1972), was directed by Fernando Cortés; in total, Cortés directed eight La India María films until his death in 1979. The enormous success of the film spawned a series of low-budget comedies that became a mainstay in Mexican movie theaters. Velasco won a Silver Goddess Award for Best Comedic Performance for ¡El que no corre... vuela! (1982). She made her directorial debut in El coyote emplumado (1983). She also starred the television series Ay María, qué puntería (1998).
In the early 1960s, Velasco met Russian-born Mexican film actor and choreographer Julián de Meriche (born Vladimir Lipkies Chazan) at the Teatro Blanquita. They married and had two children, producer-director Iván Lipkies and actress, screenwriter and producer Ivette Eugenia Lipkies, also known as Goretti Lipkies. She later said: "My husband was worth gold, I will not lie and say he was the perfect man, but he was the love of my life." She also had a daughter with Raul Velasco named Marina Velasco who was given up and kept a secret ,
Her death was announced over Twitter by the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía on 1 May 2015; the cause of death was not made public, but it was known that she had been suffering from stomach cancer.
|1963||México de mis recuerdos||Petra||First credited film role|
|1963||Los derechos de los hijos||María|
|1964||El revólver sangriento||Pedro's wife|
|1972||Tonta, tonta, pero no tanto||María Nicolasa Cruz||First India María film|
|1973||¡Pobre, pero honrada!||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1974||La madrecita||Sor María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1975||La presidenta municipal||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1976||El miedo no anda en burro||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1977||Sor Tequila||María Nicolasa "Sor Tequila"|
|1978||Duro pero seguro||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1978||La comadrita||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1981||Okey, Mister Pancho||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1982||¡El que no corre... vuela!||María Nicolasa Cruz||Silver Goddess Award for Best Comedy Performance|
|1983||El coyote emplumado||María||Directorial debut|
|1984||Ni Chana, ni Juana||Juana Cruz / Emilia Falcón|
|1988||Ni de aquí, ni de allá||María|
|1993||Se equivocó la cigüeña||María Nicolasa Cruz|
|1999||Las delicias del poder||María / Lorena Barriga|
|2014||La hija de Moctezuma||María Nicolasa Cruz||Nominated – Silver Goddess Award for Best Original Song|
|1969||Domingos espectaculares||La India María|
|1970||Siempre en domingo||La India María|
|1972||Revista musical Nescafé||La India María|
|1988||Papá soltero||La India María||1 episode|
|1998||¡Ay María qué puntería!||La India María|
|2003||La hora pico||La India María||1 episode|
|2003||Mujer, casos de la vida real||María||1 episode – "Amor incondicional"|
|2004||La familia P. Luche||La India María||Season 1 episode 38 – "Nos vamos de viaje"|
|2013||Corazón indomable||María Nicolasa Cruz de Olivares|
|1970||El séptimo sello||Ingmar Bergman|
|1972||Dos viejos pánicos||Virgilio Piñera|
|1994||México canta y aguanta||María Elena Velasco||Mexican Theatre Critics Association Award for Best Revue|
- La mejor cantante de todas las grabadoras (1971)
- De chile, de dulce y de manteca (1982)
- Biographical Dictionary of Mexican Film Performers: "U-Z". umd.edu
- Google books, Women filmmakers in Mexico: the country of which we dream, Elissa Rashkin, 2001, p. 76.
- "La India María", La historia detras del mito. Azteca; accessed 4 May 2015.
- "VELASCO, María Elena". Escritores del cine. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "Mañana da inicio "Ay María, que puntería"". El Siglo de Torreón. 5 January 1998. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- Julián de Meriche profile, Biographical Dictionary of Mexican Film Performers terpconnect.umd.edu; accessed 4 May 2015.
- Mora, Angélica (21 October 2014). "María Elena Velasco, 'La India María' nos revela porqué ¡no se volvió a casar!". TVNotas. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "Fallece María Elena Velasco, 'La India María'". Excelsior. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Graban película de “La India María” – Diario Eyipantla Milenio. Diarioeyipantla.com, 24 May 2011; retrieved 14 July 2012.