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Biography of Carolina "La Bella Otero" Otero (1868-1965)


Spanish dancer born on November 4, 1868 in Ponte te Valga (Pontevedra) and died in Nice on April 12, 1965. His full name was Carolina Agustina Otero Iglesias (both last names came you by mother, since the father never recognized the girl as his daughter), but his later fame and beauty earned him the nickname of the "Bella Otero", which was known worldwide.

Cheerful character, despite having lived a littered with children's needs, he soon left to see his innate artistic vocation and began to demonstrate his skills whenever occasion are presented. Demonstrating a strong, wayward and rebellious temperament, fell in love with at fourteen of a young man named Paco, who escaped one night to go dancing at a nightclub. The owner of that room was fascinated by the way of dance of the young Carolina, to the point of offering him a contract and pay two pesetas (a large amount for the time). Encouraged by this early success, the couple decided to take the opportunity to flee to Lisbon in search of greater fortune, and there the Otero worked as a dancer for a while. Then suffered her first disappointment in love to be abandoned by such Paco, who pursued up to the city of Barcelona, where it had been transferred. There he worked in the Palacio of glass before heading to Marseille and then Paris.

Carolina Otero arrived in Paris with the hope of studying dance and give their first performances. Her beauty and her good work they quickly turned it into a dedicated character in which at the time was the cultural capital of the West, and his performances in the Folies-Bergère sought him a legion of fans, fascinated by its stereotyped appearance of Gypsy woman, despite being Galician (a circumstance which, on the other hand, was responsible for hiding throughout his life). Thus, by 1900, was already around a sex-symbol of "La Belle Époque" Paris, winning both at the stage of the theatre and in love, and owner of a large Fortune who spent at the Casino of Monte Carlo and spectacular jewelry (were his collar the former Empress Eugenia, another of the Empress of Austria or a diamond necklace that was owned by María Antonieta). It is estimated that at the time his fortune amounted to about $ 16.000.000, what was at that time an exorbitant figure.

The passion that the men felt it was irresistible. According to in his memoirs, on the occasion of a tour of Russia, had to escape through the window of the room where the Grand Duke Nicolás had been locked it with a key. The fall on the ground snow with his bare back, at a temperature of - 20 ° C, caused it a pneumonia that had three months in bed, in the Palace of Prince Pedro. Others committed suicide by his love, or spent fortunes to get it; those who loved it, include the Emperor Guillermo II, baron of Ollstreder (ruined in Monte Carlo by his fault), Aristide Briand, Eduardo VII politician England... According to her own account, a banker's name Berguen offered him 25,000 francs by spending half an hour in your room, commitment to she accepted and fulfilled to the letter. Poets, painters, politicians... an entire generation who surrendered, broke and ruined her beauty and power of seduction. Toulouse-Lautrec he dedicated a work to cake preserved in the Museum of Albi, and the great poet José Martí, who met her in New York, also some verses dedicated to him.

His life, while it revolved around the apex of Paris, also passed in countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, United States, England, Hungary, Austria, Russia, and Japan, all of which was hailed as a truly exceptional woman. But at age 45, when it was booming artistic, he retired professionally to live comfortably in Nice. At this stage began to be recognized her talent as an actress and, despite being requested several times by the very Opera Comique in Paris, has systematically refused to return to the theatre.

Abandoned forever the world of the show, while his "false andalucismo" seek you already no benefit, they say that he returned his eyes back to his native Galicia, which never returned and that felt "homesick" the rest of his life. The "Bella Otero" died in Nice, where was also buried, on April 12, 1965, when he was 96 years old. Despite the fortunes that passed through their hands in life, at the time of his death only had 609 francs, which donated to families most in need of their home's worth.


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