Linda Cristal is an Argentine–American actor. The multilingual actor has numerous Western films and TV series to her credit. Linda changed her birth name after becoming an actor, a trend that was commonly followed in that era. She began her career with Mexican films, eventually entering Hollywood. In the first decade of her career, Linda received a ‘Golden Globe Award.' She was also named "The Latin Lovely" by South American newspapers. The actor has experienced two horrible accidents. One of them took away both her parents, and the second halted her career for a while. The 1956 film 'Comanche' marked her transition from the Mexican film industry to Hollywood, and 3 years later, she made her TV debut. Of all of Linda’s TV appearances, her role in 'The High Chaparral' is the most noteworthy, as it earned her a 'Golden Globe Award' and two 'Emmy Award' nominations. Linda quit acting in the mid-1980s and has been away from the limelight since then. Linda was also popular for her relationship status. She had married young, toward the beginning of her career. However, her first marriage ended just 5 days later. She had two more failed marriages and has been linked to several celebrities, including millionaire businessman Arthur Symington.
Childhood & Early Years
Linda was born Marta Victoria Moya Peggo Burges, on February 23, 1934, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a French father, who worked as a publisher, and an Italian mother. Shortly after her birth, her family had to move to Montevideo, Uruguay, as her father was involved in a political dispute. Linda attended 'Conservatoria Franklin' in Uruguay. Linda can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and English.
Linda lost her parents in a car crash near Buenos Aires in 1947. She was the only survivor of the accident, which was later found to be an act of suicide. It was revealed that Linda’s father could not accept his inefficiency and his inability to take care of his family’s needs or to save his diabetic and comatose wife. Hence, he blasted the car they were in.
Linda was scouted by Mexican producer-director Miguelito Aleman, son of Mexican president Miguel Aleman, in 1950. She worked in nine films in 4 years for him. Following this, Linda made her Hollywood debut.
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Linda began her career with a few uncredited roles in Mexican films such as 'Cuando levanta la niebla' (1952), 'Fruto de tentación' (1953), 'La bestia magnifica' (Lucha libre) (1953), and 'La venganza del diablo' (1955). However, she also appeared in prominent roles in 'El lunar de la familia,' 'Genio y figura,' 'Con el diablo en el cuerpo,' 'El 7 leguas,' and 'Enemigos.'
Linda made her Hollywood debut with the 1956 western 'Comanche.' She was named the "Motion Picture Sweater Queen of 1958" by the 'Knitted Outerwear Association of America.' After featuring in films such as 'Cry Tough' (1959) and 'Legions of the Nile' (1959), Linda made her first TV appearance in 1959, with the western series 'Rawhide.' The following year, she was seen in two period dramas: as ‘Akis’ in 'The Pharaohs' Woman' and as ‘Flaca’ in 'The Alamo.'
In 1958, independent producer Carl Kruger (of 'Comanche' fame) sued Linda and 'Universal-International' in the ‘Los Angeles Superior Court’ on the grounds that the studio had helped the actor in illegally terminating a contract that she had signed with him in 1955. Carl also demanded that she be banned from the cast of the 1958 romantic comedy 'The Perfect Furlough.' Linda, however, did appear in the film and even received her first 'Golden Globe Award' for her performance in it. Carl did not take any action, as the movie was shot in Mexico. Linda then essayed the significant role of ‘Elena de la Madriaga’ in the 1961 western 'Two Rode Together.' She was also seen as a female matador in the 'NBC' sitcom 'The Tab Hunter Show.'
In 1964, Linda took a break from acting to raise her children. She resumed acting as ‘Victoria Cannon’ in the 'NBC' series 'The High Chaparral.' She played the character from 1967 to 1971 and earned two 'Golden Globe' nominations, of which she won one. She was also nominated twice for the ‘Emmy Award' for the same role. In 1968, Linda was crowned "Azalea Queen" at the 'Azalea Festival of Wilmington,' North Carolina.
After 'The High Chaparral,' Linda returned to Mexico briefly, before moving to Argentina. Some of her last acting credits include the 1974 action film 'Mr. Majestyk,' the Mexican telenovela 'El chofer,' the 1975 TV movie 'The Dead Don't Die,' and the 1980 TV miniseries 'Condominium.' Linda’s final appearance was as the leading character named ‘Victoria "Rossé" Wilson’ in the Argentine TV series 'Rossé' in 1985.
Family & Personal Life
Linda’s first marriage, held in 1950, was annulled just after 5 days. On April 24, 1958, she secretly married a businessman named Robert Champion in Pomona, California. The marriage was made public the following month. Their marriage turned sour after Robert got a job in Venezuela. Linda divorced him on December 9, 1959, in Santa Monica, citing mental trauma as the reason for the divorce. She then married actor-turned-real estate developer Yale Wexler in 1960. This marriage, too, ended in a divorce, in December 1966. She has two sons through her relationship with Yale: Gregory S Wexler and Jordan R Wexler.
Linda has been in multiple relationships, apart from her marriages. In 1958, she went on a date with singer and comedian George Dewitt in Havana. Linda was rumored to be dating actor and musician Bobby Darin in an article published in the July 1968 issue of 'Movie Stars' magazine. Linda was addressed as the woman who came in between Bobby and his wife, Sandra Dee. Initially, Linda denied the rumor, but years later, she admitted to have dated Bobby.
Some of the other celebrities Linda had dated were Greg Bautzer (1971–1972), Christopher George (1968), Adam West (1968), Buddy Bregman (1959), William Campbell (1959), Hugo Fregonese (1959), John Saxon (1958), and Anson Williams.
In the late 1980s, Linda bought homes in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs and also owned an apartment in Buenos Aires.