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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sara García
García in No basta ser madre (1937)
Sara García Hidalgo[1]

(1895-09-08)8 September 1895[2]
Died21 November 1980(1980-11-21) (aged 85)[1]
Resting placePanteón Español
Mexico City
Other namesLa Abuelita de México[3]
Years active1917–1980
Fernando Ibáñez
(m. 1918; div. 1923)
ChildrenMaría Fernanda Ibáñez

Sara García Hidalgo (8 September 1895[2] – 21 November 1980) was a Mexican actress who made her biggest mark during the "Golden Age of Mexican cinema".[4] During the 1940s and 1950s, she often played the part of a no-nonsense but lovable grandmother in numerous Mexican films. In later years, she played parts in Mexican telenovelas.

García is remembered by her nickname, La Abuelita de México ("Mexico's Grandmother").[3]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Los Fenómenos del Futbol, 1964 | Antonio Espino Clavillazo, Sara García | Película Completa
  • Las 6 mejores peliculas de Sara Garcia


Life and career

1895–1917: Childhood

The house where García was born at Orizaba, Veracruz

Sara García Hidalgo was born on 8 September 1895 at Orizaba Veracruz.[1][5] Her parents were Andalusian, Isidoro García Ruiz, an architect, and his wife Felipa Hidalgo de Ruiz in 1895.[2] They moved from Havana, Cuba.[5] to Veracruz. Her father was hired for various jobs there. Sarita was the only survivor of their eleven children.[6]

In 1900, a storm caused the Santa Catarina river (which separated the family house from Sara's school) to overflow and knock down the bridge that crossed it. The children could not return to the other side of the river until the evening.[2] Don Isidoro believed that he had lost his only daughter. The anguish caused him to suffer a stroke days later. Doña Felipa decided to sell her business, a papier-mâché factory, and travel to Mexico City to intern her husband into the Sociedad de Beneficencia Española de México (Spanish Welfare Society of Mexico). He died shortly after arriving.[2][5] However her mother was contracted as the housekeeper there.[5]

At age 9, Sara entered the prestigious Las Vizcaínas school as an intern.[2][5] In 1905 a typhus epidemic invaded Mexico. Sara became infected and infected her mother Felipa, who died.[2][5] She remained in the charge of the director of the institution, Cecilia Mallet,.[2] Her good behavior and excellent grades allowed García to stay in school. The director of Las Vizcaínas noticed her great sensitivity and artistic inclination and directed her into painting.[5] She also became a teacher and she had her students perform plays.[2]

1917: Film debut in silent films

Sara started her film career at age 22 when she was still a teacher.[2] One day she decided to stroll by the Alameda and discovered the newly founded Azteca Films studios.[5] She was curious, and came in. She was fascinated by everything she saw. From that moment she thought that she could also act, even if it was only in the theater.[5] One day, watching Mimi Derba filming, (the first Mexican film diva,) an actor and official of Azteca Films noticed her curiosity and invited her to participate in what would be her first film En defensa Propia "In self-defense" (1917).[5] After that she began auditioning in the theater where she started getting small roles.[5] Her diction and voice gave her prestige and she became part of the most outstanding companies of that time: Mercedes Navarro, Prudencia Grifell and the sisters Anita and Isabelita Blanch.[5] In one of her tours throughout the Mexican Republic, she met Fernando Ibáñez, whom she had seen during the filming of "La soñadora" (1917).[5]

1918–1947: Golden Age of Mexican cinema and La Abuelita de México

In 1918, she married Fernando Ibáñez.[2] They toured throughout Mexico and Central America, until at a stop in Tepic, she gave birth to a girl, whom they named Fernanda Mercedes Ibáñez García.[5] Sara decided to take care of her daughter, and stopped touring. Her absence bothered Fernando, who began to get involved in several affairs, then became entangled with the head of the company.[5] Sara divorced her husband and left with her daughter.[5] Years later her ex-husband became sick, and returned home. Sara cared for him, even paying his expenses, until his death in 1932.[5] Established firmly in the theater, she began to be called to work in the cinema. Her daughter Fernanda also ventured into the cinema with the movie "La madrina del diablo" (1937) in which she played Jorge Negrete's girlfriend.[5] Outside the sets, Negrete courted her, though Sara disapproved. The romance ended abruptly and the following year (1938) Fernanda married the engineer Mariano Velasco Mújica, leaving to live in Ciudad Valles, Tamaulipas.[5] A little more than two years later Fernanda became ill with typhoid fever and died on October 17, 1940. Due to her strong personality Sara survived her daughter 40 years.[5]

