While we have honored many men of the past, I think it’s about time we honor a woman who was probably one of the first cigar babes.

With her sultry looks and strong personality, it’s no wonder that  Mexican actress Maria Felix (April 8, 1914-April 8, 2002) became a fashion icon and one of the most important figures of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. She became popular for her fierce attitude, and  her perpetually raised eyebrow.

Throughout her lifetime, she was in 47 films in a variety of countries, including Mexico, Spain, Italy, and Argentina. She is most famous for her film Doňa Barbara, where she portrays a cigar-smoking badass who must compete with her estranged daughter for her land and the love of a man. Her portrayal became so popular, she is still referred to as “La Doňa.”

Her beauty and couture fashion sense made her a style icon around the world. She was never seen without a hat on her head and a cigar in her mouth, quickly making them her trademarks.  She commissioned Cartier Paris to make her a crocodile necklace which, along with a cigar and a hat, have become her trademarks. Songs were written about her, paintings emulated her. Even to this day, models copy her signature style.

Felix passed away in 2002, but her legacy still lives on. Hats off to you, Maria Felix, for making women smoking cigars sexy as hell.

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