Marisol


Marisol
(1948- )
   Marisol was the most popular in the generation of child actors of the desarrollismo period of the mid-1960s. Her story has been told in great detail, becoming almost emblematic of the country's evolution from poverty to relative affluence: Josefa Flores González, later Marisol, was a girl from a poor family who was discovered at the age of seven by director Luis Lucia to star in a musical called Rayo de Luz (Ray of Light, 1960). With this role, she became the darling of the Spanish film industry almost overnight. As the title suggests, she played a little girl who brought light into the lives of dour adults.
   The character she would portray for 10 more years was already fully formed here: she was a blonde, blue-eyed girl, talkative and gifted with a good voice and stage personality, who could help adults to overcome difficulties with a song or a smile. In these sentimental films, she tended to play orphans who engaged the affections of everybody. In the next decade, she became hugely popular both as an actress and as a recording artist. A series of musicals followed that included Ha llegado un ángel (An Angel Has Arrived, 1961) and Tómbola (Lottery, 1962), both directed by Luis Lucia, and Marisol rumbo a Río (Marisol Goes to Rio, Fernando Palacios, 1963). In all of them, Marisol was a metaphor of desarrollismo, an overcoming of racial interpretations of Spanish identity. Things became difficult when she came into dating age. Producers were concerned that she would not be accepted as a young adult, and indeed her fame began to wane in further vehicles like Búsqueme a esa chica (Find Me That Girl, Fernando Palacios, 1965) and Las 4 bodas de Marisol (The Four Weddings of Marisol, Luis Lucia, 1967).
   As the Franco period entered its last phase, she began to express discontent with her situation. She married Left-wing choreographer Antonio Gades and expressed her anti-Francoist feelings to the press, remarking that she had been taken advantage of, and trying to convey the idea of a "new" Marisol that included sexier parts and work for controversial directors, with titles including La chica del molino rojo (The Girl of the Moulin Rouge, Eugenio Martín, 1973) and El poder del deseo (The Power of Desire, Juan Antonio Bardem, 1975). The new image did not work, and she went into semi-retirement in 1975, with only occasional appearances on television and in film (including Mario Camus' Los días del pasado [ Days of the Past, 1978 ] and Carlos Saura's Carmen [ 1983 ]).

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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