Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Scream Queens: Lupita Tovar

Mexican actress Lupita Tovar was discovered in 1929 by a Fox Studios executive while performing in a play in her home coutry. Within mere weeks, she was in Hollywood, laboring with furious passion to not only secure roles in films but to also improve her craft as an actress in every way possible.

Tovar entered the film business just as Talkies were arriving on the scene, yet where many silent movie performers were falling by the wayside, despite arriving in Hollywood knowing virtually no English. Within seven months, she was being cast in major roles, beginning with "The Veiled Woman" opposite Bela Lugosi in 1929.

Although Tovar appeared in numerous English-language films, she is best known today for her roles in Spanish-language versions that were shot concurrently with English-language versions of big studio releases, often on the very same sets. Particularly remarkable is her role as Eva in the Spanish-language version of Universal Pictures's classic "Dracula" (1931)--not only is the film superior in almost every way to the Tod Browning version, but Tovar is far better in the role of innocent-girl-turned-seductive-vampire-puppet than Helen Chandler was in the English version. (In Mexico, Tovar may be best remembered as having starred in the 1932 film "Santa", a box office smash that was the first talkie produced in the country.)

Tovar appeared in 31 movies before retiring from acting in 1945. Other horror credits include "La Volentad del Muerto" (1930), the Spanish-language version of "The Cat Creeps" and the aforementioned "The Veiled Woman" (1929) and "Santa" (1932).


  1. I gotta' agree that the Spanish Dracula is a better movie than the famous English language movie. Lugosi is awesome, better than his Spanish-speaking counterpart, and I adore Edward Van Sloan in his role, but otherwise it's a stiff effort. The Spanish version actually has better cinematic elements, not just a stage show on film.

    Rip Off

  2. I have to give it to the Spanish version as well - except for Lugosi and Van Sloan. That's the only movie I've seen Tovar in - but she is awesome in it!