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.
Today, few remember her.