I have a strong fascination and love of 1940s and 50s portraiture and pin-up photography. While I adore the well-known stars that made the medium popular like Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner, there are many unsung pinups, women of color, who broke barriers and deserve to be highlighted!
Chelo Alonso is a former Cuban actress who became a star in Italian cinema, and ultimately a 1960s cult film heroine and sex symbol in the U.S. She was well-known for playing femme fatales with fiery tempers and sensual dance scenes.
Born Isabella Garcia on April 10, 1933 in Cuba, Chelo Alonso started out as a dancer touring the world and ultimately being the main star in Parisian burlesque club, the Folies–Bergères. With her smoldering good looks and bump & grind dance moves, Chelo was billed as “The next Josephine Baker” and soon became the darling of Italian Cinema. Referred to as the Cuban H-Bomb, Chelo starred as the femme fatale and exotic queen in numerous action movies and went on to star in almost 20 films from 1959 to 1970.
Here’s to the beauty and barrier breaking of Chelo Alonso!
ETA: Michelle of Chellbellz wanted video! So here you have video of the lovely Chelo Alonso!
I loved finding unsung pinup icons and can’t wait to bring you more Pin-ups of Color!