Beloved Soap Opera Actress Dies at 82

One of Mexico's most beloved and renowned telenovela stars, Lilia Aragón, has died at 82 from undisclosed causes. In a statement shared by the National Association of Actors on Monday, Aragón, who starred in hit soaps like Angelitos Negros, Cuna de Lobos, and Rosa Salvaje, was a revered icon in the industry by fans and colleagues. "The National Association of Actors deeply regrets the death of our colleague Lilia Aragón del Rivero, who was General Secretary of our union during the 2006-2010 period," the association issued in Spanish via their Twitter. "Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace."

Born Lilia Isabel Aragón del Rivero on Sept. 2, 1938, the Mexican actress starred in multiple titles across film, television and stage for more than five decades. Starting her TV career in the late '60s, it was her first starring role in El Mariachi that really catapulted her career. Aragón would go on to star in more than 40 other telenovelas over the years, including Rosalia, Amores Verdaderos and most recently, Vencer el Miedo — a 2020 production per the Dallas News. The outlet further adds that she worked with esteemed Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca and earned two TV and Novel Awards nominations for her work in the telenovelas, Cuna de Lobos and La Esposa Libre.

Further to her acting credits on the small and big screen, Aragón would become Secretary of the National Association of Actors in Mexico between 2006 to 2010. The association, also known as the Mexican actors guild, is a member of the Bloque Latinoamericano de Actores (BLADA, the Latin American Actors' Block), which includes all actor unions in Latin America. Advocating for better working conditions and establish equitable levels of compensation for those within her industry, Aragón's aspirations didn't end with film and TV. From 2003 to 2006, she also served as Deputy of the LIX Legislature of the Mexican Congress while representing the Federal District.

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Fans and friends of Aragón took to Twitter to share their condolences over the loss with Mexican actor and comedian, Héctor Suárez Gomis writing in Spanish and translated by the network: "I will always remember Lilia Aragón for her class, her great affection, her talent, her eyes, her voice, her sense of humor and for being a close friend of the family. A HUGE hug to your children ... Rest in peace." The sentiment was also echoed by Mexican actor and singer Mauricio Martínez, writing, "Extraordinary actress. Rest in peace, dear Lilia. A hug to heaven and my condolences to his family and all his loved ones… there are many. She was a very dear woman. Bon Voyage."