The Mexican actress was discovered in Mexico City and offered work in Hollywood, which she refused comprehending she would only be given stereotyped Latin parts. She remained in Mexico and appeared in her first notable film, in 1943, Dona Barbara, followed by La Devoradora, in 1946, becoming Mexican cinema's greatest vamp. She worked in Europe including France in films such as French Cancan by Jean Renoir, opposite Jean Gabin, in 1954 and Les Héros sont Fatigués with Yves Montand, in 1955. In the 1960s, the films she was featured in were mainly inspired by the Mexican Revolution with roles suiting her tough persona, such as La Valentina, in 1966, and La Generala, her last film, in 1970. She was cast so often as a strong-minded, man-eater woman that those characteristics became indistinguishable from her own tempestuous personality in the minds of audiences and media. Maria Felix impersonated, to the extreme, the sensational figure she was: always wearing stunning haute couture pieces and dazzling Cartier jewellery, collecting extravagant art works and antics, assuming her bisexual relationships and precisely staging her public appearances: La Dona was a real diva.