García in Los tres García (1947)

García would later continue her extensive career in film and sacrificed her beauty when she decided, at the age of 40, to have her teeth removed so that her mouth would look like that of an older woman. She thought that thus she would be able to star as self-sacrificing ladies and better personify the roles they gave her.[6]

Film actress Emma Roldán suggested Sara García for the role of Doña Panchita, an old woman, in the 1940 film Allá en el trópico ("There in the Tropics").[5] The film's director Fernando de Fuentes considered García too young for the part (indeed she was only in her mid 40s) but Roldán replied, saying "Sara is an actress, and actresses don't have an age".[5] For the screen test, Sara García had a wig made for her. At the time of the screen test, the director asked the crew of her whereabouts and when they answered that she was the woman in front of him, the director was shocked: Her wig, lack of teeth, and performance had touched him.[5] It is in Fernando de Fuentes' Allá en el trópico where Sara García won her title of la Abuelita de México (Mexico's Grandmother).[5]

García playing as her grandma persona in the film La abuelita (1942)

In 1942, Sara García co-starred with Joaquín Pardavé in El baisano Jalil, a comedy film in which she portrayed the wife of a Lebanese-immigrant family, one of the marginalized communities that settled in the La Lagunilla neighborhood of Mexico City.[7] She starred again with Pardavé in a similar comedy, El barchante Neguib (1945).[7]

She then started a long series of films, co-starring with the brightest stars of the Mexican cinema, such as Cantinflas, Jorge Negrete, Germán Valdés "Tin-Tan".[8]

She often starred as the grandmother of famous Mexican actor Pedro Infante. Her most remembered film with him is the 1947 Los tres García where she also starred alongside Abel Salazar and Víctor Manuel Mendoza, playing the role of their grandmother with a strong, naughty and authoritarian attitude.[9][10]

1947–1980: Multiple films, Telenovelas and final works

Sara García in a publicity photo, c. 1950

García continued working with Pardave and appeared with him on El ropavejero "The junkman" (1947) and in Azahares para tu boda "Orange blossoms for your wedding" (1950), which were her last jobs with him.[11] Garcia's nature was also deeply irreverent, and she showed it in films like Doña Clarines (1951), in which she makes fun of her grandmother's character, something she repeated in Las señoritas Vivanco "The Misses Vivanco" (1959) and in El proceso de las señoritas Vivanco "The process of the Misses Vivanco" (1961), in both she acted with Prudencia Grifell and was directed by Mauricio de la Serna.[11]

In that decade she worked in both film and television, appearing in multiple soap operas such as "A Face in the Past" (1960), "La gloria Quedo atrás" (1962), and "La Duchess" (1966), in which a lottery ticket seller wins the jackpot and uses that money to get her daughter back, whom she had given up to her millionaire in-laws in the past.

In that decade we also saw her in the pages of a comic-book adventure story entitled "Doña Sara, la mera mera", in which she was dressed as the character she had made famous in Los tres García and Vuelven los García. In the 1970s, her grandmother character took part in films such as "Fin de fiesta" (1972), by Mauricio Walerstein, and Luis Alcoriza's "Mecánica Nacional" (1972), in which she utters some of the most famous insults of our cinematography. They were still charming, because they emanated from the mouth that had represented so much of Mexico's moral society.

In the 70s she appeared as Nana Tomasita, who looked after Cristina (Graciela Mauri) in the long-running telenovela Mundo de juguete (1974) and as a meticulous old woman from the "Caridad" segment, directed by Jorge Fons, in "Faith, Hope and Charity."

