María Conchita Alonso

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María Conchita Alonso
Alonso at LA Pride, June 12, 2011
Alonso at LA Pride, June 12, 2011
Background information
Birth nameMaría Concepción Alonso Bustillo
Born (1957-06-29) June 29, 1957 (age 63)
Cienfuegos, Cuba
GenresLatin pop, Adult contemporary, Dance-pop, Pop rock
Occupation(s)Actor, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1971–present

María Concepción Alonso Bustillo (born June 29, 1957[1]), better known as María Conchita Alonso, is a Cuban-born Venezuelan-American actress, singer, songwriter, former beauty queen, and philanthropist.

Throughout her career, she has participated in multiple productions both in film and on television, having been nominated for the Independent Spirit Award as Best Leading Actress in 1996 for her role in Caught. As a singer, she has received several gold and platinum records, and has been nominated three times for the Grammy Awards.

Alonso was the first Latin American actress not born in the United States to star in a musical on Broadway. The musical was Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Broadhurst Theater in 1995.

Early life[edit]

María Conchita Alonso was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, on June 29, 1957 to Ricardo Alonso, and Conchita Bustillo, Her family moved to Venezuela when she was five years old, in 1962, after the Cuban Revolution. She had her first experience in show business when she was crowned Miss Teenager World in 1971, and was Miss World/Venezuela in 1975 where she became sixth runner-up in the Miss World pageant won by Puerto Rico's Wilnelia Merced.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Alonso's first gold album and number one song on the charts was Love Maniac, released in 1979 under the name Ámbar. After that followed her second number one with "The Witch" and soon after "Dangerous Rhythm". For what is considered her best known song, she was asked by Giorgio Moroder to write the lyrics in Spanish and sing "Vamos a Bailar" which he had written for the soundtrack of the film Scarface. The song instantly became a classic amongst Spanish speakers despite failing to garner major attention outside of Cuba where it was recorded. Her two albums with Ámbar and her solo debut were recorded in English. It was her second album María Conchita from 1984 that made her an international singing star in the Spanish-speaking market, receiving her first out of three Grammy Award nominations (1985, 1988, 1994).[2]

Alonso made her Hollywood film debut in Moscow on the Hudson (1984) with Robin Williams, and also starred in movies like Touch and Go (1986) Extreme Prejudice (1987), The Running Man (1987), Colors (1988), Vampire's Kiss (1989), Predator 2 (1990) and The House of the Spirits (1993).

She was the first Latin-born actresses to star in a Broadway show in 1995, playing Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman. She later acted in romantic comedies like Chasing Papi (2003) and The Last Guy on Earth (2006).

Alonso was cast to play Lucía, the mother of Gabrielle Solis, on the ABC series Desperate Housewives. The episode was aired on February 19, 2006. She was in the Latin version Amas de Casa Desesperadas for Univision Network. She was a guest star in the live-action film of the comic book El Muerto and appeared in the film Material Girls (2006).

Alonso hosted VH1's ¡Viva Hollywood! on April 13, 2008 with Carlos Ponce. She portrayed Sam in the Werewolf horror film Wolf Moon, which was directed by Dana Mennie.[3]

Alonso appeared in Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem, released in 2013. Her latest film, a fantasy short titled The Secret of Joy, features her alongside fellow Venezuelan actor Carlos Antonio León, Spanish actress Laura Bayonas and Brazilian actress Ana Carolina Da Fonseca in a story that aims to bring awareness about pediatric cancer.

Political views[edit]

Alonso has often spoken in support of LGBT rights and in appreciation to her LGBT fans, stating that "I was very much supported by the community when I first came out with my music". In a 2004 article, she compared herself to Cher in terms of her connection to LGBT culture.[4]

Alonso was an outspoken critic of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, whom she described as a "dictator"-like "Hitler"[5] and whose voters and supporters she described as "terrorists."[6] She appeared on Sean Hannity's Hannity's America on May 6, 2007, Hannity & Colmes on June 1, 2007[5] and Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor on August 13, 2007 and March 11, 2009.

Alonso issued an "Open Letter to Sean Penn"[7] online on March 29, 2010 regarding his support of Hugo Chávez. She used a point-by-point refrain of "WHY" in her letter questioning various issues occurring in Venezuela.[8] In December 2011, she got into a heated exchange with Penn at a Los Angeles airport during which Penn called her a pig and she responded by calling Penn a communist (both played lovers in the 1988 movie Colors).[9]

In the fall of 2008, Alonso endorsed the presidential campaign of Republican nominee John McCain, writing:[10]

As a Latina and a new American citizen, I believe in this country and its people, and I believe that we need more than just "change." We need a leader who can bring about the right kind of change, and John McCain has the experience and judgment necessary to lead us in these uncertain times. I grew up in Cuba and Venezuela, and I am appalled that Barack Obama apparently wants to emulate the "spread the wealth" economic policies of those countries and negotiate with their leaders.

