Maribel Guardia is an actress, host, and singer, who captured the hearts of many and gained popularity when she won the Miss Costa Rica beauty pageant in 1978.
Early life and family
Maribel Guardia was born Maribel del Rocio Garcia Fernandez on 29 May 1959, in San Jose, Costa Rica, to Alvaro Fernandez and Rita Garcia. Not much information is available about her parents or growing up years except that her mother, Rita, passed away on 5 June 1968, when Maribel was just nine years old. On her Instagram, she posted her mother’s photo on her death anniversary, and mentioned the things she would never forget about her, such as her grace, nobility, goodness, and joy. Her fondest memories of her mother were of always singing and giving money to those she considered less fortunate than her.
Her message ended with, ‘I love you, Rita. Thanks for giving me life.’ In 2016, she posted an old photo of her father on her IG account on Father’s Day with a message about sending kisses to heaven.
Her early education was not disclosed. She studied at the University of Costa Rica but did not graduate because she accepted the scholarship offered in Mexico.
Maribel began her career as a model when she was 17 years old. She joined the Miss Costa Rica pageant at the age of 19 and won. She then represented her country in the 1978 Miss Universe pageant held in Acapulco, Mexico; she didn’t win, but was able to take home the Miss Photogenic award.
That same year, she also participated in the Miss World pageant and made it to the top 15 semi-finalists. She might not have won the coveted beauty pageant titles, but the exposure opened a lot of doors for her in the entertainment industry. It took her months to finally decide to move to Mexico to pursue a career there.
She was given a scholarship by Televisa, the largest mass media company in Latin America, to study acting, dancing, and singing at the Sergio Bustamante’s Academy that is now known as the Centro de Educacion Artistica (Artistic Education Center). Maribel Fernandez used the stage name Maribel Guardia because she has the same name as an actress already under contract with Televisa. She took Guardia as her last name, which is from her great-great-grandfather’s name.
Further success as an actress
Her big screen debut was in 1980 with “El Diablo en Persona” (The Devil in Person), and she has been making movies almost every year after that until 1999. She has made more than 35 films from small roles to lead roles. If she was not making movies, then she was making telenovelas or soap operas. She first made an appearance on a television show in 1980 with Mexican actor and comedian, Manuel “El Loco” Valdes. However, it was in 1986 when she had her first big break as the main star of a soap opera for Televisa entitled, “Sedducion” (Seduction). It took her eight years before doing soap again in 1994 and then she continued doing that until 2019. She has made more than 15 soap operas as a protagonist, for supporting role, and sometimes for a special appearance.
Success as a singer and recording artist
With her busy schedule as an actress, Maribel still found time to record songs for her album. She signed up with Musart Records, one of the biggest record labels in Mexico, and released her debut album in 1988. She signed up in 2016 with EMI Music in Latin America and Capitol Records in the United States, and released an album with Spanish and English songs. So far, she has released a total of eight albums in various genres under different labels.
Maribel has done TV hosting for variety shows from time to time. She also starred in musicals and theatrical plays, such as the “Adventurer” (2010-2011) and “Cleopatra Screwed Up” (2018-2019), which are almost always sold out. She also performed in various shows, festivals, and fiestas not just in Mexico but also in Los Angeles and New York.
She received a Best Actress nomination for her role in the 1986 thriller movie, “Terror y Encajes Negros” (Terror and Black Lace), at the 29th Ariel Awards, which is the most prestigious award-giving body in Mexico. The Diosas de Plata (Silver Goddesses) Award, an award-giving body hosted by the Mexican Film Journalists Association, gave her the Best Leading Actress award for the same film. She bagged a Best Actress nomination for her role in the soap opera, “Prisionera de Amor” (Prisoner of Love), at the 13th TVyNovelas Awards. In 2017, she received her first Latin Grammy nomination for the Best Band Album for “Besos Callejeros” (Street Kisses).
She was married to Jose Manuel Figueroa, whose stage name was Joan Sebastian, in 1992, and had a son named Marcos Julian Figueroa.
He was her first husband while she was his third wife. Joan was a famous Mexican singer-songwriter, who won four Grammy Awards and seven Latin Grammy Awards. He made his acting debut with Maribel in the soap opera, “Tú y yo” (You and I), which had 141 episodes that ran from 1996 to 1997. They were divorced in 1996. There were some reports that they barely spoke to one another behind the camera as they finish doing the soap. Joan died of bone cancer at the age of 64 on 13 July 2015.
Maribel met Marco Chacon by chance in Costa Rica. Marco is a lawyer from a prominent family in Costa Rica. They dated and were together for more than 10 years before getting married on 15 July 2010. The wedding was a private affair, and her son, Julian Figueroa, walked her down the aisle.
#buenosdias que Dios nos acompañe a todos en estos #dias tan difíciles. Pero aprovechemos para disfrutar el regalo de un nuevo día ,valorar a la #familia y todas las #bendiciones que hemos recibido y no hemos valorado🙏🏼#yomequedoencasa #quedateencasa 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/6gVcIsvpkA
— Maribel Guardia (@MaribelGuardia) April 1, 2020
Marco has been a good father figure to Julian, and he eventually represented him as he debuted as a singer. Maribel is now a doting grandmother to Julian’s son, Jose Julian, which is evident from her posts on her IG as she spends time with her grandson from having breakfast with him to watching cartoons. She considers May 2 as the happiest day of her life, and as she greeted her son on his birthday in 2019, she said, ‘24 years ago you were born, and you filled my life with the purest love I have ever known, you gave me the honor of being your mother…and today, you gave me my precious Jose Julian. How good is God with me, giving me two princes the same day?’
Interesting facts and rumors
- Maribel was one of the celebrities tapped for the government’s 2014 breastfeeding campaign, “No Le Des La Espalda, Dale Pecho” (Don’t Give Them Your Back, Give Them Your Breast), where she posed topless with only a banner that has the name of the campaign covering her breasts. She even posed with her grown son behind her.
- She was dubbed as “La Bella” (The Beauty) by Mexican media.
- Andres Garcia, one of the most popular actors in Mexico, was very vocal in his attraction to Maribel, and called her, ‘the most erotic woman he’s ever known.’ They first worked together in 1984 in the movie, “Pedro Navaja,” (Peter Blade), and then also in the play, “Al Otro lado de la Cama (The Other Side of The Bed). Whether this is real or just for publicity is anybody’s guess.
- She has more than 8.5 million followers on her Facebook page.
- She has more than 4.5 million followers on her Instagram account.
- Her Twitter account has almost one million followers.
- On her 60th birthday, she posted a photo of herself wearing a bikini on her IG
- She was named the “Gay Queen of Los Angeles” when she performed at the Gay Pride parade in 2016
- She has been inducted in the Paseo de las Luminarias – Mexico’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Appearance, clothing style
Maribel has long black hair and brown eyes. She is 5ft 7in (1.7m) tall, weighs around 121lbs (55kgs), and her vital statistics are 35-23-35. She was able to maintain her figure from when she joined the beauty pageant to the present.
Net worth and salary
She has been working non-stop since she started her career in the entertainment industry. Even at 60 years old, she continues to perform in various shows and concerts. There is no information regarding any property or business that she owns. Her income as an actress, entertainer, host, and recording artist are also not disclosed. However, sources estimated her net income at over $30 million as of early 2020.