María Mercedes (telenovela)

This article is about the 1992 telenovela. For the list of productions of the same name, see Maria Mercedes (Philippine telenovela).
María Mercedes

DVD cover
Genre Telenovela
Created by Inés Rodena
Written by Carlos Romero
Vivian Pestalozzi
Dolores Ortega
Rosario Velicia
María Luisa Solís
Directed by Beatriz Sheridan
Benjamín Cann
Silvia Caos
Starring Thalía
Arturo Peniche
Laura Zapata
Gabriela Goldsmith
Carmen Amezcua
Carmen Salinas
Nicky Mondellini
Opening theme María Mercedes by Thalía
Country of origin Mexico
Original language(s) Spanish
No. of episodes 82
Executive producer(s) Valentín Pimstein
Producer(s) Carlos Sotomayor
Salvador Mejía
Verónica Pimstein
Cinematography Antonio Acevedo
Carlos Guerra Villareal
Editor(s) Adrian Frutoe Maya
Running time 41-44 minutes
Production company(s) Televisa
Distributor Televisa
Picture format 480i SDTV
Original release September 14, 1992 – January 5, 1993
Preceded by De frente al sol
Followed by Capricho (21:00)
Entre la vida y la muerte (21:30)
Related shows La italianita (1973)
Rina (1977)
Rubí rebelde (1989)
Inocente de ti (2004)
Maria Esperança (2007)
Maria Mercedes (2013)

María Mercedes (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾi.a merˈseðes]) is a Mexican telenovela produced by Valentín Pimstein for Televisa in 1992.[1] It was the first of the "Marías" telenovela trilogy, being followed by Marimar and María la del barrio. María Mercedes based on radionovela Enamorada original story by Inés Rodena.

Thalía and Arturo Peniche starred as protagonists, while Laura Zapata starred as main antagonist. Fernando Ciangherotti starred as special participation.


Maria Mercedes is a poor young woman who is abandoned with her father and three siblings by her ambitious mother. Because of the lack of support from her perennially drunk father, she is forced to raise her brothers and sister on her own, working in the streets of Mexico City selling lottery tickets and juggling in a clown costume.

Santiago del Olmo is very sick and knows that he is dying. One morning when he is in the garden, he sees María selling lottery tickets in the street. He comes up with the idea to marry her just to upset his avaricious aunt Malvina after his death as a personal revenge. He gains Maria's trust and friendship, proposes to her, and she agrees.

When Santiago dies, María becomes the head of the family, making Malvina's ire burn stronger. According to his will, Malvina, her son Jorge Luis, and her daughter Digna must live there in his house with Maria, if they want to inherit any of his fortune.

Since the murder of his wife on their wedding day, Jorge Luis has become a pessimistic young man, in contrast to his younger sister, Digna, who is a very religious and fearful woman, and who has never dated a man.

After María moves into the del Olmo household, she falls in love with Jorge Luis, who is weak against his mother's will and always does as she wants. Malvina makes it her life's mission to antagonize María. When she finds out that María loves her son, she pushes him to marry her in order to get the money back.

She plans that after a few weeks he could make her give him control over the whole fortune and after that get divorced. Jorge Luis and María get married but they do not share a room nor live like a traditional married couple. Within time, Jorge Luis starts to develop a real and pasionate love for María. On the other hand, María has another foe, Mistica, a sultry and selfish woman.

She used to be Jorge Luis' girlfriend, but then left him heartbroken to marry a wealthy older man, Sebastian Ordoñez. She realizes that she still loves Jorge Luis and is furious to know that he is married and falling in love with Maria. She promises herself that she will get Jorge Luis back and starts to help Malvina get rid of María.

María then meets Maria Magnolia, a beautiful, rich, and sophisticated woman who is revealed to be her real mother. Maria Magnolia has now remarried and has another son, but she regrets deeply having left her children. She gains María's trust and starts to help her children, especially Guillermo who is in jail and is the only one who knows the truth about her.

Maria Magnolia's true identity remains a secret however for María and her other siblings, Rosario and Andres, and all the things she does for them have to be hidden from her new husband, Rodolfo (an architect who is Rosario's boss and is also a friend of Jorge Luis' family) and their son Gustavito (which is a youngest half-brother of Guillermo, Maria Mercedes, Rosario and Andres).

Maria Magnolia teaches María good manners and how to seduce her husband. Not long after, Sebastian Ordoñes drops a high class party where he gives a prize to Jorge Luis and then tries to seduce María. Jorge Luis, moved by jealousy and by the sight of the beautifully, well-dressed María, finally starts to fall for her and sleeps with her. Soon María learns that she is pregnant.

