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Pedro Infante

One of the most iconic figures in Mexican film and music, Pedro Infante was born in 1917, one of fifteen children. As a young man, Infante, whose father was a musician, showed proficiency on strings, wind, and percussion instruments. His wife, Maria Luisa León, convinced him to move to Mexico City to pursue a career in entertainment. While in Mexico City, he worked as a film extra and recorded music. His career picked up in 1943 when he released his first album, El Soldado Roso, for Peerless Records and managed a leading role in the film La Feria de las Flores. Infante’s career in entertainment paralleled what is considered to be the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, occurring roughly between 1933 and 1964. Between 1939 and 1957, Infante appeared in over sixty films and recorded roughly 350 songs, most for film soundtracks. His efforts situated him as one of the most popular interpreters of mariachi and ranchera music. On April 15, 1957, Infante was piloting a B-24 Liberator variant outfitted as a cargo plane which took off from Mérida, Yucatán, when, five minutes into the flight, an engine failed and the plane crashed, killing all aboard. He died intestate, which resulted in the producers of his films and representatives of Peerless Records collecting the majority of his estate. His penultimate film, Tizoc, was released in 1957 and awarded the Silver Bear for Best Acting at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival as well as that year’s Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.