The Durango-born, Mexican actress was coined "the first major Latin American crossover Hollywood star."
Del Río began her life-changing career after she was persuaded to move to California by American filmmaker Edwin Carewe. And although her fame skyrocketed in the states, she had already made a name for herself in her home country.
Her first major film was the 1926 silent war-comedy, "What Price Glory?"
The following year, Del Río landed her first starring role in ''Resurrection" where she played a Russian girl. The year after that (1928), she scored another lead role in the "Ramona" film — and she continued to dominate the industry, working alongside people like Elvis Presley, Fred Astaire, and Ginger Rogers.
As successful as she was, her path to stardom came with its own set of challenges. In the 1930s, Del Río managed to transition out of silent film and into "talkies," which was no easy feat. "I had to work very, very hard at my English," she said.
The legendary Latina also faced something many Latinxs in Hollywood still deal with today: typecasting.
The New York Times reported, "The director Edwin Carewe, who discovered her, said that he wanted to avoid her being typecast. But ultimately, her career in the United States suffered because producers invariably cast her in ethnic and exotic roles."
She was also often labeled as a "Spanish actress," but Del Río shut that down and made sure she was identified correctly as a Mexican actress.
She returned to Mexico in the 1940s and became one of the top actresses in the Mexican film industry — and she used her platform to become an advocate and philanthropist for her community.
Her Spanish-language film "Maria Candelaria" won the Best Picture Award at the prestigious Cannes film festival in 1946. A decade later (1957), she became the first woman to sit on the jury of the festival.
Her historic achievements didn't end there, either. "She co-founded the Society for the Protection of the Artistic Treasures of Mexico, a group dedicated to preserving historical buildings and artwork in her home country. In 1970, she helped open a center to provide childcare for members of the Mexican Actor’s Guild, which bears her name and still operates to this day," Google noted.
"A trailblazer for women in Hollywood and beyond, Dolores Del Río’s legacy endures in American and Mexican cinema."
She broke barriers, paved the way for other Latinx actors, and never lost sight of where she came from. There's truly no one like Dolores Del Río.