Lupe by Octavio Ocampo
Lupe Velez was born on July 18, 1908, in San Luis de Potosi, Mexico. Her name at birth was Maria Guadalupe Velez de Villalobos, but the world knew her as Lupe. Raised in a convent in San Antonio, Texas, she was beautiful and overflowing with life, with a presence so exciting, it could barely be contained on the big screen. Her career in silent film was brief, but outstanding. She was a wild, tempestuous lover and player. Lupe was funny, sexy, and she could literally act up a storm.
Lupe began her performing career on the Mexican stage. She immigrated to Hollywood in the mid-1920’s and was discovered in a nightclub revue. In the 1930’s Lupe was such a spicy pepperpot, with a temper to match, she was dubbed "The Mexican Spitfire". Every inch of her gave off sparks. When she was in a love scene, no woman could be more tender. When angry, no woman could be more furious – on or off the screen! She had love affairs with such idols as Gary Cooper, John Gilbert, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Charlie Chaplin, boxer Jack Dempsey, director Victor Fleming, Tarzan hunk Johnny Weissmuller (to whom she was married for five stormy years), and Jimmy Durante.
Lupe finally returned to he native Mexico to boost her flagging career and ego. She was only 35 when she starred in a Mexican version of Zola’s Nana (1943). This important drama garnered Lupe the best reviews of her career. However, it did not ease her growing depression. She returned to her beautiful home in Beverly Hills and attempted to create a lasting romance with a certain bit player named Harold Raymond. Lupe found herself pregnant with Raymond’s child at a time when unwed mothers were all but crucified. Raymond didn’t want anything to do with her problem. She was abandoned and felt humiliated. In her mind there was only one option open. Lupe Velez, so full of fire and full of life, took her own on December 14, 1944.
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