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Sara Montiel and Margaret Thatcher: Two women who shook up their establishments pass away today
By thinkSPAIN Team Mon, Apr 8, 2013
On the same day as 'Maggie', the UK's Iron Lady, passed away following a stroke, Tinseltown legend Sara Montiel died suddenly from natural causes in her home in Madrid.
Paramedics rushed to the scene but were unable to do anything to save her, and she was accompanied at all times by her daughter, Thais.
La 'Saritísima', a diva who put Spanish cinema on the Hollywood map
Montiel, the most international of Spain's singers and actresses and a diva of the silver screen long before Hollywood had ever heard of the country's film industry, had taken starring roles in around 60 films and produced 30 albums.
Known as 'La Saritísisma' – both a diminutive and an augmentative – she was born María Antonia Abad Fernández in the small town of Campo de Criptana in the province of Ciudad Real, central Spain.
She was one of the biggest film stars of the 1950s, starring in Veracruz (1954), Serenata (1956) and Yuma (1957).
At the time, she said: “I didn't want to stay with Warner Bros because I thought, they'll only end up giving me another role as an Indian Sioux. Then I signed a contract to do 12 films and they were going to pay me a million dollars for each one, so why would I want to play an Indian in Hollywood?”
Sara Montiel worked closely with silver-screen legends such as Burt Lancaster, Joan Fontaine, Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Gary Cooper and Mario Lanza.
She has been married four times – firstly to US film director Anthony Mann, in 1957, which lasted four years, then to producer José Vicente Ramírez Olalla in 1964, which lasted six years, then to Mallorca-born industrial businessman Pepe Tous in 1979, after living together for nine years.
Her third husband was whom she described as 'the true love of her life', and was with whom she adopted two children, daughter Thais and son Zeus.
After Pepe Tous' death, the widowed Sara married again in 1993, aged 65, to 39-year-old Cuban national Tony Hernández, but divorced after 10 years.
Maggie, a 'Great Briton'
The Iron Lady's children Carol and Mark Thatcher announced today that their mother, who was Prime Minister for Britain between 1979 and 1990, had passed away after suffering a stroke.
Said to have been suffering from Alzheimer's since 2008, and just a year after a film about her life became a box-office success worldwide, Thatcher, 87, has been described as a 'Great Briton' by current Prime Minister and fellow Conservative David Cameron.
“This is a truly sad day for our country – we have lost a great Prime Minister, a great leader and a great Briton,” Cameron told reporters.
He is to return immediately home from Spain today, having travelled to the country to meet with EU leaders.
HRH Queen Elizabeth II said she was very sad to hear the news of the passing of Baroness Thatcher, and intends to send a private message of sympathy to the family.
Downing Street says Lady Thatcher will be accorded the same status of funeral as the Queen Mother, in 2003 aged 101, and Princess Diana, who died in 1997 aged 36, but that she will not lie in state, in accordance with her own wishes.
The service will take place at St Paul's Cathedral in London and in the meantime, the Union Jack at 10 Downing Street is flying at half-mast.
Born Margaret Hilda Roberts on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, the daughter of a grocer and a housewife, Alfred and Beatrice, she became Conservative MP for the north London borough of Finchley in 1959 – a chip off the old block, as her father had been a Methodist lay preacher and local councillor.
She stood for Prime Minister when she was education secretary, successfully challenging former PM Edward Heath for her party's leadership in 1975, and won three general elections before standing down and handing over the reins to John Major in 1990.
'Maggie' was loved and hated in equal measures, being behind the British invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, known to their then Argentine owners as Las Malvinas, and privatising numerous public sector firms as well as shutting down the mines in the north of England, falling foul of the unions and leaving over three million on the dole.
Interest rates went up to 15 per cent, leaving thousands forced to hand their house keys back to their banks, and poll tax proposals brought forth collective waves of indignation.
But Baroness Thatcher, the UK's first-ever female Prime Minister, was lauded for her strong character, firm convictions, patriotism and determination to create a better Britain – even by those who did not agree with her policies.
Seen as a role model for being a 'politician with guts', Margaret Thatcher famously stated that she survived on just four hours' sleep a night and that she did not expect anyone to pay lip-service to her.
“I am not a consensus politician. I am a c
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