In an August 2012 Spreecast interview, Alonso stated her opposition to Obama's re-election, saying that if reelected he would take steps to make the United States become more like Venezuela under the Chávez government.[11]

In January 2014, Alonso resigned from a San Francisco production of The Vagina Monologues after appearing in an advertisement for Republican candidate for Governor Tim Donnelly.[12]

On September 17, 2014, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro asked Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres to pursue legal actions to revoke Alonso's Venezuelan citizenship.[13] The reason was her public request on a radio interview for a military intervention against Venezuela: "In my opinion, (the US) must intervene, because the Cubans already invaded without firing a single bullet because they gave it (Venezuela) for free. So I would like that the US would invade using bullets to get all those communists out of Venezuela".[14]

In mid-2016, Alonso stated that she supported neither Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump nor Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the U.S. election, viewing both of them as unacceptable.[15][16] She ended up supporting Gary Johnson in the general election.[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1978 Savana – Sesso e diamanti Margaret Johnson Italian B Movie
1979 Solon
Estefanía Silvana Cataldo TV series
Mabel Valdez, periodista
1980 Natalia de 8 a 9 Mariana Brito
1980 Mi hijo Gabriel
1981 Marielena
1981 Angelito
1981 Luz Marina Luz Marina
1981 El Esposo de Anaís
1982 Claudia Claudia
1982 Fantasy Island French Girl 1 episode
1982 Knight Rider Marie Elena Casafranca 1 episode; Credited as Maria Conchita
1984 Nacho playing herself TV series
1984 Moscow on the Hudson Lucia Lombardo
1984 Fear City Silver as Maria Conchita
1986 A Fine Mess Claudia Pazzo a.k.a. Blake Edwards' A Fine Mess (USA: complete title)
1986 Touch and Go Denise DeLeon
1987 Il cugino americano Caterina Ammirati a.k.a. Blood Ties (USA: TV title)
1987 Extreme Prejudice Sarita Cisneros
1987 The Running Man Amber Mendez
1988 Con el Corazón en la Mano
1988 Colors Louisa Gomez
1989 One of the Boys Maria Conchita Navarro 6 episodes
1989 Vampire's Kiss Alva Restrepo
1990 Predator 2 Leona Cantrell
1991 Cuerpos clandestinos (TV) Claudia
1991 McBain Christina
1992 Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (TV) Carmen a.k.a. Power Play: The Jackie Presser Story (UK: video title)
1993 Roosters Chata
1993 The House of the Spirits Tránsito Soto
1994 Alejandra Alejandra Martínez TV series
1994 Texas (TV) Lucia a.k.a. James A. Michener's Texas
1994 MacShayne: The Final Roll of the Dice (TV) Cindy Evans
1996 Caught Betty a.k.a. Atrapados (USA: Spanish title)
1996 For Which He Stands Theresa Rochetti
1996 Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School Bus #17 Marta Caldwell
1997 Women: Stories of Passion Sophia 1 episode
1997 Chicago Hope Emma Scull 2 episodes
1997 Robert Altman's Gun Marti 1 episode
1997 Catherine's Grove Charley Vasquez
1997 F/X: The Series Elena Serrano 2 episodes
1997 Acts of Betrayal Eva Ramirez
1998 Exposé Nancy Drake a.k.a. Footsteps (Philippines: English title) (USA: working title)
1998 Blackheart Annette
1998 The Nanny Concepcion Sheffield 1 episode
1998 The Outer Limits Marie Alexander Episode: "The Vaccine"
1998 El Grito en el cielo Miranda Vega a.k.a. Shout Out (USA: festival title)
1998 My Husband's Secret Life (TV) Toni Diaz
1999 Touched by an Angel Dr. Sandra Pena 1 episode
1999 Dillinger in Paradise Lola
2000 Chain of Command Vice President Gloria Valdez
2000 Knockout Carmen Alvarado
2000 A Vision of Murder: The Story of Donielle (TV) Gloria
2000 Best Actress (TV) Maria Katarina Caldone
2000 High Noon (TV) Helen Ramirez
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Kat Lopez 1 episode
2000 The Princess & the Barrio Boy (TV) Minerva Rojas a.k.a. She's in Love (UK)
2001 The Code conspiracy Rachel
2001 Resurrection Blvd. Julia Hernandez 3 episodes
2001 Birth of Babylon Lupe Velez
2002 Blind Heat Adrianna Scott
2002 Robbery Homicide Division Claudia 1 episode
2003 The Company You Keep Vera
2003 Kingpin Ariela TV series
2003 Heart of America Mrs. Jones a.k.a. Home Room (Australia)
2003 Chasing Papi Maria
2003 Newton's Law
2004 CSI: Miami Marisela Gonzalez 1 episode: Blood Moon
2005 English as a Second Language Consuelo Sara
2005 La Academia USA Judge
2005 Smoke Aurora Avila
2006 Desperate Housewives Lucía Márquez 1 episode
2006 Material Girls Inez
2007 The Dead One Sister Rosa
2007 The Condor (V) Mrs. Valdez (voice) a.k.a. Stan Lee Presents: The Condor (USA: DVD box title)
2007 Saints & Sinners Diana Martin 62 episodes
2008 Richard III Queen Elizabeth
2008 Tranced Libra
2008 The Art of Travel Mrs. Layne
2008 The Red Canvas Maria Sanchez
2008 Two Minutes Of Hate Dos minutos de odio
2008 Unauthorized Clifford Des-Autorizado (Venezuela: wide-release title)
2009 Maneater (miniseries) Alejandra Alpert Two episodes
2009 Dark Moon Rising Sheriff Sam.
2009 Spread Ingrid
2012 Lords of Salem Alice Matthias
2014 Return to Babylon Lupe Vélez
2016 November Rule Ms Luisa
2017 Kill 'Em All Agent Sanders
2018 Off the Menu Cordelia Torres
2018 El señor de los cielos Nora Requena
2019 ¡He matado a mi marido! Remedios
2019 The I-Land Mrs. Chase Miniseries
2019 Into the Dark Bea 1 episode ("Good Boy")
TBA Take Me to Tarzana Juanita Post production

