Actress Sara Montiel, one of the great stars of Spanish film, died Monday in her home in Madrid, Spanish newswire EFE reports. She was 85.
The cause of death was not yet clear from Spanish news reports, though Montiel likely died from natural causes, according to ABC.
Born in 1928 in the town of Campo de Criptana with the name María Antonia Abad Fernández, Montiel was among the first Spaniards to cross into Hollywood, where she shared the screen with legends like Gary Cooper, Charles Bronson and Burt Lancaster before returning to conquer the world of Spanish cinema.
“In Mexico and the United States I had to get up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning,” the actress said in an interview with Spanish daily El País, recalling the days before she returned to the country of her birth. “Never again!”
Montiel is perhaps best known in Spain for her role in the classic 1957 film “El ultimo cuplé” (“The Last Torch Song”), a musical drama. She also built her career on the strength of her voice, becoming famous for her renditions of songs like “Bésame mucho” and “Fumando espero.”
She continued to sing well into old age, even after abandoning film in 1974, according to Spanish daily El País.
“They love me all over Spain,” Montiel told El País last year. “I spend two hours on the stage and they all leave happy. And I don’t do anything to take care of my voice.
The actress married four times in her life and adopted two children, named Thais and Zeus.
See how Twitter users are remembering Spanish film legend Sara Montiel.