Born in Salamanca in 1943, she found her calling as an actress at the age of 17. It happened at the University, while she was studying Arts and Humanities in her hometown and she took her first acting steps with the Spanish University Theater. When she was working as a teacher, she met the filmmaker Gonzalo Suárez, who suggested that she play a part in his film ‘Ditirambo’, a proposal that changed her life. She worked with Suárez on seven other feature films, and since then she has played in around 60 movies, 40 series and a score of stage plays with Spain’s most prestigious directors.
It was Manuel Vicent who accurately defined her as «the symbol of light at the end of the tunnel of Francoism». After playing Mauricia in the TV series ‘Fortunata y Jacinta’, her work in ‘Los gozos y las sombras’ earned her the status of a major lead actress who went on to achieve one success after another on the silver screen. Her filmography includes titles like ‘The Beehive’ by Mario Camus, ‘The Lost Paradise’ by Basilio Martín Patino, ‘Time of Silence’ by Vicente Aranda, ‘The Most Natural Thing’, by Josefina Molina, ‘Kika’ by Pedro Almodóvar, ‘Anima’ by Titus Leber, or ‘FullMoon’, by Imanol Uribe.
Her popularity in Latin America soared in the late 1980s, when she toured the Argentine stages with ‘A Special Day’ and ‘Hay que deshacer la casa’. In Spain, her greatest stage hits were ‘Tengamos el sexo en paz’, based on a text by Darío Fo, and her monologue ‘Ojos de agua’, inspired by ‘La Celestina’.
In 1997 she dazzled audience and critics by playing María in Montxo Armendáriz’s ‘Secrets of the Heart’, which earned her the Goya Award for Best Supporting Actress. The upcoming release of ‘Baby’, the latest film by Juanma Bajo Ulloa, will be her next big screen appearance.
The winner of the Silver Fotogramas for her Lifelong Achievement and the Nacho Martínez Award at the Gijón Film Festival as well as the 2010 San Jordi Film Award, she has been additionally distinguished with three Golden TP awards, two awards from the Sindicato Nacional del Espectáculo and the FAD Award for Cinema and Social Values among many other prizes.