Head to Google's homepage today and you'll see a beautiful bouquet of flowers adorning the logo with a woman in a broad straw hat looking off into the distance. That woman is Dolores Del Rio, one of the first well-known Hispanic crossover stars. Del Rio, who passed away in 1983 at the age of 77, was born 113 years ago today.
According to Google's Doodle blog, the Mexican actress was discovered by American director Edwin Carewe. The discovery was a chance encounter: Del Rio was dancing in Mexico City when Carewe spotted her and who urged her to move to California. Once there, Del Rio established herself as one of the biggest stars of the silent film era. She made a name for herself playing a French peasant in the 1927 film What Price Glory.
Later, Del Rio transitioned into "talkies," starring with some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. However, The New York Times noted in Del Rio's obituary that her accent meant she was often typecast.
Del Rio eventually returned to Mexico, where she helped to introduce Mexican cinema to the world stage. She starred in the 1947 film Maria Candelaria, playing an Indian peasant woman. According to the Times, Del Rio was most proud of the widely acclaimed, award-winning film.
In addition to being one of the first major crossover stars, she helped break boundaries for women as the first female to ever sit on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. She also worked to establish childcare for those in the Mexican Actor's Guild. Google's blog notes Del Rio's role as a philanthropist, working to preserve historic Mexican art and architecture.
Today, honor Del Rio by watching one of her trailblazing films, such as Girl of the Rio or Bird of Paradise.