21 January 1923, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz – 16 May 1995
María Dolores „Lola” Flores Ruiz was a Spanish flamenco performer and motion-picture actress who embodied the excitement and beauty of the Andalusian Gypsy folk art for millions of fans in Spain and Latin America. Flores, who was one-quarter Gypsy, began dancing as a child in her father’s local bar. The family moved to Madrid in 1940, and there, paired with the popular performer Manolo Caracol, she became a star. Flores acquired a variety of nicknames, including Lola de España (Lola of Spain) and La Faraona (the female pharaoh), and was as famous for her succession of glamorous lovers and, later, for her marriage to a flamenco guitarist known as El Pescailla, as for her talent. Her significant films include Estrella de la Sierra Morena (1952) and El balcón de la luna (1961). In 1994 Flores was awarded a gold medal from the Spanish government for her life’s work, being considered an icon of Andalusian folklore and Spanish Gypsy culture, recognized throughout Spain as well as internationally.