Personal life

During her tenure with the College of Las Vizcaínas, she met Rosario González Cuenca, the daughter of a family that her parents had met on the ship from Cuba to Mexico. Years after their meeting, both of them reunited after García divorced Fernando Ibañez. At that time Rosario also was divorced. They began living together. Rosario acted as Fernanda's aunt. (Fernanda was Sara García's daughter.)[5] Ulisex said that Rosario became Sara's female lover, as well as her assistant and business manager. García lived the rest of her life with her.[12]

Of her co-stars, she adored Pedro Infante, but she couldn't stand Jorge Negrete. She hated Jorge because he had fallen in love with her daughter Fernanda.[6] Many close friends affirm that she was a strict mother-in-law as well as not approving the relationship between Jorge and her daughter.[6]

Later years and death

Mausoleum of Sara García and her daughter María Fernanda Ibáñez located in the Panteón Español in Mexico City

García had her own television show in 1951, Media hora con Abuelita,[13] but it failed and was cancelled.[4] She returned to television in 1960 when she obtained a role in Un rostro en el pasado[14] which was her first of eight telenovelas. These included Mundo de juguete in 1974, which as of (early 2006) was the longest-running telenovela in history,[15] and Viviana with Lucía Méndez in 1978.[16]

On 21 November 1980, Sara died at the National Medical Center in Mexico City at the age of 85, due to a cardiac arrest that arose from pneumonia. Days before she had been hospitalized after being injured by falling down the stairs of her house.[17]

García was buried alongside her daughter in a mausoleum at the Panteón Español cemetery in Mexico City.[18] While she was being buried, the song "Mi Cariñito" ("My Little Darling/Beloved One") was played. This song was the one that Pedro Infante sang to Sara several times. In particular, he sang it drunk and tearfully, as a lament after Sara’s character died in the movie Vuelven Los Garcia (The Garcias Return).[19] It is said that the song was sung at her funeral by Lucha Villa.[2]


In Mexico, García represented a grandmotherly figure due to her many roles as a grandmother in the movies she appeared in, and in 1973 she signed a commercial agreement to allow the chocolate company La Azteca use her image on Mexico's traditional Abuelita chocolate. La Azteca was later purchased by the Nestlé brand in 1995, who continued to use her image on the same brand.[20][21][22]



Year Title Role Notes
1960 Un rostro en el pasado 3 episodes
1962 La gloria quedó atrás 3 episodes
1966 La duquesa La duquesa (Duchess), Raquel 3 episodes
1967 Anita de Montemar 3 episodes
1968 El padre Guernica
1968 Mi maestro
1972 Telenovela mensual
1973 Mi rival Chayo 19 episodes
1974-1977 Mundo de juguete Nana (Nanny) Tomasita 221 episodes
1978 Viviana Doña Angustias Rubio Montesinos 3 episodes

Television shows

Year Title Role Notes
1951 Media hora con la abuelita
1957, 1959 Secreto de familia 4 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1940 Recordar es vivir
1963 La vida de Pedro Infante
1976 México de mis amores