Discography[edit]

  • Love Maniac (Polydor/PolyGram, 1979)
  • The Witch (Polydor/Polygram, 1980)
  • Dangerous Rhythm (PolyGram, 1982)
  • Te Amo (Polydor/PolyGram, 1983)
  • María Conchita (A&M/PolyGram, 1984. First Grammy nomination)
  • O Ella o Yo (A&M/PolyGram, 1985)
  • Grandes Éxitos (PolyGram, 1986)
  • Mírame (PolyGram, 1987)
  • Hazme Sentir (PolyGram, 1990)
  • Otra Mentira Mas (Second Grammy nomination)
  • En Vivo México (Capitol/EMI Mexico, 1991)
  • Imagíname (Columbia/SME Mexico, 1992. Third Grammy nomination)
  • Alejandra: Boleros (PolyGram, 1994)
  • Hoy y Siempre (PolyGram, 1997)
  • Grandes Éxitos (2004)
  • Soy EP (Hypnotic, 2005)
  • Greatest Hits (Universal Latino, 2008)
  • Mienteme (Universal Latino, 2009)
  • Amor De Madrugada (ARDC Music Division, 2016)

Singles[edit]

Year Song Hot Latin Songs Album
1987 "Suéltame" 22 Grandes Éxitos
1987 "Otra Mentira Más" 24 Mírame
1988 "Y Es Que Llegaste Tú" 5
1990 "Hazme Sentir" 24 Hazme Sentir
1991 "A Él Lo Quiero" 35
1993 "Promesas" 20 Imagíname
2019 "Ya No Más" – - ¡He matado a mi marido! - Soundtrack
2020 "Llename De Ti" – - Llename De Ti – Single

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cakewatch: Celebrity birthdays". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences nominees for Grammy ..." United Press International. January 10, 1985. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "Wolf Moon DVD Art and Special Features Revealed". Dreadcentral.com. April 14, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  4. ^ "'Soy' Maria Conchita Alonso! – Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive". Windy City Times.
  5. ^ a b "All those people are Chavistas, all those people are controlled by Chavez ... So they say what Chavez wants them to say ... No, he was not elected democratically. The first time he was elected democratically, but the last two time[s], the referendum and this last month of December, he was not." Hannity & Colmes, Fox News. June 2007.
  6. ^ Geraghty, James. "After Watching Her Speak, Giuliani Was an Afterthought," National Review Online. May 1, 2007.
  7. ^ "An Open Letter to Sean Penn By Maria Conchita Alonso". Media Research Center. March 25, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. ^ "Open Letter to Sean Penn". Mediaite.com. March 29, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  9. ^ "Where Washington Comes To Talk Now on 105.9FM!". WMAL. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  10. ^ Press office. Maria Conchita Alonso Endorses John McCain Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine JohnMcCain.com, October 31, 2008.
  11. ^ Steve Malzberg (August 8, 2012). "Alonso: Obama Win a Move Toward Chavez". Spreecast. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "Actress Out Of San Francisco Production After Endorsing Tea Party Candidate". CBS Local San Fran. KCBS. January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "Venezuela's leftist leaders move to strip citizenship from actress Maria Conchita Alonso". StarTribune Minneapolis. September 17, 2014. Archived from the original on September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  14. ^ Gestionan revocar la nacionalidad venezolana a María Conchita Alonso (In Spanish) Archived June 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "María Conchita Alonso no piensa votar por Hillary Clinton". noticias.entravision.com. July 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "María Conchita Alonso asegura que no le gusta Hillary Clinton (VIDEO)". www.telemundo.com.

External links[edit]