Fall 2018

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114 SAG-AFTRA | Fall 2018 | Snapshot by Valerie Yaros S he was a "Google Doodle" in 2017 and Elvis Presley's screen mother in 1960. She has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame; is represented by one of the silver, multiethnic "Four Ladies of Hollywood" sculptures a mile to the west (the other three represent Anna May Wong, Dorothy Dandridge and Mae West); and can be found on two of the town's colorful murals. But long before any of that, Dolores Del Río was an internationally famous movie star in both silent and sound films made in Hollywood and in her home country of Mexico. She was also one of the few screen luminaries to bridge the rocky road from silents to "talkies." A 1936 Los Angeles Times article included her as one of just 25 silent actors still starring in film in an industry where three out of four screen stars were now "newcomers." In 1933, Del Río lent her support to the fledgling Screen Actors Guild, which needed star power to advance its cause, and she joined in October of that year. Not content to simply pay her dues and initiation fees, within weeks of joining, she agreed to chair one of several committees to create the union's first fundraiser, the successful Screen Actors Guild Ball. She assisted in May 1934 on the Guild's second fundraiser, Film Stars Frolic, at Gilmore Stadium. Del Río aided the union through participating in its work on the Motion Picture Hall of Fame at the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego in 1935. In 1936, she was appointed official hostess for the Third Annual Screen Actors Guild Ball. She returned to Mexico in 1942 and participated in the Mexican actors union Asociación Nacional de Actores. In the early '70s, working with ANDA and the Mexican government, she helped create Estancia Infantil, a 24-hour care center for preschool children of working actors. Looking back on her career in 1977, Del Río reflected, "I've been very lucky and worked very hard, because it is very difficult for Mexican actors to break into American films." She passed away at age 78 in 1983. Her Walk of Fame star is at 1630 Vine St. The Dolores Del Río mural, painted by Mexican-born artist Alfredo de Batuc, is on the Hudson Avenue side of 6529 Hollywood Blvd. The Portrait of Hollywood mural by Eloy Torrez, in which she appears, adorns the outside of the Hollywood High School auditorium. In 2013, the home she shared with husband Cedric Gibbons in the 1930s was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1038. Dolores Del Río: Crossover Star One of Screen Actors Guild's founding members, Dolores Del Rio, seen here on a 1920s postcard at her "beautiful home" in Outpost Estates near Hollywood. In an early role, she starred as Russian country girl Katyusha Maslova in the U.S. silent film Resurrection in 1927, far left, and a publicity postcard, bottom left, dubbed her "Estrella Mexicana" — a Mexican star. SAG-AFTRA SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

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