18 July 1908 - 13 December 1944
Vélez began her career in Mexico as a dancer, before moving to the U.S. where she worked in vaudeville. She was seen by Fanny Brice who promoted her, and Vélez soon entered films, making her first appearance in 1924. By the end of the decade she had progressed to leading roles. With the advent of talking pictures Vélez acted in comedies, but she became disappointed with her film career, and moved to New York where she worked in Broadway productions. Returning to Hollywood in 1939, she made a series of comedies. She also made some films in Mexico. Vélez's personal life was often difficult; a five year marriage to Johnny Weismuller and a series of romances, were highly publicized. Vélez committed suicide in 1944. She is often associated with the nicknames "The Mexican Spitfire" and "The Hot Pepper".