Flor Silvestre, one of Mexico’s most popular singers who also starred in scores of films, died today at 90. Televisa’s Espectáculos said she died surrounded by her family — including her son, singer and actor Pepe Aguilar — at Rancho el Soyate, the Zacatecas ranch she once shared with her late husband, the singer and actor Antonio Aguilar.
Emerging as a radio star in her late teens, Silvestre inked a recording deal with Columbia Records in 1950 and soon began to score Spanish-language hits. That same year, she appeared in her first two movies — Primero soy Mexicano and Te besaré en la boca — and would go on to appear in nearly 70 more during the next four decades.
She moved to the Musart Records label in 1957 and continued to rack up hit songs — including one of her signature canciones “Mi destino fue quererte” (My Destiny Was to Love You) in 1964 — all while making films and appearing in her husband’s popular musical rodeo touring show. Silvestre starred alongside Toshiro Mifune and her husband in the 1962 film Ánimas Trujano (aka El hombre importante, or The Important Man), which scored an Oscar nom for Best Foreign Language Feature.
Born Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla on August 16, 1930, in Salamanca, Mexico, she was singing in public by age 13. Specializing in genres including bolero and ranchera, she took her stage name from the 1943 Dolores del Rio film Flor Silvestre, which translates to “wild flower.”
Twice divorced, she met Antonio Aguilera in 1950, when he was invited to perform on her local radio program. They made their first of many films together in 1955 and were married a half-decade later. Their two children — sons Antonio “Toño” Aguilar and José “Pepe” Aguilar — also are singer-actors. Pepe Aguilar, a four-time Grammy winner, was among those who read the Grammy Awards nominations this week. Antonio Aguilar died in 2007.
Among Silvestre’s many awards and honors are the 2013 Special Silver Goddess Award from the Association of Mexican Cinema Journalists, the 2001 Eduardo Arozamena Medal from the National Association of Actors, the 2001 Pedro Infante Medal from World Mariachi Day and Best Mexican Actress-Singer of 1972 from Record World. She also was the grand marshal of the 2008 Mexican Independence Parade in Los Angeles.
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