Spanish actress Sara Montiel has died, aged 85.

The film legend, who starred in movies like Vera Cruz, Yuma, Bambu and That Man From Tangiers, passed away at her home in Madrid, Spain on Monday (08Apr13).

Montiel, who was born Maria Antonia Abad, made her film acting debut in 1944 after winning a talent contest organised by executives at Spanish film studio Cifesa and quickly became a pin-up in her native Spain and Mexico. Her final credit was in Abrazame in 2011.

The actress also enjoyed success as a singer and performed on several of the soundtracks for her own films.

Her 1957 movie musical The Last Torch Song remains one of Spain's biggest box office hits ever and turned Montiel into a national treasure in her homeland.

She wed three times, had countless affairs with Nobel prize-winning scientist Severo Ochoa and Italian actor Giancarlo Del Duca, and wrote two memoirs, Life is a Pleasure and Sara and Sex. A windmill near her birthplace in La Mancha, Spain has been turned into a museum of the star's memorabilia and clothing.