"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

‘Mother of Latin American Soap Opera’ Delia Fiallo Dies at 96


The Cuban author Delia Fiallo has passed away at the age of 96. According to her family, she died in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. She wrote many highly successful radio and soap operas which earned her the recognition of being the “mother of the Latin American soap opera.”

One of her sons told Televisa channel that his mother “died in peace.” He further stated she was “surrounded by her loved ones.”

Fiallo was born on July 4, 1924. The Cuban-born screenwriter was regarded as both subtly regal and accessible. Many felt she had a warm disposition. She created and scripted over 40 Spanish soap operas — telenovelas or novelas for short.

The Cuban writer broke through many taboo topics that many people shied away from. For example, alcoholism, breast cancer, drug abuse, and rape. Fiallo managed to stay true to her love story’s throughout the difficult topics brought up in her stories.

FialloSome of Fiallo’s original works include “Esmeralda,” “La Zulianita,” “María del Mar,” and “Cristal.” These pieces were either adapted by herself or by others.

In 1982, the Cuban screenwriter’s story “Leonela” was her first show to appear on Univision’s coveted 7 p.m. weeknight primetime slot. This show was about the effects rape had on the victim and perpetrator. It was one of Univision’s popular novelas.

In 1996, she told Variety that “telenovela is basically about sentiment.” Her opinion was:

If you don’t make the public cry, you won’t achieve anything.

Many of her novels were adapted throughout two continents, from the United States to Argentina. They passed through countries such as Colombia and Mexico.

Her fans took to Twitter to pay their respect to the “mother of Latin American soap opera.” Tonia Duncan tweeted, “Rest in Heaven to #DeliaFiallo she passed away at the tender age of 96.” Ramon Pagan posted “RIP my dear #DeliaFiallo I grew up watching your novelas and will always cherish your talent,” on his Twitter page.

She is survived by her children, family, and friends. May her family find solace and may she rest in peace.

Written by Sheena Robertson


CNN: Delia Fiallo, known as ‘the mother of the Latin American soap opera,’ dies at 96; by Abel Alvarado and Steve Amasy


Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Jon Haylett’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inline Image by Yair Cohen Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License

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