Cinema of Mexico

Sara García in La abuelita (1942)
Year Title Role Notes
1917 En defensa Propia Extra
1917 Alma de sacrificio Extra
1917 La soñadora Extra
1927 Yo soy tu padre Extra
1934 El pulpo humano
1934 El vuelo de la muerte Doña Clara
1934 La sangre manda Vecina (Neighbor)
1934 ¡Viva México! (El grito de Dolores) Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez
1936 Such Is Woman (Así es la mujer) Viuda (Widow)
1936 Marihuana (El monstruo verde) Petra
1936 Malditas sean las mujeres Señora de Ambrosaliet
1936 No te engañes corazón Doña Petro
1937 Las mujeres mandan Marta
1937 La honradez es un estorbo Doña Refugio
1937 No basta ser madre Sebastiana del Puerto
1938 Por mis pistolas
1938 Pescadores de perlas Juana
1938 Dos cadetes Dolores
1938 Padre de más de cuatro Doña Gertrudis
1938 Perjura Doña Rosa
1938 Su adorable majadero Mariquita
1939 El capitán aventurero Catalina, corregidora
1939 Los enredos de papá Petra
1939 Calumnia Eduviges
1939 Papacito lindo Remedios
1939 En un burro tres baturros Manuela
1940 Miente y serás feliz Constancia
1940 Allá en el trópico Doña Panchita
1940 Mi madrecita Madre
1940 Here's the Point' Clotilde Regalado, Leonardo del Paso's mistress
1940 Father Gets Untangled (Papá se desenreda) Petra
1940 Father Gets Entangled Again (Papá se enreda otra vez) Petra
1941 Cuando los hijos se van Lupe de Rosales
1941 ¿Quién te quiere a ti? Seducer's mother
1941 La gallina clueca Teresa de Treviño
1941 Al son de la marimba Doña Cornelia Escobar
1942 Las tres viudas de papá Petra
1942 Dos mexicanos en Sevilla Gracia
1942 Regalo de Reyes Doña Esperanza
1942 La abuelita Doña Carmen
1942 Historia de un gran amor Doña Josefa
1942 El baisano Jalil Suad
1942 El verdugo de Sevilla Doña Nieves
1943 Resurrection (Resurrección) Genoveva
1943 No matarás Aurora
1943 Caminito alegre Antonia Goyena
1943 Toros, amor y gloria Irene
1944 Mis hijos María
1944 La trepadora Doña Carmelita
1944 El secreto de la solterona Marta
1944 El jagüey de las ruinas Doña Teresa "Mamanina"
1944 Como yo te quería Remedios Mantilla
1945 Escuadrón 201 Doña Herlinda
1945 La señora de enfrente Lastenia Cortazano
1945 Mamá Inés Inés Valenzuela
1946 El barchante Neguib Sara
1946 ¡Ay qué rechula es Puebla! Doña Severa
1947 Sucedió en Jalisco (Los cristeros) Doña Engracia, abuela (Grandma)
1947 El ropavejero María
1947 Los tres García Doña Luisa García viuda de García
1947 Vuelven los García Doña Luisa García viuda de García
1948 Los que volvieron Marta Ortos
1948 Mi madre adorada Doña Lolita
1948 Dueña y señora Toña
1948 Tía Candela Candelaria López y Polvorilla "Tía Candela"
1949 Dicen que soy mujeriego Doña Rosa
1949 The Perez Family (La familia Pérez) Natalia Vivanco de Pérez
1949 Eterna agonía Doña Cholita
1949 Novia a la medida Doña Socorro
1949 El diablo no es tan diablo Doña Leonor
1949 Dos pesos dejada Prudencia
1950 Yo quiero ser hombre Tía Milagros / Doña Tanasia
1950 Mi preferida Doña Sara
1950 Si me viera don Porfirio Doña Martirio
1950 Azahares para tu boda Eloísa
1950 Mi querido capitán Pelancha
1950 Yo quiero ser tonta Atilana
1951 La reina del mambo Tía (Aunt)
1951 El papelerito Doña Dominga
1951 Doña Clarines Clara Urrutia 'Doña Clarines'
1951 La duquesa del Tepetate Chonita, Duquesa del Tepetate
1951 Acá las tortas Dolores
1952 La miel se fue de la luna Doña Martirio
1953 Misericordia Benigna
1953 Por el mismo camino Tía Justa
1953 El lunar de la familia Doña Luisa Jiménez
1953 Genio y figura Doña Luisa
1953 Los que no deben nacer Clotilde
1954 Los Fernández de Peralvillo Doña Conchita Fernández; doña Chita
1954 El hombre inquieto Doña Fátima Sayeh
1955 Sólo para maridos Concordia
1956 El crucifijo de piedra Laura
1956 La tercera palabra Matilde
1956 El inocente Madre de Mané
1957 La ciudad de los niños Doña Juliana
1957 Pobres millonarios Doña Margarita del Valle
1958 El gran premio Soledad Fuentes Lago (Doña Cholita)
1958 Con el dedo en el gatillo La abuela Episode: El anónimo
1959 Los Santos Reyes La anciana
1959 Las señoritas Vivanco Hortensia Vivanco y de la Vega
1959 Yo pecador Nana Pachita
1961 El proceso de las señoritas Vivanco Doña Hortensia Vivanco y de la Vega (as Doña Sara Garcia)
1961 ¡Mis abuelitas... nomás! Doña Casilda
1961 El buena suerte Doña Paz
1961 Paloma brava Doña Popotita
1961 El analfabeto Doña Epifanita
1962 El malvado Carabel Tía Elodia
1962 Las hijas del Amapolo La abuela
1962 El caballo blanco Doña Refugio
1962 Ruletero a toda marcha Doña Sarita
1964 Las Chivas Rayadas Doña Pancha
1964 Los fenómenos del futbol Doña Pancha
1964 Nos dicen las intocables Doña Cucaracha
1964 Héroe a la fuerza Doña Prudencia
1965 Canta mi corazón Abuela
1965 Escuela para solteras Doña Bernarda
1965 Nos lleva la tristeza Doña Marina Guerra viuda de Batalla
1966 Los dos apóstoles Doña Angustias
1966 Joselito vagabundo Doña Guadalupe
1967 Seis días para morir Doña Mercedes
1967 Un novio para dos hermanas Seňora Cáceres
1967 Las amiguitas de los ricos Viejecita
1968 Sor Ye Ye Madre María de los Ángeles Co-produced with Spain
1969 No se mande, profe Doña Claudia
1969 Flor marchita Paula la nana
1969 El día de las madres Doña Carmen
1970 ¿Por qué nací mujer? Doña Rosario
1971 La casa del farol rojo Doña Sara Morales viuda de Mendoza
1970 La hermana dinamita Madre Ana
1972 La inocente La abuela
1972 Fin de fiesta Doña Beatriz
1972 Nadie te querrá como yo Abuela
1972 National Mechanics (Mecánica nacional) Doña Lolita
1973 Entre Monjas Anda el Diablo Sor Lucero
1973 Nosotros los feos Doña Sara García viuda de García y García
1973 Valente Quintero Elvira Peña
1974 Los Leones del ring Doña Refugio
1974 Los Leones del ring contra la Cosa Nostra Doña Refugio
1974 Fé, Esperanza y Caridad Anciana Segment: Caridad
1974 El hijo del pueblo Vicenta Aurelia Fernandez; Chenta
1977 Como gallos de pelea Doña Altagracia
1977 Nobleza ranchera Altagracia
1978 La comadrita Doña Chonita
1979 La vida difícil de una mujer fácil Doña Amalia
1979 Como México no hay dos
1980 Sexo vs. sexo Señora dueña del club de Can-Can (Lady Owner of Can-Can Club)

