Maria Conchita Alonso

The first contemporary international Latina superstar who triumphed over an eating disorder


Celebrity, Eating Disorders, Healthcare

Full Bio

Arguably the first contemporary international Latina superstar, Maria Conchita Alonso led the way in the crossover from Latin popularity into general audience popularity. Born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela, Alonso's career has covered the gamut of entertainment media. Crowned Miss Teenager of the World and Miss Venezuela for the Miss World contest, Alonso quickly became one of the most sought-after actresses in Latin America, starring in ten soap operas and four major feature films. After moving to Los Angeles, Alonso immediately captured the hearts of America film-goers. She starred with some of Hollywood's top leading men, including Robin Williams in "Moscow on the Hudson," Robert Duvall and Sean Penn in "Colors," Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Running Man," Jeremy Irons in "The House of Spirits," and Edward James Olmos in the critically-acclaimed feature "Caught," for which Alonso received an Independent Spirit Award nomination in 1997. Alonso has also graced the small screen, starring in such television movies as HBO's "Teamster Boss," the mini-series "Texas," and "My Husband's Secret Life," for which she won an ALMA Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie." Alonso was seen most recently in the NBC series "Kingpin" and frequently guest-stars on Showtime's "Resurrection Boulevard." An all-around performer, Alonso made her Broadway debut to rave reviews as Aurora in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," making her the first Latin-born actress to star on the Broadway stage. She recently returned to the stage starring in Neil Simon's "Oscar and Felix: A New Look at the Odd Couple" at the Geffen Playhouse. She also appeared in "The Vagina Monologues" for performance in Los Angeles, Miami and Santa Barbara. A talented musician as well, Alonso has received three Grammy Award nominations for Best Latin Pop Performance in 1988, Best Latin Artist in 1995, and Best Latin Pop Album for "Imaginame" in 1993. She has recorded ten albums, some in Spanish and some in English, one platinum and two gold. Alonso combined her love of film with her love of music as the sultry voice behind the theme song for the acclaimed film "Scarface." She is currently in the process of recording her eleventh album. Alonso recently began speaking out about her struggle with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. Struggling with the condition for nearly a decade, resulting in damage to her esophagus and her teeth, she eventually sought help for the self-destructive syndrome. With the help of a balanced diet, exercise, and a physician specializing in eating disorders, the outgoing entertainer has learned to control her condition, which is generally regarded as incurable. Alonso shares her story with audiences across the country in hopes of helping the millions of people afflicted with eating disorders.

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