Rosita Fornés

Rosita Fornés (née Rosalía Lourdes Elisa Palet Bonavia; February 11, 1923 – June 10, 2020) was a Cuban-American singer and film actress. She was noted for her multifaceted career in the entertainment industry of Cuba. She worked in cinema, the theater, radio, television and cabaret.

Rosita Fornés
Rosita Fornés.jpg
Fornés in 2011
Rosalía Lourdes Elisa Palet Bonavia

(1923-02-11)February 11, 1923
DiedJune 10, 2020(2020-06-10) (aged 97)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1938–2020
Spouse(s)Manuel Medel (divorced)
Armando Bianchi

Early lifeEdit

Fornés was born on February 11, 1923, in New York City and moved to Cuba as a child. Her parents were immigrants from Spain.[1] Her father was Catalan and her mother was from Madrid. They eventually divorced and her mother remarried when Fornés was approximately five. She took her stepfather's name. When she was ten, the family moved to Spain, where they lived for three years before returning to Cuba.[2]


Fornés made her stage debut in 1938, when she featured in the musical comedy La corte suprema del arte.[1] She subsequently appeared in two Cuban films before moving to Mexico, where she starred in several films during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.[3] These included The Desire, Del can-can al mambo, Cara sucia, and Se acabaron las mujeres.[1]

Fornés was lauded for being one of the pioneers of Cuban television.[4] Her versatility meant that she was able to perform in various areas of the Cuban entertainment industry. These included cinema, the theater, radio, television and cabaret.[1][5] She gave her final performance in 2019, one year before her death. It took place at a tribute concert for Meme Solis held at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Fornés' first marriage was to Manuel Medel. They resided in Mexico and had one daughter together, Rosa María. She moved back to Havana in 1952 after they divorced. She subsequently married Armando Bianchi. They moved to Spain, where they worked for the Barcelona Comic Theater, the Madrid Theater and the Alcázar Theater from 1957 until 1959, before he died in 1981.[1]

Fornés died on June 10, 2020, at a hospital in the Miami metropolitan area. She was 97, and had suffered complications from emphysema.[6][7]

Selected filmographyEdit

Source: [1][8]

  • A Dangerous Adventure (1939)
  • Musical Romance (1941)
  • The Flesh Commands (1948)
  • The Desire (1948)
  • Del can-can al mambo (1951)
  • Women of the Theatre (1951)
  • The Unknown Mariachi (1953)
  • Me Gustan Todas / Hotel Tropical' (1954) Dir: Juan J. Ortega. País: México-Cuba
  • No me olvides nunca (1955) Dir: Juan J. Ortega. Country: México-Cuba
  • Palmer ha muerto (1960) Dir: Juan Fortuny. Country: Puerto Rico-España
  • Se permuta (1984) Dir: Juan Carlos Tabío. País: Cuba
  • Plácido (1986) Dir: Sergio Giral. País: Cuba
  • Hoy como ayer / El bárbaro del ritmo (1987) Dir: Constante "Rapi" Diego / Sergio Véjar. Country: Cuba-México
  • Papeles Secundarios (1989) Dir: Orlando Rojas. Country: Cuba-España
  • Quiéreme y verás (1994) Dir: Daniel Díaz Torres. Country: Cuba
  • Las noches de Constantinopla (2001) Dir: Orlando Rojas. Country: Cuba-España
  • Al atardecer (2001) Dir: Tomás Piard. Country: Cuba
  • Tin Tan, un documental de Francesco Taboada Tabone. (2010) Country: México
  • Mejilla con mejilla (2011) Dir: Delso Aquino. Country: Cuba


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Arias–Polo, Arturo (June 10, 2020). "Legendary Cuban star Rosita Fornés dies in Miami". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  2. ^ Interview with Rosita Fornés. (in Spanish)
  3. ^ García Osuna p.139
  4. ^ García Osuna, Alfonso J. (August 1, 2015). The Cuban Filmography: 1897 through 2001. McFarland. p. 139. ISBN 9781476605319.
  5. ^ "Rosita Fornés, the most famous vedette in Cuba, dies". Explica. June 10, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "Fallece Rosita Fornés, la vedette de Cuba, a los 97 años". June 10, 2020.
  7. ^ "Muere Rosita Fornés la vedette cubana". (in Spanish). Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  8. ^ "Cuban Actress Rosita Fornés Dies at 97". Cinema Tropical. June 10, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2020.

External linksEdit