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Libertad Lamarque: 1908-2000: Actor, Singer Biography

Debuted In Argentine Silents, Beckoned By Hollywood, Banned By Perón, Returned Home To Career In Soaps

Libertad Lamarque: 1908-2000: Actor, singer.

Argentine actor and singer Libertad Lamarque was "the second biggest export from South America, the first being Carmen Miranda (and she was born in Portugal)," according to Austin Mutti-Mewse of the London Independent. She got her start singing popular Argentine tangos, began her film career in 1929, during the silent film era, and was popular for the next seven decades. Lamarque made more than 60 motion pictures and 2,000 recordings, and performed on stage and in television in her native Argentina, her adopted Mexico, and the United States, though she never learned to speak English. She turned down offers to appear in Hollywood films, and was forced to take her career to Mexico after being banned in Argentina by First Lady Eva Perón.

Lamarque was born Libertad Lamarque Bouza on November 24, 1908, in Rosario, Argentina. She was the youngest of ten children born to Gaudincio Lamarque, a Uruguayan tinsmith and contortionist, and Josefa Bouza, a seamstress and Spanish immigrant. Lamarque's father was a militant anarchist and was in prison when she was born for voicing his political beliefs. Upon hearing his daughter had been born, he sent his request from prison that she be named Libertad, the Spanish word for "liberty." Lamarque began performing in front of her family for flowers and coins as a young girl, and soon discovered she loved performing for an audience.

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