Mercedes Carreño

Mercedes “Meche” Carreño (September 15, 1947 – July 21, 2022) was considered the Bridget Bardot of Mexico, a sex symbol, actress and model who was the first to wear the French designed topless monokini in Mexico. Her energy and personality was unparalleled and moved thru life like magic with the fire and beauty of the divine flowing thru her heart. She appeared in many films and television shows thru out her career, influencing culture for generations.

Memorial Event & Internment of Ashes

Family and close friends of Mercedes Carreño gather for the internment of her ashes at The Hollywood Forever Cemetary

360° photo of meditative circle, click to look around.

Obituary

Maria Mercedes Carreño Nava, known publicly as “Meche Carreño”, was born in Minatitlan Veracruz on September 15, 1947. She was the last daughter of Malaquías Nava and Daniel Carreño. She had two sisters, Bella Newton Nava and Digna Cruz Nava, and a brother Felix Cruz Nava. During her youth Mercedes and her family moved to Mexico City, were they lived in poverty. In the hard city of Mexico, her mother and her sister Digna scrape together enough money to send Mercedes to the “Andres Soler Academy for Dramatic Arts”. Mercedes excels in acting and participates in several theater productions, including one with Alejandro Jodorowsky.

During this time Mercedes was also a model and she becomes the first Mexican woman to be photographed in public wearing the scant “monoquini” bathing suit. These images make Mercedes instantly famous as “The Monoquini Girl”. Because of this, the photographer Jose Lorenzo Zakany Almada hires her as a model for his photographs. In 1967 Mercedes and Zakany marry and the have one son, Jose Zakany Carreño. Mercedes working with her brother Felix Cruz Nava write a film script. Jose Zakany produces this script with his own money, into the successful movie “Damiana y los Hombres” 1967. Following the success of their first movie, Mercedes and Zakany Produce “Andante” 1969, “La Sangre Enemiga” 1971, and “La Inocente” 1972. Soon after Mercedes and Zakany divorce. In 1973 the prestigious Mexican director Emilio Fernandez, casts Mercedes to work on his award winning film “La Choca”. This becomes on of Mercedes’ great acting achievements and she wins an “Ariel Award” (equivalent of an Oscar in Mexico). Immediately after Mercedes is involved in other successful films such as “La Otra Virginidad” (1975), “El Mar” (1977), and “La Mujer Perfecta” (1979), directed by Juan Manuel Torres, with whom Mercedes has a second son Juan Maria Torres Carreño. Again Mercedes works with the director Emilio Fernandez in “Zona Roja” (1976).

In 1979, after the death of the director Juan Manuel Torres, Mercedes and her two sons move to New York city were she marries the American Stephen George. During this time Mercedes develops several film scripts and is heavily involved in educating her children. In 1981 she returns to Mexico to make the film “El Noa Noa” with famed singer Juan Gabriel.

Later in the 2000’s she marries the French man Daniel Malfatti. In her last few years she travels extensively, writes, paints and is involved in humanitarian projects. On July 21, 2022 Mercedes passes away in Harlingen Texas after a two year battle with anemia and cancer. We know from testimonials of people that were with Mercedes during her last days, that a supernatural sense of peace and gratefulness descended upon her. Even though she knew that she would soon pass, she was confident of her reconciliation and intimacy with Jesus Christ.

Mercedes is survived by her husband Daniel Malfatti, her son Jose Zakany Carreño, her daughter in law Norma Zakany and her four grand children Diego Zakany, Joshuah Zakany, David Zakany, and Elisah Zakany.

Ubituario

María Mercedes Carreño Nava conocida artísticamente como “Meche Carreño”. Nació en Minatitlán, Veracruz, el 15 de Septiembre de 1947. Fue la ultima hija de Malaquías Nava y Daniel Carreño. Tuvo dos hermanas Bella Newton Nava y Digna Cruz Nava, y un hermano Felix Cruz Nava. Durante la infancia se muda con su familia a la Ciudad de México, donde viven en la pobreza. En Mexico Malaquías y su hermana Digna difícilmente juntan dinero para mandar a Mercedes a estudiar actuación en “La Academia de Arte Dramático Andrés Soler”. Mercedes se destaca como actriz y participa en diversas obras teatrales, en una de las cuales colabora con Alejandro Jodorowsky. Durante esa época también es modelo y logra ser la primer mujer de México en posar públicamente el “monokini”. Esas fotos la lanzan instantáneamente a la fama y se le conoce masivamente como “La Chica Del Monokini”. Por esta razón el fotógrafo José Lorenzo Zakany Almada la contrata como modelo. Mercedes y Zakany se casan y tienen un hijo, Jose Zakany Carreño. Mercedes colabora con su hermano Felix para escribir un guion cinematográfico. Con su propias finanzas Zakany usa ese guion para producir la exitosa película “Damiana y los Hombres” (1967). Siguiendo el éxito de su primer película, Mercedes y Zakany producen “Andante” (1969), “La Sangre Enemiga” (1971) y “La Inocente” (1972). Poco después Mercedes y Zakany se divorcian. En 1973 el prestigioso director Emilio Fernández la elige para su película “La choca” que se convierte en uno de sus mayores logros, al recibir “El Ariel” por coactuación femenina. Inmediatamente después filma otros proyectos exitosos, como “La Otra Virginidad” (1975), “El Mar” (1977) y “La Mujer Perfecta” (1979) dirigidas por Juan Manuel Torres, con quien tiene un hijo Juan Maria Torres Carreño. Nuevamente colabora con Emilio Fernández en “Zona Roja” (1976).

En 1979, después de la muerte del director Juan Manuel Torres, Mercedes y sus dos hijos se mudan a Nueva York y ella se casa con el Americano Steven George. Durante este tiempo Mercedes se dedica a desarrollar guiones cinematográficos y educar sus hijos. Esporádicamente incursiona en producciones de cine en Mexico. Participa exitosamente en la película “El Noa Noa” con Juan Gabriel 1981.

Posteriormente en los 2000 se vuelve a casar con el Francés Daniel Malfatti. En sus últimos años se dedica a pintar, escribir, viajar y a misiones

humanitarias. En el 21 de Julio de 2022 Mercedes muere en Harlingen Texas, después de dos año de batalla contra el cancer y la anemia. Sabemos por testimonios de gente que estuvo con Mercedes en sus últimos días, que descendió sobre ella una paz y gratitud sobrenatural. A pesar de saber que se acercaba su fin, ella estaba segura de su reconciliación e intimidad con Jesucristo.

A Mercedes Carreño le sobreviven su esposo Daniel Malfatti, su hijo Jose Zakany Carreño, su nuera Norma Zakany y sus cuatro nietos Diego Zakany, Joshuah Zakany, David Zakany y Elisah Zakany.

The Art Urn

The Art Urn of Mercedes Carreño is where her ashes will rest as a permanent memorial at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood California with other stars of the silver screen. This sacred ceremonial painted urn was created by surrounding the work area with photos of her life. The mind was opened and using “flow dynamic techniques”,  line and color was utilized to depict the resonant immortal essence, a soul portrait of Mercedes “Meche” Carreño.

The Virtual Urn

Front

Reference Photos

These photos of Mercedes Carreño were provided by the family for reference to paint the art urn, a soul portrait so to speak.

THE LIFE AND CAREER OF MERCEDES CARREÑO

Many of the photos capturing Mercedes later in her life were taken by her son photographer Jose Zakany.