Happy Birthday Jorge Negrete

Celebrating the Life and Times of a Charro Pioneer

He hailed from Guanajuato, a descendent of proud Mexican military men.

As a child, he was revered for his academic brilliance and linguistic talents. He commanded six languages: Spanish, English, German, French, Italian and Nahuatl.

As an adult, he is recognized as one of the founding figures of the Charro film genre.

His recording of “Mexico Lindo y Querido” remains the most popular rendition of the unofficial Mexican anthem to this day.

Jorge Alberto Negrete Moreno, more commonly known as Jorge Negrete was born on this day, November 30 in 1911. Negrete’s brilliance followed him throughout his school years where he was praised for his quick wit and quicker tongue. Despite being set up for success in academia, he abandoned his studies at only thirteen years old to continue his family’s legacy: the military.

It was during his time in the military academy that he developed an interest in music. His gallant soldier demeanor is credited now as a staple of the Charro man. He met and trained under Jose Pierson, a renowned professional singer and then in 1937, he landed his big break in La Madrina Del Diablo. The success of the film allowed him to sign on for several more films, marking the beginning of his extensive acting career.

After working in Havana and Hollywood, Negrete was casted as the leading man in Ay Jalisco! No Te Rajes!, a film which catapulted him into international stardom and simultaneously marked the beginning of the Charro as a film genre. Negrete sang Rancheras in a trio called Los Tres Calaveras to supplement these films and embarked on multiple musical tours.

In addition to his film and musical credits, Negrete was also a founding member of the Mexican Actors Association. He succeeded Cantiflas as its Chairman, despite a power struggle between the two that ended with fellow actress and friend to Cantiflas, Leticia Palma’s expulsion from the union for contractual disagreements.

In his personal life, Negrete was married twice to co-stars Elisa Christy and then to Maria Felix. Though he and Gloria Marin, another one of his co-stars lived together for more than ten years, the couple never married. Elisa Christy birthed his only child, Diana. He was also known to be close friends with Pedro Infante, his public rival in the Mexican film industry.

Jorge Negrete died December 5th, 1953 at only forty-two years old. He died of Hepatitis that he contracted while working in New York. Per his final wishes, his body was flown back to Mexico City and was buried in El Panteon Jardin, where thousands of fans attended his funeral. More than 50 years after his death, Negrete continues to be a celebrated figure in Mexican history and credited for being one of the founding figures of Charro films.

Charro Azteca would like to celebrate the life and times of Jorge Negrete, without which Charro cinema would never have been the same. Happy Birthday, Jorge!

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