Dolores del Río: Beauty in Light and Shade

By Linda B. Hall | Go to book overview

8
Affair

Every woman owes it to herself never to fall out of love.…The
woman, if lucky, will keep on seeking a beloved. If one love finishes,
pursue another.…

Dolores del Río, press release by Alice Tildesley1

For Dolores, life with Orson was entertaining, extravagant, and
different, a whirlwind.

David Ramón, Historia de un rostro2

SEVERAL PROBLEMS were converging in del Río’s personal and professional life in the late 1930s. Her depression had not yielded to her clear position as one of Hollywood’s social elite, and neither did her career completely recover to its heights of the late 1920s. She, like Garbo and Dietrich, was suffering from the double bind of being cast as a sexual fantasy, and finding popularity, admiration, and even adoration there, while at the same time struggling against the moral strictures of some sectors of the U.S. public and of the Breen Office, which worked against exactly such representations. Worse, feelings toward actors from other countries were less and less sympathetic as the situation in Europe became clouded with Adolf Hitler’s increasing power in Germany and threats against other countries. The possibility of war led increasingly to feelings against del Río, Garbo and Dietrich, along with a growing perception of them as too sexual to be good. And all were growing older. Although Dolores was at the height of her beauty, it may be that race or the perception of it made the situation worse; her dark loveliness versus the lighter Garbo and Dietrich made her seem alien, and as she aged her early sweet

-176-

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Dolores del Río: Beauty in Light and Shade
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Note on Translation and Orthography xiii
  • 1 - Beauty, Celebrity, and Power in Two Cultures 1
  • 2 - Mexican Princess 21
  • 3 - Hollywood Baby Beauty 43
  • 4 - Unwelcome Triangle 70
  • 5 - Pushing the Envelope 92
  • 6 - Fame and Its Perils 121
  • 7 - Second Chance 146
  • 8 - Affair 176
  • 9 - Return 204
  • 10 - Resurrection 225
  • 11 - Diva 252
  • 12 - Icon 275
  • Reference Matter 299
  • Notes 301
  • Filmography 335
  • Bibliography 337
  • Index 343
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