Spanish film legend Sara Montiel passed away on Monday, April 8 at the age of 85 from an undetermined cause. The actress, who is best known for her roles in international blockbusters, died after passing out at her home in Madrid, according to her biographer, Peter Villora.
Montiel was born Maria Antonia Abad in Campo de Criptana in the central region of La Mancha, Spain. She began her acting career in 1944. Also being known as a talented singer, she starred in some Spanish films, many of which were musicals.
She then found fame when she made her way to Hollywood and starred in movies such as "Vera Cruz" and "Serenade". "She was the Spanish star with the greatest international impact until the arrival of Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz," Spanish actor Jose Sacristan said.
She married Anthony Mann, an American actor and film director, in 1957. She was rumored having affairs with author Ernest Hemingway and actor James Dean, but never confirmed it. Montiel was married four times in her life, including to the late Spanish industrial magnate Pepe Tous, with whom she adopted two children, Thais and Zeus. Tous died in 1992.
In 1975, Montiel retired from the film industry and dedicated herself to live musicals on stage and television. She published an autobiography in 2000 titled "Memories: To Live Is a Pleasure", which became an international best-seller.