After María's father passes away, she and Jorge Luis go on a vacation trip that goes terribly awry because of the intervention of both Mistica and a local lifeguard who hits on María. Jorge Luis impulsively makes up his mind because of this and asks María for a divorce as soon as they arrive to Mexico City.

However, Malvina has other plans. She tries to drive María crazy with the help of Cordelio, the butler, and puts her in an asylum. María manages to escape from the asylum and hides from the police in the house of Doña Filo, a good friend from her poverty years, until Jorge Luis asks the police not to pursue her any more.

With Cordelio as her ally, Malvina tries to kill María but all fails. Malvina realizes Maria Magnolia's influence and begins to wonder if she could be María's mother. She tells this to Magnolia's new husband, Rodolfo Mancilla, who in turn goes to María's old house (where Rosario and Andres still live) and asks to see a picture of their mother.

He at once recognizes her and later confronts her, arguing with her and throwing her out. Maria Magnolia nevertheless survives by helping out a French tailor who once recognized her talent and pushed her ambitions (which clashed with the need to raise her family; she chose her career over them).

Meanwhile, Jorge Luis realizes that his feelings for Maria have grown so strong that he can’t live without her any more. He asks for forgiveness and she returns to the house where they live as a real married couple.

Nine months later María gives birth to twin girls, one of which dies a few days later. Jorge Luis then puts an end to Mistica's intentions for good after she attempts to pin a pregnancy on him (the child was actually her husband Sebastian's). When he discovers that his mother still hates María, he decides that it is time to leave his mother and raise his family with Maria.

He stands up for himself for the very first time against his mother's wishes and leaves. Malvina goes crazy and dresses as María used to in her poverty years and runs to the street where she starts to sell lottery tickets and clean windshields. She is caught and put in an asylum.

Maria Magnolia finally decides to tell the truth to her offsprings. María at first is shocked by this revelation but her resentment shatters and she accepts her mother with love. Rosario on the other hand, is disgusted and filled with rancor, a situation that remains until her boss, Rodolfo Mancilla, agrees to accept them as his step-children.

With this, the sisters make peace and Rosario finally accepts the courtship of Ricardo, a younger friend of Jorge Luis, without any remarks by María. Since María and Jorge Luis only had a civil wedding, they decide to have a great church wedding in the Basilica of Guadalupe with all their friends and relatives, closing the scene after they say "I do", thus ending the soap opera with a romantic kiss.


  • Thalía as María Mercedes "Meche" Muñoz González de del Olmo
  • Arturo Peniche as Jorge Luis del Olmo Morantes
  • Laura Zapata as Malvina Morantes Vda. del Olmo
  • Gabriela Goldsmith as Maria Magnolia "Magnolia" González de Mancilla
  • Carmen Amezcua as Digna del Olmo Morantes
  • Carmen Salinas as Doña Filogonia
  • Nicky Mondellini as Mistica Casagrande de Ordóñez
  • Fernando Ciangherotti as Santiago del Olmo
  • Roberto Ballesteros as Cordellio Cordero Manso
  • Luis Uribe as Manuel Muñoz
  • Fernando Colunga as Chicho
  • Karla Álvarez as Rosario Muñoz González
  • Meche Barba as Doña Chonita
  • Rosa Carmina as Doña Rosa
  • Jaime Moreno as Rodolfo Manzilla
  • Raúl Padilla "Chóforo" as Argemiro "El Chupes" Camacho
  • Luis Gimeno as Don Sebastián Ordóñez
  • Roberto "Flaco" Guzmán as Teo "El Jarocho"
  • Aurora Molina as Doña Natalia
  • Virginia Gutiérrez as Doña Blanca Sáenz
  • Jaime Lozano as Dr. Díaz
  • Alberto Inzúa as Lic. Mario Portales
  • Enrique Marine as Guillermo "Memo" Muñoz González
  • Héctor del Puerto as Servant Lic. Portales
  • Héctor Gómez as Chaplin
  • Julio Urrueta as Napoleón
  • Silvia Caos as Alma's nurse
  • Carlos Rotzinger as Omar
  • Manuel D'Flon as Lázaro
  • Irma Torres as Nunny Cruz
  • José Luis González y Carrasco as Joel
  • Agustín López Zavala as Alberto
  • Vanessa Angers as Berenice
  • Marco Uriel as Adolfo
  • Sylvia Campos as Diana San Román
  • Evangelina Sosa as Candelaria "Candy"
  • Cuco Sánchez as Genaro
  • Carlos Corres as Amateo
  • Marcela Figueroa as Sara
  • Arturo Garcia Tenorio as Rogasiano "El Latas"
  • