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Delia Fiallo

Delia Fiallo (1924–2021), screenwriter known as the “Mother of Telenovelas”

by Linnea Crowther

Delia Fiallo was a Cuban-American romance novelist and screenwriter who wrote dozens of popular telenovelas for Latin American television.


Born in Cuba, Fiallo began writing radionovelas for Cuban radio in the 1940s. As television became more widely available in the 1950s, she made the switch to writing telenovelas, finding a large audience with her melodramas. Fiallo left Cuba for Miami in the 1960s and continued her writing career there, writing romance novels as well as telenovelas. Her telenovelas included “Kassandra,” “Cristal,” “Peregrina,” and dozens more.

Notable quote

“A telenovela is basically about sentiment. If you don’t make the public cry, you won’t achieve anything.” —from a 1996 interview for Variety


Tributes to Delia Fiallo

Full obituary: The Hollywood Reporter

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