Mariví Bilbao Dies: Spanish Actress Lived To 83; How Did She Die?

Marivi Bilbao
Actress Mariví Bilbao passed away of natural causes. Creative Commons

Barely a few months after taking a break from her role in "La que se avecina," veteran actress Mariví Bilbao left us in her home in Bilbao, Spain. She was 83.

The actress, who was born in 1930, became very popular in Spain in her last years, with her roles as Izaskun Sagastume in "La que se avecina" and Marisa Benito in "Aqui no hay quien viva." A few months ago, Bilbao decided to leave the show to "rest and sort out schedule conflicts," but there was no mention of sicknesses, according to her manager.

She became a much beloved figure in Spanish TV nights with her characters, who were always sardonic retired women with a penchant for smoking and cursing. Moreover, Bilbao was such a heavy smoker that she required that her characters were too, so she did not have to stop while filming.

She took part in many films during the 1970s, the golden age of Spanish cinema, and in 2007 portrayed the main role of the short film "Eramos pocos" -- translated as "One Too Many" -- which was nominated to an Oscar. When they did not win the award, she reportedly lighted a cigarette inside the Kodak Theater, challenging the rules of the Academy.

"So what, we did not win anyway," she said.

Watch a subtitled version of the film here.

The Spanish social media poured itself in mourning on Wednesday. Director Alberto Caballero, who created the two TV shows that made her known to the public, twitted "today is a sad day. Marivi Bilbao, the greatest woman on the planet, has died."

"I hope wherever she is, she has enough cigarettes, and liquor, and a bingo nearby. Thanks for making us laugh!" said Spanish TV presenter Matias Prats.

The details of the funeral are still unknown.

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