Spanish television is in mourning: the first great presenter in its history has said goodbye to us, according to LOC. Laura Valenzuela has passed away at the age of 92 and with her leaves us a great actress and the first ‘show-woman’ on the small screen. This great pioneer made her film debut in 1954, but it was television that made her a national icon.
Laura, born in Seville in February 1931, began working at Televisión Española in 1956, coinciding with the start of its broadcasts. She was the first woman who showed her face that small screen. Despite her inexperience and lack of means, she was already an all-rounder back then: actress, presenter, model… The first programs he hosted were the “Questions to Space” contest and the “Marconi Festival” musical space.
She combined television and cinema but it was the space “Galas del Sábado”, in the prime time of the weekend when nobody knew what “prime time” was, together with Joaquin Prat, the space that catapulted her to national fame. International recognition would come when he presented the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest from the Teatro Real, organized by TVE after Massiel’s triumph. On that occasion he faced a historic moment: when he had to improvise for a four-way tie for first place.
She retired in 1971 due to maternity: as the canons of the time dictated, she should dedicate herself to raising her first and only daughter, the actress and presenter Lara Dibildos. With the birth of private television, she would go back in front of the cameras and she showed that her talent was still intact: The magazine “Tele 5, tell me?” it brought it back for a new generation of viewers who had grown up with color TV and the ability to channel-surf. In those years he was also in charge of presenting the channels of the then only Mediaset channel and it was the image of the incipient “interactive television” .
After her rebirth on Telecinco, she returned to TVE in 1996 to replace María Teresa Campos at the helm of the public channel’s morning magazine. “Mañanas de Primera” took over from “Pasa la Vida” and accompanied by her daughter Lara, they replicated the style of Teresa and Terelu.
After going through cancer in 2005, he decided to retire a year later. And he did it in style: presenting the gala for the 50th anniversary of TVE. youAfter that event he drastically reduced his public appearances. Since 2016, the only images of the presenter are those that her daughter Lara has posted of her on the occasion of family festivities: Lara Dibildos reveals how her mother, Laura Valenzuela, is after turning 90: “She decided many years ago, since Laura Valenzuela had finished and that she was of an age, that if she had to go somewhere for a friendship, then I would have to go to 20 more, I didn’t feel like it or anything. You have to respect her the same as the day she decided to leave television and she did,” Lara declared on one occasion.
After his sad departure, television remains an orphan, although his legacy will remain forever: the videos of his programs, his eternal smile, his self-confidence and even his songs: the mythical “La Mar Está Fresquibiris” that many associate with the character of Estela Reynolds from “La Que Se Avecina” is an original song of hers.