Isela Vega passes away: A sex symbol, prolific director and legendary actress
Vega was an actress and director whose modernity preceded her and put ahead of her time to make plays and films that are beautifully timeless.
Mexican diva Isela Vega recently passed away in her home in Mexico at the age of 81 due to cancer.
On Tuesday, March 9, her niece, Brenda Vega, gave the sad news through social media: "Today a woman dies and a legend is born, Isela Vega, your heart sails and your soul now rests."
She took the crown of erotic goddess when she became the first Latina to pose nude for Playboy. Vega also proved over the decades that she was an incomparable director and creator, and a master of humor, as well as an exhaustive actress who hadn't left the lens unattended since the 70s.
In recent years, she kept the flame alive with her collaboration on Netflix's La casa de las Flores.
Comments of mourning have since been streaming in on social media: Mexican President López Obrador also offered his condolences and remembered Vega as "an extraordinary, libertarian woman" as many followers shared their memories of her cult works such as La Ley de Herodes (2000) and La viuda negra (1977).
La Secretaría de Cultura lamenta profundamente el fallecimiento de Isela Vega, actriz, productora, guionista y directora que fue un símbolo de libertad y transgresión en el firmamento fílmico de México. Mujer congruente que asimismo brilló por sus ideas y su activismo político. pic.twitter.com/oFnC0oHlk5
— Secretaría de Cultura (@cultura_mx) March 10, 2021
However, contemplating her legacy and influence now, one cannot help but wonder about the titanic effort and backbreaking work it took to create.
Similarly, questions also arise about the enormous efforts she had to endure as a woman to undress in those times.
Being an activist for nudity, which may seem elementary in today's art scene, made her the subject of sharp insults, cruel reprisals and an attack on her son Arturo Vázquez in 2019 for defending her, among many other political counterattacks on her achievements at the time.
Vega was born in Sonora, Hermosillo in November 1939, the second of seven brothers and sisters. She learned the farm work of the time and studied in a nuns' school.
Thanks to a modeling center, she began working for television in 1959, two years after being the Princess of the Mazatlan Carnival.
She then began a very long career as a bolero singer and model until the following year, when she jumped to the big screen with Verano Violento (1960) alongside Guillermo Morray, Pedro Armendáriz and Gustavo Rojo.
During the following decade, she became the sex symbol that many remember, and was crowned the first Mexican playmate in July 1974.
Since then, she knit a unique selection of collaborations and directions, unrepeatable in their historical complexity, including more than 130 films and collaborations with directors such as Sam Peckinpah.
Her attitude also earned her a life of great friendships and lovers that resulted in a unique career and two children, Arturo with Mexican singer Alberto Vazquez and Shaula, from her relationship with actor Jorge Luke, who is now also an actress and dancer.
In short, Vega was an actress and director whose modernity preceded her and put ahead of her time to make plays and films that are beautifully timeless.