If you remember those silly, badly-dubbed sandal-and-spear spectaclesthat became the rage of Italian cinema during the late 1950s and early1960s, then you will certainly recall this torrid brunet bombshell. Invariably cast as the ambitiously evil queen or undulatingdancer/temptress whose soul mission was to entrance the film's residentmuscleman, Chelo Alonso's "peplum princess" prime would be surprisinglybrief but her memorable moves and over-the-top histrionics were reasonenough to place her on the international sex symbol pedestal and earnher cult status. While her acting contributions would certainly attractno awards, she did earn the honor of becoming "Italian Cinema's FemaleDiscovery" early in the game. The darkly stunning Alonso was born Isabella Garcia in Central Lugareño,Camagüey, Cuba, on April 10, 1933, to a Cuban father and Mexicanmother.
Attracted to dancing, she began performing seriously in Havanaat age 17, and soon earned notoriety at Cuba's National Theatre for hersensual, exotic style. She took her trade to Paris in 1957 and becamethe toast of the Folies Bergère as an up-and-coming'Josephine Baker (I)' . Billed as the "Cuban H-Bomb", she combinedher native Afro-Cuban rhythms with a seductive belly-dancing style thatencouraged wolf whistles wherever she toured, which would eventuallyinclude Puerto Rico, Haiti and even the United States. It wasn't long before she slithered her way into Neopolitan actionfilms. Bodybuilder 'Steve Reeves (I)' had just muscled his wayinto films with his mythological hero Hercules and a new genre wasborn, with the exotic Chelo soon proving herself a fiery fit.
She firstattracted attention with the film Nel segno di Roma (1959) [Signof the Gladiator] where her erotically-charged dance segment stole thethunder right from under the movie's top-billed sex star, Swedish siren'Anita Ekberg' . From there Chelo, with her volcanic temperament, highly distinctivecheekbones and wild mane of dark hair, went on to charm a number of"ab"normally fit muscleman co-stars, including Reeves,'Gordon Mitchell (I)' and 'Mark Forest (I)' in suchobviously-titled adventure films as La scimitarra del saraceno (1959) ; Il terrore dei barbari (1959) ; Maciste nella valle dei Re (1960) ; Il terrore della maschera rossa (1960) ; La regina dei tartari (1960) ; and Morgan il pirata (1960) . Following her filming of Quattro notti con Alba (1962) , Chelo abandoned the film sceneand focused briefly on Italian TV. By this time she had already met production manager 'Aldo Pomilia' while both were working on the "Morgan the Pirate" film in 1960. Theymarried a year later and she later bore him son Aldino.
Any return tofilm after this period was minor and/or insignifant. This included anunbilled mute role in 'Clint Eastwood' 's star-making "spaghettiwestern" Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966) . Her last filmappearance was in La notte dei serpenti (1969) . . .
and then shevanished. After the death of her husband in 1986, Alonso moved to Tuscany, Italy,where she found several interests to keep her busy, including breedingcats and operating a hotel/restaurant. .
|1||Guardatele ma non toccatele||1959||as Pepita Garcia|
|2||Il terrore della maschera rossa||1960||as Karima|
|3||La strada dei giganti||1960||as Stella Von Kruger|
|4||Maciste nella valle dei Re||1960||as Queen Smedes|
|5||Nel segno di Roma||1959||as Erica, Zemanzius' Favourite and Dancer|
|6||Corri uomo corri||1968||as Dolores|
|8||I Reali di Francia||1959||as Suleima|
|9||Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo||1966||as Stevens' Wife|
|10||Il terrore dei barbari||1959||as Landa|
|11||La notte dei serpenti||1969||as Dolores|
|12||La ragazza sotto il lenzuolo||1961||as Maria Celeste Cortez d'Aragona|
|13||La regina dei tartari||1960||as Tanya, Queen of the Tartars|
|14||La scimitarra del saraceno||1959||as Princess Miriam|
|15||Maciste nella terra dei ciclopi||1961||as Capys|
|16||Morgan il pirata||1960||as Consuela|
|17||Quattro notti con Alba||1962||as Alba Petti|
|18||Tunisi top secret||1959||as Sherazad/Soraya|
|19||Western, Italian Style||1968||as Herself|