2 minute read

Pedro Infante: 1917-1957: Actor, Singer

His Death Mourned, His Legacy Launched

On April 15, 1957, Infante wasn't so lucky. According to Fiesta Del Mariachi, "Infante woke up early and rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle to the airport." It would be his last ride. Shortly after he crashed his plane near the city of Merida in the Mexican state of Yucatan. At quarter past eleven in the morning, the famed Mexican radio station XEW announced that Pedro Infante was dead. He was 39 and at the peak of his career. He had several more films in the works including possible appearances in American films opposite John Wayne, Joan Crawford, and Marlon Brando. Mexico was devastated. The government declared a national day of mourning. Throughout Latin America and in the Mexican-American communities in the United States, radio and television stations preempted regular programming to play day-long homages to Infante. His death was as traumatic for Mexico as the death of Princess Diana would be for Great Britain decades later. Thousands visited his body, laying a blanket of flowers and shedding a sad river of tears.

Infante left behind a very large legacy including his many films, hundreds of recordings, and large family. Each has helped keep Infante's memory and spirit alive. Compilation albums of his work continue to be released and are readily available in most major record stores. His films are in regular rotation on stations throughout Mexico and Latin America as well as on Spanish-language networks in the United States. One of his descendents living in the tequila-making state of Jalisco, Mexico, created a tequila called "Pedro Infante." Four films have been made about his life, one as recently as 1998. In 2001 acclaimed Mexican-American author Denise Chavez introduced Infante to a whole new legion of America fans when she published her novel Loving Pedro Infante. However, for Mexicans, Infante's memory need not be constantly rekindled. In Mexico, he will always remain an idol and a king, someone far more than a mere actor or singer. "For [us], Infante represented all that a Mexican should be," commented Cine Mexicano. "A respectful son, an unconditional friend, a romantic lover, and a man of his word."

Selected works


Jesusita en Chihuahua, 1942.

Cuando habla el corazón, 1943.

Escándalo de estrellas, 1944.

Cuando lloran los valientes, 1945.

Los tres García, 1946.

Vuelen los García, 1946.

Nosotros los pobres, 1947.

Los tres huastecos, 1948.

Ustedes los ricos, 1948.

Sobre las olas, 1950.

A toda máquina, 1951.

Un rincón cerca del cielo, 1952.

Ahora soy rico, 1952.

Dos tipos de cuidado, 1952.

Pepe El Toro, 1952.

La vida no vale nada, 1954.

Escuela de música, 1955.

Tizoc, 1956.


"El Soldado raso," 1943.

"Noche plateada," 1944.

"Ramito de azahar," 1945.

"Vieja Chismoas," 1946.

"Maldita sea mi suerte," 1947.

"La Barca de Oro," 1948.

"Amorcito Corazon," 1949.

"Cuartro caminos," 1950.

"El Lavadero," 1950.

"La que se fue," 1950.

"Ahora soy rico," 1952.

"Corazon, Corazon," 1952.

"Tu recuerdo y yo," 1952.

"Cien años," 1953.

"Las tres hermanas," 1955.

"Pos Cui-cui-ri," 1956.



Buffalo News, February 22, 1996, p. B5.

Houston Chronicle, April 18, 1999, p. 18.


"A Tribute to Pedro Infante," Fiesta Del Mariachi, www.fiestaweb.org/Biographies/Pedro.cfm (June 19, 2003).

"Pedro Infante," Cine Mexicano, http://cineexi cano.mty.itesm.mx/estrellas/infante.html (June 19, 2003).

"Pedro Infante," Lonestar, http://lonestar.utsa.edu/rlwilson/PedroInfante.html (June 19, 2003).

"Pedro Infante," Virtualorbe, www.virtualorbe.com /PedroInfante/pinfante/biografia.html, (June 19, 2003).

—Candace LaBalle

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: James Heneghan (1930-) Biography - Personal to Rick Jacobson Biography - PersonalPedro Infante: 1917-1957: Actor, Singer Biography - Came From Talented Family, Became The Common Man's Star, His Death Mourned, His Legacy Launched