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María Rojo

Women in Film and Television Bio

An iconic actress of film, stage and television with a career spanning more than 50 years,
María Rojo is synonymous with creativity and grace.


It was in Mexico City, on August 15th 1943, when María de Lourdes Roo e Incháustegui was born. The daughter of Roberto Roo, an agricultural engineer, and schoolteacher Agueda Incháustegui, at the age of only eight María entered the world of Mexican cinema, theater, and television as she carved what would later be among the most celebrated acting careers in Mexico’s entertainment industry.

Her artistic abilities were always her strength and re-invention, creating a character that could face any stage. Her first appearance came on the Teatro Fantástico TV show, playing the part of CHiquirritica. Then, at age 12 she made her stage debut with the play Mala Semilla. That same year she performed in Exámen de Muertos. Her film career took off one year later, with the film Besos Prohibidos (1956). She would then take part in her first telenovela, El Profesor Valdez (1962). Following these experiences she decided to solidify her career, studying Dramatic Arts at the Universidad Veracruzana.

María Rojo’s name would grace movie theater billboards in 1975, when she performed in El Apando, a film based on the works of novelist José Revueltas, where she acted alongside Delia Casanova, Salvador CSánchez, José Carlos Ruíz, and Manuel Oeda. Later, in 1986 she took part in Las Poquianchis, directed by Felipe Cazals and starring alongside Diana Bracho, her lifelong friend. Following in the vein of films inspired by true stories, María acted alongside actors Héctor Bonilla, Jorge Fegan, Demián Bichir, Bruno Bichir and Eduardo Palomo in the film Rojo Amanecer, a depiction of the experiences of building tenants around the Plaza de Tres Culturas in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco neighborhood during the massacre of October 2nd, 1968.

Some time later she would star in erotic comedy La Tarea alongside actor José Alonso. This film told the story of a married couple who attempt to spice up their romantic life by pretending not to have seen one another for a long time. By 1991 María would play the part of a young woman in Danzón, heading to Veracruz in search for her dancing partner. She also appeared in Perfume de Violetas, part of director Maryse Sistach and writer José Buil’s trilogy on sex violence against teenagers in Mexico. In this instance we find María portray a mother undergoing economic and family troubles. She has also performed in various telenovelas, including Vivimos en una estrella, Los Miserables, Ven conmigo, Cuando llega el amor, La antorcha encendida, Te sigo amando, El amor de mi vida, Mariana de la noche, Alborada, and Mañana es para siempre.

A list of her awards and accolades is as long as her ability to construct deep characters and a deep filmography. Among the many recognitions adorning her career we find nominations for Best Supporting Actress in El Callejón de los Milagros (1995), and Best Female Co-star for El Infierno (2011), as well as awards for Best Actress for Naufragio (1978), Lo que importa es vivir (1988) and Rojo Amanecer (1989). In 2020 she was awarded an Ariel de Oro in recognition of her long film career.

In each of her characters María Rojo displays an incomparable talent, a strength within her that takes over the scene and infuses the story itself, a story that belongs to us all. The situations she depicts have led to complex endings, resolved in a utopian desire. Each genre she delves into shows yet a different side , though always with an unmatched personal signature. In other words – María Rojo will forever be, María Rojo.