Beloved Mexican actor Carmen Salinas dies; appeared with Denzel Washington in ‘Man on Fire’

Carmen Salinas
Carmen Salinas had starred several telenovelas before making her big screen debut in Roberto Gavaldón’s film “La Vida Inútil de Pito Pérez.”

Beloved Mexican actor Carmen Salinas, known for films such as “Danzón,” “Man on Fire” and “Bellas de Noche” and dozens of telenovelas and television series, has died at 82.

Relatives announced her death late Thursday on Salinas’ Twitter account.

“With great sorrow, we inform you that leading actress Carmen Salinas passed away today,” said the message along with a black and white photograph of the artist, thanking her fans for their support.

Salinas had been in a coma since suffering a stroke in November.

Jocular but always affable, Salinas could shift from comedy to drama with ease.

Born to a humble single mother in Torreón, Coahuila, on Oct. 5, 1939, she attended only elementary school and started her acting career as a child in the 1950s, following into her sister Finita’s footsteps.


Salinas sang and did impersonations on the radio, and when she was older participated in beauty and talent contests. Soon she began to perform in various Coahuila and Mexico City venues, including the famous El Patio nightclub where she said she liked to party with actress Evita Muñoz “Chachita” and actor Pedro Infante.

By the 1960s, she was appearing in telenovelas such as “María la del Barrio,” “Frontera” and “Sublime Redención” before making her big screen debut in Roberto Gavaldón’s film“La Vida Inútil de Pito Pérez.” She also starred in “La Misma Luna,” “Todo el Poder,” “Cartas a Elena,” “Que Viva Tepito!” and “Esta Noche Cena Pancho,” among many.

She also appeared in Tony Scott’s “Man on Fire,” a 2004 thriller filmed in Mexico starring Denzel Washington.

Her many TV credits also included telenovelas “Hasta que el Dinero nos Separe,” “María Mercedes,” “Mi Fortuna es Amarte” and Eugenio Derbez’s series “La familia P. Luche.” And in theater she not only acted in several plays but produced the musical “Aventurera,” starring Edith González, Itatí Cantoral, Niurka Marcos, Ninel Conde and Maribel Guardia.

She was a member of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, for which she was elected plurinominal federal deputy in 2015, a position she held until 2018. She came to be criticized for falling asleep in a session of the radio and television commission. She told the press that she preferred the money she earned as an actor than as a legislator.

In 1956 she married the pianist Pedro Plascencia, with whom she had two children — María Eugenia and Pedro — before separating in the 1960s. Her son Pedro, who was also a musician, died of cancer in 1994, and Salinas spoke openly about the pain his death caused her.


She is survived by her daughter María Eugenia and several grandchildren.