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Adela Noriega
Adela Amalia Noriega Méndez

(1969-10-24) October 24, 1969 (age 53)
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Actress
Years active 1984–2008

Adela Amalia Noriega Méndez (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈðela noɾˈjeɣa]; born October 24, 1969), professionally known as Adela Noriega, is a Mexican retired actress. She came to prominence after starring in many teen-oriented coming-of-age telenovelas produced by Televisa, including Quinceañera (1987–1988) and Dulce desafío (1988–1989).

Some of her most notable works include María Bonita (1995–1996), María Isabel (1997–1998), El Privilegio de Amar (1998–1999), El Manantial (2001–2002), Amor real (2003), La esposa virgen (2005) and Fuego en la sangre (2008). Noriega's success as a leading lady has led her to be known as one of the "Queens" of the genre.

Early life

Adela Amalia Noriega Méndez was born on October 24, 1969, in Mexico City, Mexico. Her father died when she was in her early adolescence and her mother died in 1995, after a battle with cancer. She has two siblings; an older sister, Reyna, and a younger brother, Alejandro,


Career beginnings

Noriega was discovered as a child, at the age of twelve she was scouted in a shopping centre while she was walking with her mother. Shortly after, she began to work as a fashion model and started appearing in TV commercials and music videos.

After being spotted on a shooting of a commercial by Patty de Llano, wife of the producer Luis de Llano Macedo, she began working as a teen actress. She made her television debut at the age of fourteen in the telenovela Principessa and shortly after she participated in Juana Iris. In both shows she interpreted antagonists. She also guest starred on the comic show Cachún cachún ra ra! for a few years.


Noriega made her debut as a leading actress in 1986, at the age of sixteen, when she was cast for her first lead role in Yesenia, a historical telenovela. The telenovela was adapted from Yolanda Vargas Dulché's comic book of the same name, which centers around a young Romani woman and her caravan. From then on she began to work solely as a leading actress of many successful telenovelas with an international distribution.

She rose to greater prominence in 1987 when she obtained the leading role in the iconic Quinceañera, telenovela portraying coming-of-age topics. Quinceañera was the first telenovela that geared towards adolescents and revealed the problems they face in this transitional period from childhood to adulthood. ..... This teen classic had a great impact in Mexico and other countries worldwide. In 2008, it was included on the Associated Press' "10 Most Influential Telenovelas of Latin America" list, "because it represented a precedent in this genre and has had an influence on the collective imaginary."

One year after, she returned to television in another successful teen-oriented telenovela; Dulce desafío, directed by Arturo Ripstein. In this teen drama, she played the central character, Lucero Sandoval, a teenage girl who rebels against her emotionally distant father and gets romantically involved with her teacher (Eduardo Yáñez).

Continued success

Noriega obtained a contract with the rival network Telemundo in 1993 and played the leading role in Guadalupe. For signing a contract with a different company, she was banned from her previous network, Televisa. Guadalupe resulted to be an international success and was well received in the Arab world to such an extent that she was invited to be the guest of honour of the King of Morocco in 1994.

In 1995, she moved to Colombia and joined RTI, starring in María Bonita, where she interpreted the title character, a singer who stays trapped on a Caribbean island.

She returned to Televisa in 1997 and collaborated with the producer Carla Estrada in four consecutive productions. The same year, she appeared as the lead character of María Isabel, interpreting a young indigenous woman faced with discrimination and lack of opportunities because of her origin. The telenovela presented the iconography of the tribe Huichol, based on indigenous folk beliefs and traditional symbols, and dealt with racial, cultural and class themes. For her characterization of the lead female character, Noriega received TVyNovelas Award for "Best Young Actress in a Leading Role".

A year later, she starred in El privilegio de amar, adaptation of Cristal, opposite Helena Rojo in a story that revolved around the world of fashion industry and show business. El privilegio de amar is officially the highest-rated television program in Mexico to date, according to IBOPE. The show was internationally successful as well.

In 2001, she starred in El Manantial, under the direction of Mónica Miguel and Adriana Barraza, co-starring Mauricio Islas. For her performance as the lead female character Alfonsina Valdes Rivero, she received another TVyNovelas Award, among others.

She returned to television in 2003, in the highly acclaimed historical telenovela, Amor real, in a story that was set in the Mexican post-independence period of the mid-19th century. This costume drama registered very high records of audience in Mexico and at the time of its airing on Univision, it occasionally managed to beat leading U.S. networks in the ratings. In 2005, Amor real was released on DVD and due to its success, it became the first telenovela to be released with English subtitles. Noriega received various recognitions for her portrayal of the aristocrat, Matilde Peñalver y Beristáin.

In 2005, she portrayed the leading character of the telenovela La esposa virgen, opposite Jorge Salinas. The telenovela was an adaptation of Caridad Bravo Adams' novel, Tormenta de pasiones. Her most recent starring role was as the lead female character Sofía Elizondo in the telenovela Fuego en la sangre, from 2008. Despite receiving mostly bad reviews, the telenovela was a big success in Mexico and the U.S.



Year Title Role Notes
1986 Las Amantes del Señor de la Noche Uncredited
1988 Un sábado más Lucía


Year Title Role Notes
1984–1987 Cachún cachún ra ra! Adela Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Revelation in Comedy Series (1985)
1984–1986 Principessa Alina El Heraldo Award for Debutant of the Year
1985 Juana Iris Romina TVyNovelas Award for Best Female Debutant
1987 Yesenia Yesenia Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
1987–1988 Quinceañera Maricruz Fernández Sarcoser TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
Palmas de Oro Award for Best Young Actress
1988–1989 Dulce desafío Lucero Sandoval TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
1993–1994 Guadalupe Guadalupe Zambrano Santos Telemundo
1995–1996 María Bonita María "María Bonita" Reynoso RTI Colombia
Nominated—TVyNovelas Awards Colombia for Best Lead Actress
1997–1998 María Isabel María Isabel Sánchez TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
Nominated—Eres Award for Best Young Actress
1998–1999 El Privilegio de Amar Cristina Miranda New York Latin ACE Award for Best Television Actress
TVyNovelas Award for Best Young Lead Actress
Califa de Oro Award for Best Young Actress
Nominated—Eres Award for Best Young Actress
2001–2002 El Manantial Alfonsina Valdés Rivero New York Latin ACE Award for Best Television Actress
TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress
Palmas de Oro Award for Best Lead Actress
Bravo Award for Best TV Actress
Sol de Oro Award (Mexico's National Association of Journalists) for Best Actress
Nominated—Award Inte for Best Television Actress
2003 Amor real Matilde Peñalver y Beristáin de
Fuentes Guerra
New York Latin ACE Award for Best Television Actress
TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress
Laurel de Oro Award for Best Actress
Califa de Oro Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Award Inte for Best Television Actress
Sol de Oro Award (Mexico's National Association of Journalists) for Best Actress
2005 La esposa virgen Virginia Alfaro Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress
2008 Fuego en la sangre Sofía Elizondo Acevedo Nominated—TVyNovelas Award for Best Lead Actress
Nominated—Award Fama for Best Lead Actress

Music videos

Year Title Role Notes
1984 "Corazón de Fresa" Love interest Lucía Méndez video
"Palabra de Honor" Love interest Luis Miguel video

Awards and honours

Noriega has been honoured with multiple awards for her work in the television industry, and the wide acceptance of her work throughout the years has established her reputation as a "Telenovela Queen".

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Adela Noriega para niños

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