Cuban-born actress/singer Maria Conchita Alonso recently adorned the silver screen with the role of Inez in the movie Material Girls (2006). Starting out with some beauty pageant titles, Alonso was seen taking roles in such films as the romantic comedy Touch and Go (1986), the TV biopic Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (1992, as Carmen), the movie Caught (1996, earned an Independent Spirit award nomination for her role as Betty), the TV drama My Husband’s Secret Life (1998, won an ALMA Award for her starring role of Toni Diaz) and “Desperate Housewives” (2005, as Lucia). As a singer, the ex-frontwoman of the band Ámbar released several solo albums, including the Latin Grammy-nominated, self-titled album (1984), Imaginame (1992) and Soy: Single CD (2005). In appreciation for her accomplishment, Alonso was given a Nosostros Golden Eagle Award in 1997.
Alonso is a savvy businesswoman and the owner of the record label Ambar Entertainment, the production company Ambyth Prods and the fashion line “Soy.” She is also an active supporter of many animal protection groups. Speaking four languages (Spanish, English, French and Italian), Alonso was officially registered as a United State’s citizen on October 10, 2005.
“It’s not right to believe that the only way you’re gonna get a job and the only way you’re gonna get a man or be happy is by being so skinny.”
Outside the limelight, Alonso recently admitted she had previously suffered from bulimia. She is the companion of Croatian Adnan Taletovich (born in 1968).
Childhood and Family:
María Concepción Alonso Bustillo, who would later be famous as Maria Conchita Alonso, was born on June 29, 1957, in Cienfuegos, Cuba, to Ricardo Alonso and Conchita Bustillo. At the age of five, little Maria joined her family as they fled Cuba when Fidel Castro came to power. They finally then lived in Caracas, Venezuela.
Maria, who began appearing in commercials when she was a child, participated in a couple of beauty pageants as a teen.
When she was 14, Maria Conchita Alonso received the title of “Miss Teenager of the World.” It was soon followed by her crowning of “Miss Venezuela 1975” and being named the 6th runner-up of “Miss World 1975.” The victories helped her build a music career with the band Ámbar. In 1979, Alonso and Ámbar released Love Maniac and enjoyed the success of the chart-topping album in the Spanish-speaking market.
The same year, Alonso went to the screen with a role in Enver Cordido’s movie Solon (1979) and the drama thriller series “Estefanía” (1979, as Silvana Cataldo). She then resumed her musical success with Ámbar’s hit album The Witch (1980) before landing a solo career with the debut album Dangerous Rhythm (1982) and a Latin Grammy-nominated self-titled sophomore recording (1984).
After starring in several soap operas, including “Natalia de 8 a 9” (1980, as Mariana Brito) and “Luz Marina” (1981, had the title role), Alonso moved to the United States and made her US acting debut in an episode of “Knight Rider” (1982). The actress immediately acquired the female lead role of Lucia Lombardo, opposite Robin Williams, in the drama comedy movie Moscow on the Hudson (1984, also sang “Sueños”). The singer/lyricist of “Vamos a Bailar” (from Scarface, 1983) later launched the albums O Ella O Yo (1985), Grandes Éxitos (1986), Mirame (1987) and Colors (1988).
Alonso costarred with Hollywood big names such as Michael Keaton (in the romantic comedy Touch and Go, 1986), Arnold Schwarzenegger (in the sci-fi thriller The Running Man, 1987), as well as Sean Penn and Robert Duvall (in the cop movie Colors, 1988). She also starred as Maria Conchita Navarro in the sitcom “One of the Boys” (1989), played Leona Cantrell in the alien movie sequel Predator 2 (1990) and appeared as Christina in the action film McBain (1991), before having her first TV movie in the biopic drama Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (1992, as Carmen). Maintaining her musical existence, Alonso issued such recordings as Hazme Sentir (1990), En Vivo - Mexico (1991) and Imaginame (1992).
A cast member of the star-studded drama The House of the Spirits (1993, accepted the part of Tránsito Soto), Alonso was next cast as the titular physician in the soap opera “Alejandra” (1994). For the drama series, she also performed “Piel y Seda,” “Embustero” and “Somos Novios” (featured in the album Alejandra: Boleros, 1994). A year later, Alonso attempted the Broadway stage by succeeding Vanessa Williams in the titular role in the production of “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” (1995).
In 1996, Alonso costarred as sexually repressed Betty, alongside Edward James Olmos and Arie Verveen, in the adaptation of Edward Pomerantz’ novel, Caught (1996, also sang the self-penned “No Se Porque”). For her fine performance in the indie drama movie, the actress received an Independent Spirit award nomination for Best Female Lead. As one of the performers in the TV special program Latino Laugh Festival (1997), Alonso was nominated for an NCLR Bravo award. The artist, who the same year was handed a Nosostros Golden Eagle for Outstanding Performer of the Year, also released the album Hoy y Siempre (1997).
Alonso was eventually awarded an ALMA for Best Actress after starring as Toni Diaz in the TV drama My Husband’s Secret Life (1998), based on Joe Flaherty’s novel “The Tin Wife” (1984). Following her guest appearance in “The Nanny” (1998) and “Touched by an Angel” (1999), Alonso took part in little seen movies such as Chain of Command (2000, costarred as Vice President Gloria Valdez), Birth of Babylon (2001, starred as Lupe Velez) and Blind Heat (2002, as Adrianna Scott, also produced).
Next up for the actress, she joined director Linda Mendoza in the comedy Chasing Papi (2003, also sang “Baila pa’mi”), guest starred as Marisela Gonzalez in the acclaimed series “CSI: Miami” (2004) and carried out the supporting part of Consuelo Sara in the drama movie English as a Second Language (2005). Still in 2005, Alonso launched the album Soy: Single CD.
Recently, the multitalented artist appeared in the popular series “Desperate Housewives” (2006) as Lucia, and was featured as Inez in the box-office drama comedy Material Girls (2006). Alonso will also be seen as Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming Richard III (2006), as well as take supporting turns in the adventure movie The Art of Travel (2006, as Mrs. Layne) and the David M. Evans-directed Tranced (2006, as Libra).
Alonso is set to have a role in her self-produced romantic comedy Unauthorized Clifford (2006), opposite Edgar Ramirez. In addition, the actress will act with Yasmine Bleeth, Carol Burnett and Joan Cusack in the fantasy romantic comedy The Last Guy on Earth (2006).