Lupe Velez was a volatile Mexican film actress whose star for many years blazed brilliantly in Hollywood.
They called her the Mexican Spitfire — a passionate, fiery actress who rose from humble roots to become one of Hollywood's most notorious stars. Long before Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek, Lupe Velez was a crossover Latina embraced by Anglo filmgoers.
And in a career spanning three decades, she in turn was embraced by screen lovers including Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Gary Cooper and Johnny Weissmuller.
A tabloid sensation, Velez killed herself in 1944 with an overdose of sleeping pills, leaving two poignant notes in which she wrote of unrequited love and expectant motherhood.