Delia Fiallo dead: ‘Mother of telenovela’ dies aged 96

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Delia Fiallo

Cuban telenovela writer Delia Fiallo has died (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Legendary screenwriter Delia Fiallo has died at the age of 96, it has been confirmed. 

Fiallo, widely regarded as ‘the mother of the Latin American telenovela’, died at her home in Coral Gables, Florida on Tuesday. 

The news was confirmed to the AP by Fiallo’s carer, Blanca, just five days before she was due to celebrate her 97th birthday. 

A cause of death was not given but Blanca confirmed that the author was surrounded by her family. 

One of Fiallo’s sons also told the Televisa channel: ‘She died in peace and surrounded by her loved ones.’ 

Fiallo, born in Cuba, rose to fame with soap operas such as Cristal, Esmeralda, Topacio and El Privilegio de Amar, all of which enjoyed international success in the 70s and 80s and establishing the writer as a telenovela icon.

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At the start of her career in 1949, Fiallo wrote radio soap operas in Havana. However, she left Cuba for Miami in 1966 with her family and began writing for Mexican and Venezuelan channels.

It was in Venezuela where Fiallo wrote some of her most famous work, including Cristal, Esmeralda and Leonela.

Paying tribute to the writer, Lupita Ferrer – who starred in Esmeralda – said she owes her fame to Fiallo.

‘She was the teacher, the best,’ Lupita said.

The actress’ sister is also married to Fiallo’s son, psychiatrist Bernardo Pascual.

Actor Carlos Mata, who played the lead in Cristal, also remembered Fiallo fondly and said: ‘I’m still stumped. You think people last forever, especially beautiful people like her.’

Mata recalled speaking to the writer a year ago and that she was ‘lucid and loving’.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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