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Xonia Benguría, a Cuban actress who was known for co-writing and starring in the 1954 movie Casta de Roble, has died, a family spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter. She was 96.
The writer and actress died July 31 in New York, the family spokesman said. In addition to writing and starring in Casta de Roble (Caste of Oak), Benguría helped cast acclaimed Mexican actor David Silva in the film. She worked alongside her husband Manolo Alonso, who also produced and directed the movie, to write the script. Casta de Roble told the story of a poor young woman (Benguría) who has a son with a man from a wealthy family. Her son is later taken away from her.
In 2015, the UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered with Cinemateca de Cuba (the country’s national film archive) to restore films from 1932 to 1960 and included Casta de Roble in the preservation effort.
Benguría’s other film credits include the 1951 musical comedy Cuando las Mujeres Mandan (When Women Rule) and the 1949 film Escuela de Modelos (Modeling School).
Benguría is survived by her sons Victor Alberto, George, and Paul, her son-in-law Nick, grandchildren Chenell, Doreen, Michael, Nicholas, Anne Marie, Andrew, and Griffin and her great-granddaughter.
A memorial has been planned for Aug. 29 in Astoria, Queens.
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