Lola Flores (Maria Dolores Flores Ruiz)

Lola Flores

Lola Flores, a native of Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz (Andalucía, Spain) was an icon of traditional Andalusian folklore, recognized throughout Spain as well as internationally. She became a famous dancer and singer of Andalusian folklore at a very young age, performing flamenco, copla, and chotis and appearing in films from 1939 to 1987. She experienced her greatest success performing in folklore shows with Manolo Caracol, who was her artistic partner until 1951. Lola Flores was the eldest of three children born to Rosario Ruiz Rodríguez from Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Pedro Flores Pinto from a town in Huelva called La Palma del Condado (Huelva). She was born at number 45, Sol Street, in the “Barrio de San Miguel” quarter of Jerez de la Frontera. Her father owned a bar and her mother worked making clothes. She learned to dance with María Pantoja and to understand Flamenco with Sebastián Nuñez. Her debut at 16 years of age was with Custodia Romero’s company in the Villamarta Theatre of Jerez de la Frontera. Shortly after leaving Jerez for Madrid, she rose to fame and soon signed the highest contract of the time (6 million pesetas in the 1950s) which launched her career touring throughout Latin America. In 1958, she married Antonio González el Pescaílla, a gypsy guitarist from Barcelona, Spain. She had three children: singer and actress Lolita Flores; rock musician, singer and actor Antonio Flores; and singer and actress Rosario Flores. Lola Flores was not a gypsy herself, referring to herself as “paya” or non-gypsy Spanish. Nevertheless, she is considered an icon of this ethnicity in Spain, particularly since she married into a gypsy family. However, she has conceded possible gypsy ancestry on the side of her maternal grandfather, Manuel, who was a street peddler.

“La Faraona” died of breast cancer in 1995, aged 72, and was buried in the Cementerio de la Almudena in Madrid. Shortly after her death, her distraught 33-year-old son, Antonio Flores, committed suicide by overdosing on barbiturates and was buried beside her. In 2007, the biopic Lola, la película was made. The movie describes her early life, starting in 1931 until 1958.

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  • January, 21, 1923
  • Jerez de la Frontera, Spain


  • May, 16, 1995
  • Madrid, Spain

Cause of Death

  • breast cancer


  • Cementerio de la Almudena
  • Madrid, Spain

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