Date of Birth: 21 November 1935
Height: 5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Lilia Lazo was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, in 1935. From an early age, she showed a great gift for acting, painting, writing and oratory. After her father’s death, she and her mother moved to Havana. She enrolled in Sociedad de Bellas Artes (The Society of Fine Arts) a theatrical group that was a springboard for many fine Cuban actors. Young Lilia developed on the stage and showed an unusually skillful ability to tackle demanding roles.In late 1940s Cuba, dozens of radio stations broad casted scores of soap operas. Lilia auditioned for and was hired by Radio CMQ in 1948. By 1950 she starred in five daily radio programs, all with the top audiences. Cuban radio corporations, like their US counterparts, began the transition to TV in the late 40s and CMQ’s state-of-the-art television studio was inaugurated in 1949. Lilia was invited to act on television.Her loyal radio audience could now see the pretty, talented girl they had heard, and her popularity skyrocketed. The Cuban Television Association voted her Cuba’s best dramatic and comedic actress in 1952. She created various comedic characters for Cuban television, including one named Popa, which would later reappear in the United States.Her years of TV stardom were from 1953 to 1960, but she also made time to appear in various movies, most notably Affair in Havana with Raymond Burr and John Cassavetes, and the leading role in the Cuban-made La Vida Comienza Ahora, released in 1960 and considered by critics the first Castro-era movie of note. In 1960, she accepted an offer to study acting with Lee Strasburg at New York’s Actors Studio. Rejecting Cuba’s Communist Revolution, she and her husband of 47 years, producer Mario AgÃ¼ero, settled in New York.In 1967, former Cuban television mogul Gaspar Pumarejo asked Lilia to return to TV with one of her comedy characters, Popa. Popa En Nueva York, as the series was titled, was taped and televised at WNJU channel 47 in Newark, NJ. A second season was aired in 1968 in color, making it the first Spanish language TV show made in color in the US. A full-length film, Popa en Nueva York, was released by Columbia Pictures that same year, directed by the legendary Mexican director Julio Bracho and co-starring Mexican leading man Rogelio Guerra.In 1971, Goya Foods, Inc., sponsored production for Santa Barbara, Virgen y Martir, the first Spanish language TV Soap Opera made in the U.S. 75 full color episodes were aired between 1971 and 1972, and the novela topped the ratings in various cities in the United States.By 1975, the illness and death of Lilia’s mother and her husband’s new upper east side restaurant took Lilia away from acting for good. Thereafter she turned her attention to art, embarking on a successful painting career with various solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad.
Mario F. Aguero (9 November 1953 – 22 June 2001) (his death) 1 child
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