24 August 2008

Amparo Munoz - Controversial Miss Universe

When I was growing up, I was told by some friends who are also beauty pageant fans that news were circulating about the death of 1974 Miss Universe, Amparo Munoz, the first and only of Spain. And it is not only as simple as that but apprently she died because of AIDS or anti-immunodeficiency syndrome.

Amparo was also romured of becoming a porn star or someone who acted in adult-oriented films showing her nude.

Miss Amparo Munoz is no doubt the most controversial winner of this pageant.

Did you also know that she, like the first Miss Universe -Armi Helena Kuusela, actually resigned as Miss Universe after only six months of her reign? Yes, she did. But did you know that 3 days after her crowning? We'll talk on this on a separate entry so please always come back for the update while I am still compiling my reseacrh.

For me, Amparo is one of the Miss Universe winners who have the most beautiful face. She is like a doll to me and I always put her in my list of my favorite. Too bad, Amparo is also the not the happiest winner of this pageant since she had really issues being the winner. She was not happy for the crown. She even threw her crown one time.

This is the reason why started researching about her and hopefully, I can come up with the article in the next few days. As an appetizer, like what I have been doing, I am posting another article by the same source whom I have been getting my updates lately.

This article is written for Funfare column of Ricardo F. Lo for the Philippine Star on 26 September 2006. In this article, we'll try to find out what really happened to Amparo Munoz. At the end of the article, you will see two pictures of her with her breast showing but I opted to cover it with colors. Those are the pictures that made everyone think she has done silent films.


MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO AMPARO MUNOZ?
by Ricardo F. Lo

Twenty years before Puerto Rico’s Dayanara Torres conquered the Filipinos when she came to crown her successor (India’s Sushmita Sen, now a superstar in India, slated to star with Richard Gere in a Hollywood movie to be shot in Argentina) at the Miss Universe Pageant, there was Spain’s Amparo Muñoz who won the Miss U in 1974 (succeeding our very own Margie Moran), the first time the oldest international beauty search was held here.

Like Dayanara, Amparo became the darling of beauty-contest-crazy Filipinos. After relinquishing her crown, Amparo agreed to star in the movie Hayop sa Ganda with our very own Miss Universe (1969), Gloria Diaz.

Unlike Dayanara who stayed for a while and pursued a showbiz career, fell in and out of love before going back home with a broken heart ("mended" when she married fellow Puerto Rican Mark Anthony, the Salsa King by whom she has two children and from whom she is divorced; Mark is now married to Jennifer Lopez while Dayanara has remained fancy-free), Amparo’s showbiz life here was nipped in the bud by an ugly incident where she slapped a woman she accused of "pimping" her to wealthy businessmen. I’m not sure now if Amparo was declared persona non-grata by the government because of that incident.

Before coming to Manila in 1974 for the Miss U contest, Amparo was already a starlet in Spain, appearing in B-movies. She became an even bigger star after she won the title. Nothing much was heard about her since she left in a huff after that ugly incident where she showed her volatile Spanish temper.

That is, until rumors began filtering in more than a decade ago that she appeared in soft-porn flicks and, worse, she had died of AIDS.
What really happened to Amparo Muñoz?

Now 52, Amparo has lifted the mystery about her in a tell-all Spanish book called The Life is the Price (literal translation of the Spanish title), written by one Miguel Fernandez. Amparo was interviewed by the Spanish newspaper Cronica and excerpts of the story were sent to Funfare by "beauty expert" Felix Manuel, including choice shots of Amparo during the 1974 Miss U pageant and how she looks today.

In the Cronica interview, Amparo revealed that she suffered from a "cerebral disease" a few years ago and not from AIDS or brain cancer.

"I got sick the same day my Papa died of pulmonary infection," recalled Amparo. "I was devastated by his death because I wasn’t able to ask forgiveness from him for everything that I did. At first, I felt little symptoms. I would get dizzy when tying my shoes. So I consulted a doctor and at first he told me, ‘I’m afraid that you have cancer of the brain.’ Soon, I was vomitting and feeling tremors. I was checked again by my doctor who found an abnormal growth in my cerebellum. So I underwent chemotherapy."

Told that 87 percent of patients suffering from the same ailment die while being operated on, Amparo decided to return to her native Malaga to die, her first homecoming in 30 years.

The Cronica story excerpt didn’t say if Amparo has fully recovered and, if she did, how. Instead, the rest of the story touched on her failed romances and how she threw her Miss U crown out of the window because, she said, "it was cheap imitation jewelry." She said she regretted having done it.


The latest two pictures of Amparo Munoz created controversies not only in Spain but all over the world espcially the followers of beauty pageants. In my next entry, we attempt to find out whether she made porn movies or not.