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Rocio Banquells

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María del Rocío Banquells Núñez, known to Mexican pop and telenovela fans as María Banquells, was born in Monterrey on June 22, 1958. Her father, Rafael Banquells, was a well-known actor and director. Her mother, Dina de Marco, was also an actress, and so it was no surprise that María and her siblings embraced performing arts. Her sisters Mary Paz, Silvia Pasquel, and brother Rafael all became well-known performers. María's first time in front of the cameras was alongside her father in the telenovela Gutierritos. It was the first of many, followed by the theater production Los Años Imposibles, directed by her father, and her silver screen debut in Mujercitas in 1972. Seven years and nearly a dozen important roles later Banquells made her mark on Mexican television playing the role of Esther Salvatierra on the immensely popular Los Ricos Tambíen Lloran. Her theatrical career marched forward throughout the early '80s, punctuated in 1985 with the release of her debut record, Rocio Banquells. The record's leading single, "Luna Mágica," became one of the most commonly covered ballads of the decade. Encouraged by the project's success, Banquells continued to record, nearly an album a year for better than a decade. Highlights from that period include 1987's Entrega Total and 1992's A Mi Viejo, both of which hit Billboard's Top Ten in the regional Mexican category. Following nearly a decade of silence, Banquells released Nací Para Ti in 2007. Concluding her role as Ofelia on the popular program Pasión, Banquells recorded the album live in the historic Teatro de la Ciudad. The record features two discs' worth of Banquells' most memorable repertoire. Impressively, the record climbed into the Top 100 on the Mexican sales charts. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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