Katy Jurado, born María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García in Guadalajara, Jalisco, was the first Mexican National actress to be nominated for an Academy Award.
María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García was born in Guadalajara, México into a wealthy family. Her father was descended from Spaniards from Andalucía, where she inherited her andalucian features from her grandfather. She moved with her family to Mexico City in 1927. She studied journalism before marrying Mexican actor Victor Velázquez, whom she divorced in 1943. While working as a journalist she caught the attention of director Emilio Fernandez who offered her a role in the film La Isla de la Pasión, but she declined the invitation.
Jurado began acting in Mexican films starting in 1943, with the movie No Matarás. Her very particular features were the key of her notable success. During her early years in the Mexican cinema she appeared with stars like Carmen Montejo, Maria Elena Marques, David Silva and others. In 1945, she had her first success with the film Balajú. In 1948, her performance in Nosotros Los Pobres, opposite the well-known Mexican actor Pedro Infante, brought her fame. She worked with Infante once again in El Seminarista. In 1951, she starred in Cárcel de Mujeres, with the Spanish star Sara Montiel. Despite her notable Hollywood success in the early 1950s, Jurado continued with some performances in Mexico. In 1953 she starred in the Luis Buñuel’s box-office success El Bruto.
In the 1960s she returned to Mexican cinema with La Bandida with María Félix. During the 1970s, Jurado realized some of her most memorable performances in movies like Fé, Esperanza y Caridad, Los Albañiles, the Mexican-American production The Children of Sanchez with Anthony Quinn and Dolores del Río and La Seducción, directed by Arturo Ripstein.