The actress, presenter and singer died on Tuesday at the age of 92 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, after spending several days in hospital in a serious condition. She leaves behind an extensive filmography and numerous television programmes that had a profound impact on popular culture in Spain

María del Carmen García Galisteo, better known as Carmen Sevilla, was born in Seville in 1930, the city from which she took her surname. At the age of 10 she moved to Madrid with her family. She started in the world of show business at the age of thirteen, in the company of Estrellita Castro.

carmen sevilla academia de cine fotografía

Carmen Sevilla received a tribute from the Film Academy. Photos: Film Academy.


Throughout her extensive career, in addition to dancing, she recorded 16 albums, shot seventy films in Spain, Italy, Mexico, Argentina and Hollywood. She also starred in dozens of commercials and fronted several television programmes, which made her one of Spain’s best-known characters. When she was only 18 years old, she filmed Jalisco canta en Sevilla, making her debut with Jorge Negrete himself as her partner; Requiebro (1955), Violetas imperiales (1952), with her great friend Luis Mariano, and La fierecilla domada (1956) made her a star of the time, among many other films. She filmed alongside Hollywood stars such as Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner King of Kings (1961).

Married to one of Spain’s most famous composers, Augustó Algueró, with whom she had her only son, Augusto José. She divorced Algueró in 1974 and in 1985 she remarried the impresario Vicente Patuel, who asked her to retire from the stage. In 1991, at the age of 60, the then director of Telecinco, Valerio Lazarov, offered her a return to television as presenter of the programme Telecupón, which would go down in television history.

In 2009 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and in 2011, after an extensive career, she left the small screen and retired to a more familiar life.