Remembering Mexican actress Ana Ofelia Murguía: her life, legacy and love for pets
Headline: Beloved Mexican Actress Ana Ofelia Murguía: A Look at Her Life and Legacy
Renowned Mexican actress Ana Ofelia Murguía, cherished for giving voice to the character Mamá Coco in Disney and Pixar’s animated film Coco (2017), sadly left this world on December 31, 2023, aged 90. Esteemed as one of the few remaining stars from Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age, she was a recipient of the prestigious Ariel de Oro award in recognition of her significant contributions to the film industry. This piece aims to honour her life, achievements, and delve into lesser-known aspects of her personal and family life.
Ana Ofelia Murguía’s Personal Life: A Focus on Career Over Family
Despite widespread speculation, Ana Ofelia Murguía was never married and had no children. She kept her personal life under wraps, seldom giving interviews. Her work was her primary focus, and she consistently maintained that she did not require a partner to find happiness. Her fellow actors and actresses were considered family, with actress María Rojo, her co-star in numerous films, being a close friend.
Ana Ofelia Murguía was also an avid animal lover, possessing several pets throughout her lifetime. She was born on December 8, 1933, in Mexico City and attended the School of Theatre at the National Institute of Fine Arts. There, she was mentored by Seki Sano, often referred to as the “father of Mexican theatre”. Her acting debut came in 1968 with the film Pax?, and she subsequently appeared in over 90 films, collaborating with distinguished directors such as Felipe Cazals and Arturo Ripstein.
She was a three-time recipient of the Ariel Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performances in Naufragio, Los motivos de Luz, and Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto. In addition, she received various international recognitions, including the Best Actress Award at the Havana Film Festival for Mi Querido Tom Mix and the Diosa de Plata from Mexican Film Journalists for Escrito en el cuerpo de la noche.
Ana Ofelia Murguía’s Family Background: A Rich Cultural Heritage
Proud of her Mexican roots, Ana Ofelia Murguía often portrayed characters that reflected Mexico’s diverse culture and history. She took particular pleasure in playing indigenous women such as Damiana Cisneros in Pedro Páramo, Juana in El jardín del edén, and Mamá Coco in Coco, citing her connection to these characters as a reflection of her own heritage.
Ana Ofelia Murguía acknowledged her maternal Zapotec lineage and even learned some Zapotec phrases from her grandmother. Her paternal ancestry was a mix of Spanish, French, and Italian. Murguía’s most renowned role, Mamá Coco, was the great-grandmother of Coco’s protagonist, Miguel Rivera. The film paid tribute to the Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican holiday commemorating the departed.
Murguía’s portrayal of Mamá Coco was a testament to the wisdom, love, and memories of countless Mexican generations. The film achieved colossal worldwide success, securing two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Ana Ofelia Murguía expressed her pride in being part of such a significant project, expressing hopes that it would encourage audiences to value their family and heritage.