Cinema of the United States

García along with Liliane Montevecchi in The Living Idol (1957)
Year Title Role Notes
1957 The Living Idol (El ídolo viviente) Elena Co-produced with Mexico

Cinema of Italy

Year Title Role Notes
1964 Los dinamiteros (L'ultimo rififi) Doña Pura Co-produced with Spain

Cinema of Spain

Year Title Role Notes
1961 Lovely Memory Dona Sara


  1. ^ a b c "Sara García". Estrellas del cine Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mauricio Mejía Castillo (27 May 2017). "La triste historia de la abuelita más famosa de México". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Sara García". SensaCine (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Sara García, 37 años sin la 'abuelita' del cine mexicano". Europa Press (in Spanish). 21 November 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Biografía de Sara García". México Lindo y Querido (in Spanish). 25 April 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Los controversiales secretos de Sara García". Azteca Uno (in Spanish). 5 November 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b Jorge Hernández (10 August 2018). "Página negra: Sara García, la mujer que nunca fue joven". La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  8. ^ Ricardo, Hernández (22 November 2015). "Recordando a... Sara García". El Sol de México (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  9. ^ José, Arrieta (8 September 2015). "Recuerda a Sara García". Reforma (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Los tres García". México Es Cultura (in Spanish). 21 November 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b Salvador Franco Reyes (8 September 2015). "Sara García, la abuelita de muchas caras". Excélsior (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Sara García: La vida en el clóset de la 'Abuelita del Cine Mexicano'". Ulisex! (in Spanish). 28 August 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Media hora con Abuelita". IMDb. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Un rostro en el pasado". IMDb. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Mundo de juguete". IMDb. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Viviana". IMDb. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Biografía de Sara García". México Lindo y Querido (in Spanish). 25 April 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Cuidadores del Panteón Español". Time Out (Ciudad de México) (in Spanish). 3 October 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Mi Cariñito". iTunes. 6 March 1995. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  20. ^ Mejía Castillo, Mauricio. "La triste historia de la abuelita más famosa de México (The sad story of Mexico's most famous grandmother)". El Universal. Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  21. ^ "Conoce la historia de Chocolate Abuelita en su 80 aniversario (Learn about the history of Chocolate Abuelita on its 80th anniversary)". Telediario. Mexico City, Mexico. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Chocolate Abuelita Historia". Nestlé (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 March 2019.

External links

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