I was born Marisol Turner-Saona, and I am the only person ever to have that name, and probably always will be. Marisol is Spanish name which is a shortened version of Maria de la Soledad - a name given to the Virgin Mary. In Catalan, mar i sol means 'sea and sun', which I take to be a sign that I belong on the beach :)
Turner is my Dad's surname and dates back to 12th century England. It is now the 28th most common surname in the United Kingdom, unlike my mother's surname Saona, which I changed to my only (legal) surname in 2011. Saona, in Peru and indeed the Spanish speaking world is a rare surname - infact I've never heard it outside of the family. One possible connection is Isla Saona, is a small island belonging to the Domincan Republic. This combined with Isla Marisol, a private island resort in Belize, means at some point in my life I am due a trip to the Caribbean!
So after that pre-amble, here are 3 of the most interesting Marisols I've discovered so far:
1. Marisol Valles García
This Marisol hit attracted international media attention in October of 2010 when she was sworn in as the Police Chief of Praxedis G. Guerrero, a small town in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. An hours drive from the Ciudad Juarez - arguably the most dangerous city in the world - Praxedis' mayor had been searching for a new police chief for a year. With all but three officers left in the force, and the previous police chief tortured and beheaded, Marisol was the only person willing to take the job.
At the time, she was only twenty years old and a Criminology student at University of Guadalajara and was dubbed by some media as "the bravest woman in Mexico". In addition to this, she was also married and a mother, yet took up the job without a bodyguard.
Within two weeks threats from the two rival drug cartels began along with corruption 'offers'. After being harassed by one individual for four months, on March 1st 2011 Marisol received a phone call so grave that it impelled her to immediately drive herself and her family straight to the U.S. border to seek asylum. Upon entry, she was left unemployed and barely able to feed her family for more than a year until she received a work permit.
2. Marisol Espinoza Cruz
Marisol Espinoza is a Peruvian politician, and currently the Vice President of Peru. She was Ollanta Humala's running mate in the 2011 elections. Before getting into politics, she worked as an editor in various television channels and newspapers.
In January this year, Marisol's public image took a battering when reporters discovered that her grandmother was receiving Pension 65, a benefit which was created for the country's poorest. A filmed interview with Digna revealed that the granny had given birth to 24 children, 10 of whom are alive to today and support her "with a a few little things".
Marisol spoke out publicly, saying she was not aware her grandmother had been enrolled in Pension 65 and that the money (1125 Nuevos Soles, approximately £283) would be returned. But this couldn't please everyone. Some called Marisol a liar, and selfish given the humble conditions her grandmother lived in, whilst one son of Digna claimed that she did not deserve Pension 65 as her sons were there to maintain her financially.
3. Marisol (Pepa Flores)
María Josefa Flores took Marisol as a stage name to become an international sensation and actress-singer child prodigy. Now considered a pop icon of the 1960s, Marisol was more than just a name for Pepa, it took control of her life. This talented Andalusian girl was discovered at 11 years of age by film producer Manuel Goyanes and was the lead actress of three hit films in three years.
As you probably already guessed from looking at other child stars, fame and fortune took their toll on Marisol. At just 15 years old, Marisol developed a stomach ulcer from the stress of the long working days and at that she point she allededly said she wanted to get out of the industry. Various unverified sources say that her time as Marisol was far from happy; one director would make her cry for the camera by telling her she would never return to her mother, she had her breasts bandaged to hide her puberty, she was abused by a photographer, and news of her grandmother's death was witheld from her during her Japan tour so as not to ruin her performance. At 19 she married Goyanes's son but this relationship did not last.
Once she became an adult she was finally free to 'kill' Marisol and to be herself, Pepa Flores. She took on radically different roles (including, ironically, one of a frankenstein-like creation in Bardem's movie The Corruption of Chris Miller) and eventually retired from cinema alltogether. She has only resurfaced from her extremely private life to collaborate with friends, and otherwise is just occassionally spotted at her daughter's expositions or supporting disabled people in Malaga.
Click to check out a Pitbull remix of the classic Estando Contigo by Marisol.
- REVIEW: Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott