Ninon Sevilla was a Mexican showgirl born in Cuba and raised by an aunt in the populous Centro Habana sector, Ninón Sevilla was graced with feline features, wonderful legs and exceptional vitality. She successfully danced her way through Havana night clubs and cabarets, and arrived in Mexico in 1946, where she made her film debut. Although she had already imposed her eccentric attires and hairdos, it was her association with filmmaker Alberto Gout that determined the creation of her erotic film persona. She rapidly became the icon of the rumbera, an archetype of the Mexican film musicals, a "bad girl" who is dignified by dancing. Ninón became an erotic myth and a superstar, working with the best talent in the film industry (Emilio Fernández, Pedro Armendáriz, Gabriel Figueroa, Agustín Lara, José Revuelta), in the biggest sound stages at Churubusco, choreographing her own complicated numbers, and her fame reached non-Spanish speaking markets, as Brazil and France. She was also among the first to introduce traces of the santería rites in her dances, and to acknowledge the presence of African elements in the Caribbean cultures in her films' stories. With the decline of Mexican cinema in the 50s, Ninón Sevilla retired, but she made a successful comeback in 1980, with "Noche de carnaval", winning the top Mexican award for an actress for the first time in her career.