Norma Blancaflor (Lydia Jurado Velasco)
BiographyTondo, Manila, Philippines
Lydia Jurado Velasco was born October 27, 1919, in Tondo, Manila. The eldest of nine children of Gregorio Velasco and Maria Jurado, she married John Robert Price, an American. She finished high school at the Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT) and obtained a Pharmacy degree from the Manila College of Pharmacy and Dentistry. It was film actress Lilia Vizconde who brough Lydia to Filippine Films Studio, where she caught the eye of Luis F. Nolasco. Director Carlos Vander Tolosa was so impressed with Lydia's beauty that he promptly wrote a script for her, Dalaga, Isang Ngiti Mo Lamang (1940). Read more... the screen name "Norma Blancaflor" for exotic appeal. Her second film was Sa Dating Pugad (1940), where she played second lead. Her first lead role came in Hatinggabi (1940). Her other prewar films include Bawal na Pag-Ibig (1940), where she played the daughter of Angel Esmeralda and Maria Clara Ruíz; Binibini ng Palengke (1941); and Binibiro Lamang Kita (1941). During the Japanese occupation of Manila, Ms Blancaflor appeared in stage shows at the Life, Lyric and Avenue theaters, with heartthrob Rogelio de la Rosa. After the war, she signed an exclusive contract with LVN Pictures, and had leading roles in films such as Aladin (1946), Honeymoon (1946), Victory Joe (1946), The Voice of Freedom (1946), Bagong Manunubos (1947), Miss Philippines (1947), Huling Dalangin (1948), Isang Libong Pisong Kagandahan (1948), Manugang at Biyenan (1948), Sumpaan (1948), Puting Bantayog (1948), and Parola (1849). Ms Blancaflor was declared Best Actress of 1940 at the awarding rites sponsored by the Bureau of Commerce, held at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila. She won it for Dalaga, Isang Ngiti Mo Lamang (1940), which was also declared Best Picture and its lead, Ely Ramos, as Best Actor. After the war, in a test conducted by Ansco Technicians for LVN Studios, Ms Blancaflor, who possesses one of the most beautiful faces in Filipino cinema, got a perfect score for Complexion Compatibility in color films. Ms Blancaflor died in October 12, 2004 of aneurysm.