She was the famous actress of 90s, Linda Cristal became famous as the beautiful and sensitive “Victoria Montoya” in “El gran Chaparral”, died at the age of  89 years old.

 

For those born in this century, the name of Linda Cristal is unknown, but those who have already passed the half century will surely remember the beautiful Argentine brunette who in love with everyone in the 1960s as Victoria Cannon . She died at 89 in the United States, as confirmed by the Argentine Actors Association.

Linda Cristal was born in these pampas, more precisely in Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe. Her father, an Italian magazine editor and her mother, of French origin, baptized her with a very Spanish Maria Victoria . The girl grew up beloved and pampered, but at 13 her life changed forever. Her parents died in a traffic accident in Uruguay and she – who was traveling with them – was the only survivor. Her brother took her care and supported her when she said she wanted to be an actress. To show that she was serious, she signed up at the Franklin Conservatory in Montevideo, where she studied singing and dancing. Four years after the death of her parents, she married actor Tito Gómez, not out of love but because they both wanted to try Mexico, a country with a powerful film industry.

In Aztec land he got roles in different films but in supporting roles until he got a leading role, in Con el diablo en el cuerpo with Antonio Aguilar . Her work was watched by a Hollywood producer looking for actresses to come out of the light-eyed blonde biotype and summoned her. This is how, at the age of 21, she arrived in Hollywood without a husband, since she separated from Gómez and with a new name: Linda Cristal, a proposal by producer Raúl de Anda . He named her that because she was beautiful and her skin was crystal clear.

He achieved the first role spoken in English in a western, the movie Comanche. Although his role was small, as he kissed the hero, his face appeared on all promotional posters. Other films followed, including The Poplar, where he shared a cast and was directed by John Wayne . In 1958 she played a “sexy Argentine” who was trying to separate Tony Curtis from Janet Leigh in the comedy Vacations without clothes . That role brought her her first great recognition: she won a Golden Globe as “best new actress”.

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He arrived in the United States without knowing English and in just a year he already mastered the language. Thanks to his parents he also spoke Italian and French and decided to try his luck in Europe, where he filmed The Legions of the Nile and The Pharaoh’s Woman . They say these films could have been a hit if they weren’t boycotted by studios so they wouldn’t overshadow Cleopatra , starring Liz Taylor .

Between film and film he had time for love. Invited to the inauguration of a hotel in Havana, she fell in love with the oil tanker Robert Champion . The eleven years that he had been with him were not a problem and in 1958 they secretly married . However, eleven months later they were separated more than by incompatibility of characters due to “incompatibility of agendas”. She spent many hours filming and he resided most of the time in Venezuela.

Romance with director Hugo Fregonese , Adam West and Cary Grant were attributed to him . It was also rumored that she was one of the girlfriends invented to hide Rock Hudson’s homosexuality . In the late 1960s, Linda remarried this time to Yale Wexler , an actor by vocation and a millionaire by inheritance. With him he had two children, Jordan and Gregory . For a time, she walked away from the sets to raise them. Although Wexler was their great love, the marriage dissolved in 1966, but they remained great friends.

Although his first roles were in cinema, he became very popular thanks to television . In the 1960s, two series were absolute owners of the audiences. One was Bonanza and the other was El gran Chaparral , in this Linda as Victoria Cannon had a starring role. The series premiered in 1967 and lasted four seasons with a total of 98 episodes. It told the story of the Cannon and Montoya families , who as settlers and adventurers had to fight against nature and various dangers to maintain their ranch in Arizona, near the border with Mexico. Linda played Victoria , daughter of a powerful rancher and wife of John, the protagonist. His character was quite revolutionary because he put the quota of “civilization”. He taught everyone table manners and lent books of poetry. This character earned him two Emmy nominations.

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The chapters were a global success due to the sum of various elements: beautiful locations, lovable characters away from the “rough men and women of decoration” style and real family relationships . In addition, something very novel was introduced for the time, sometimes the characters spoke in Spanish, which ensured tremendous success among the Latino public.

After such success, Linda made special appearances in some series and filmed Mr Majestick with Charles Bronson . In 1968, with Adam West, who starred in Batman, they visited the program Saturdays round of Pipo Mancera . He hosted a program on Channel 13, The Linda Cristal Show, and starred in the novel Rosse for the Nine. The co-star was Gustava Bermúdez and it started with a song by Sabú that said “his name was Rossé , he was fine and gentle as French wine”.

In the late 1980s, Linda decided to move away from the screen . Without economic problems – she knew how to invest in properties and had an import and export company – she used to enjoy some of her houses in California and occasionally visit Argentina as a tourist. That land that saw her born and that liked to return without pause and without haste .