WCW: María Valverde


I’ve recently developed a crush on Spanish actress María Valverde. She really caught my eye in Exodus, and then I realized I’d enjoyed her when I saw Cracks and The Limehouse Golem a few years back. I’ve been watching a number of her films recently, so, enjoy her talent and beauty with me!


The Borgia (2006)

Nope, not the Showtime version or even the much-maligned Borgia: Faith & Fear, but an earlier Spanish-Italian production. Valverde plays the famous Lucrezia Borgia.

2006 The Borgia

She surprisingly works as a blonde!

2006 The Borgia

This seems questionable.

2006 The Borgia

Not horrible? Can’t see much?


The Anarchist’s Wife (2008)

Set in the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War.

2008 The Anarchist's Wife



Cracks (2009)

A psychological thriller set at an English boarding school; Valverde plays a new student from Spain who mixes things up.

2009 Cracks

Note her hat matches her coat…

2009 Cracks

In school uniform.


The Liberator (2013)

As Maria Theresa, wife of Simón Bolívar, who led revolutions against Spanish colonialism in early 19th-century South America.

2013 The Liberator

That hat is the whole reason I watched this film.

2013 The Liberator

Attempting a Spanish style called “maja.”

2013 The Liberator

Lovely sheer bonnet!


The Mule (2013)

More Spanish Civil War — a soldier tries to win a girl’s heart, and there’s a mule involved. Don’t ask me!

2013 The Mule

I love this hair on her.

2013 The Mule 2013 The Mule


Exodus: Gods and King (2014)

As Zipporah, wife of Moses in this biblical saga.

2014 Exodus- Gods and King

She’s really beautiful in this, although I have no idea how accurate this look is.

2014 Exodus- Gods and Kings


Ali and Nino (2016)

Set in Azerbaijan during World War I, a Muslim and Christian fall in love.

2016 Ali and Nino

Nice sheer beaded layers!

2016 Ali and Nino

In traditional Azerbaijani dress.

2016 Ali and Nino


The Limehouse Golem (2016)

Jack the Ripper-style murders and vaudeville; Valverde plays a vaudeville performer.

The Limehouse Golem (2016)

The hat shows her performer flair.

The Limehouse Golem (2016)

I guess we can ignore the lack of chemise since it’s a performance costume?

2016 The Limehouse Golem


The Load (2016)

As a 16th-century Spanish woman living in colonial Mexico, who goes on the run up with an indigenous man.

2016 The Load

These look great from afar…

2016 The Load

… some issues in close-up.



What’s your favorite of María Valverde’s historical costume movie & TV roles?


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

10 Responses

  1. Alexander Sanderson

    María is beautiful in everything she does – I totally agree that she was unexpectedly stunning as a blonde in The Borgia… and any questionable costuming, she just seems to wear with pride and panache – somehow making it acceptable/forgivable in my humble opinion. I think my favourite of her roles (although smaller than a lot she’s played) is in The Limehouse Golem. She underplayed the character beautifully and did a wonderful, haughty sneer when necessary; and she didn’t half look fabulous in her trapeze artist costumes!
    I just noticed that in The Load (something I haven’t seen yet, but intend to) in the black gown, she seems to have a sewn in partlet (tut, tut, tut), rather dubious trimming and there is something about the sleeves that just looks slightly wrong and ‘costumey’ to me: even so she still looks gorgeous (neck up) and her hair is nice. :)

  2. Arisa Ashes

    Can you please continue the historically accurate disney princess series?

    • Kendra

      Hmmm! I think I felt like since I’d gotten through the original canon of Disney princesses, I was done! Let me look at some of the newer ones and see if I can come up with something.

  3. Arisa Ashes

    Also please continue the Contemporary hairstyles series.

    • Kendra

      I definitely will, the posts are just SO MUCH WORK to write that it takes me a while to work up the energy!

  4. Susan Pola Staples

    I hadn’t known of her, until you reviewed The Liberator and I am now definitely a fan. I cannot wait to return to work and pick up my cancelled streaming services to watch her and finish Outlander Season 5, Peaky Blinders and the New Natalie Dormer’s Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.

  5. Lily Lotus Rose

    She is really beautiful. I’ve only seen two of her films–Cracks and The Limehouse Golem. Both movies were good but Cracks was better. I keep getting her role confused in The Limehouse Golem with the Jessica Brown Finlay’s character in Victor Frankenstein. They both played aerialists, and their costumes semmed similar to my non-expert eyes. Two films I’d like to see are The Liberator and Ali and Nino.