07 July, 2011

Franco's occasional actors: ELENA MARÍA TEJEIRO

Remember Jess Franco as the fey witness in El siniestro Doctor Orloff (1984)? Well, this very same role had been played by a woman in the same film’s prototype of over two decades earlier, The Awful Dr. Orloff (1961) The woman in question was María Elena Mellado del Hoyo, better known as Elena María Tejeiro, basically a TV and theatre actress.

Born in Murcia on 25 October 1939, she was among the very first actresses to appear on Spanish TV and in was a prominent actress in the sixties, as well as the recipient of three acting awards. The noted film directors she worked for include Fernán-Gómez, José Luis Sáenz de Heredia and Roberto Bodegas, not to mention Antoni Ribas, whose first wife she was. Ribas, in fact, was to direct her in the comedy-drama De picos pardos a la ciudad (1969, see cap below), produced by Ignacio F. Iquino, but he soon left the project and Iquino himself took over as director, showing as much of Tejeiro’s anatomy as was possible in a Spanish film of the time.

For the purposes of the present blog, it is worth noting that in 1975 , Tejeiro starred in a TV sitcom called Pili, secretaria ideal, alongside José María Prada (who was Palafox in Franco’s Night of the Blood Monster of 1969) and Venancio Muro (Janot “The Tanker” in, once again, The Awful Dr. Orloff).

Elena María Tejeiro’s TV and film work dwindled progressively in the eighties. Her last recorded appearance seems to have been her brief role in Pedro Costa Musté political thriller Redondela (1987), from which the image below is taken.

Text by Nzoog Wahrlfhehen

No comments: