Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Who Are Those Gals? – Maria Custodio


Ana María Muñoz Custodio was born in Écija, Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain on March 19, 1908. She was the daughter of a military man and the sister of the writer Álvaro Custodio [1914-1992]. Her childhood and youth were divided between her hometown, Madrid, and Morocco. In 1925, while living in the capital, she made her debut at the Lara theater with the company of Ricardo Baeza and she worked in those of Lola Membrives and Irene López Heredia; She soon became the most sought-after young actress on the Spanish scene at the time. Stardom reached her with her interpretation in the comedy Doña Hormiga, by the Álvarez Quintero brothers, this led to her leap to the big screen in 1931, materializing in a six-month contract with Fox that meant her transfer to Hollywood to shoot Hispanic sound versions. She was thus part of the second expedition of Spanish actors taken to the mecca of cinema along with Carmen Larrabeiti, Carlos Díaz de Mendoza and Miguel Ligero, participating in films such as “Body and Soul”, “Do You Know Your Wife?”, There were thirteen films, all by D. Howard, and “My Last Love”, by L. Seiler. Disappointed with her debut before the cameras, she returned to Spain in 1935 to combine theater with cinema. In this way, she was part of the group of actors of the Filmófono production company, one of the most representative of the Second Republic, during Luis Buñuel's stage as executive producer. For a couple of years, she was then the star of films by Luis Marquina, such as “Don Quintín el amargao” (1935), Benavente's work made into a film, “The Dancer and the Worker” (1936), and Jean Grémillon's “Sentinel!, alert!” (1936). The filming of Alejandro Casona's play “Nuestra Natacha” (1936), directed by Benito Perojo, coincided with the outbreak of the Civil War and she went into exile, which took her to Cuba, New York and finally to Mexico, where she settled with her second husband, the composer, director and music critic Gustavo Pittaluga. During these years she only participated in one film, the Mexican “When You Listen to This Waltz”, directed in 1944 by José Luis Bueno. Her return to Spain at the beginning of the 1950s was represented by her intervention in one of the most important Cifesa productions, “Alba de América” (1951), under the direction of Juan de Orduña, playing the role of Beatriz in this film that narrates the seafaring adventure of Columbus and his discovery of the New World. She continued with her film career, but she no longer lavished herself because she did not act in “The King's Star”, her next film, until six years later, although she was popularly remembered for her role as the Infanta Luisa Fernanda in “¿Where are you Going, Alfonso XII?”, which Luis César Amadori directed the following year, which he repeated in the sequel “Dónde vas triste de ti?” (1960) for Alfonso Balcázar. But, her stellar relevance progressively decreased, relegated to more and more secondary characters, fundamentally due to her advanced age, until he finally she decided to retire at the beginning of 1970, dying a few years later on April 10, 1976 in Madrid, Spain.

CUSTODIO, Ana María (aka Ana Mª Custodio, Anna Maria Custodio) (Ana María Muñoz Custodio) [3/19/1908, Écija, Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain – 4/10/1976, Madrid, Madrid, Spain] – theater, film actress, sister of writer Álvaro Custodio [1914-1992], married to composer Gustavo Pittaluga (Gustavo Pittaluga González del Campillo) [1906-1975] (1925-1927), married to Ricardo Baeza [1890-1956] (1927-1929). 

Gunfighters of Casa Grande – 1963 (Senora Durano)

Outlaw of Red River – 1964 (Señora Camargo) [as Ana Mª Custodio]

1 comment:

  1. Maria Custodio was only 68 when she died. What an amazing life she must have had.