In what’s been a sad couple of days for the Spanish film industry, it’s been announced that 1950’s acting legend Sara Montiel has passed away aged 85. It’s also been revealed recently that director Josep Joan Bigas Luna also recently died after a battle with cancer.

Motiel could count the likes of Gary Cooper as a co-star and the writer Ernest Hemingway as a friend at the height of her fame in the 1950’s. During that period she appeared in some of her best known roles, including Vera Cruz, a 1954 film that starred Cooper, and 1957 Western Run of the Arrow. Released as Yuma in Spanish, the film was directed by Sam Fuller and also featured Charles Bronson and Rod Steiger.

With a long and glittering career in Spanish speaking films, Montiel was a big star in her native country as well as Mexico, often seen photographed at bull fights and also famously rarely seen without a cigar in her mouth. In a busy life she also got married three times, and cataloged her experiences in two memoirs, Life Is A Pleasure and Sara And Sex. Her most recent role was in 2011, in which she appeared in the movie Abrazame. She also had a career as singing artist, releasing over a dozen Spanish-language albums.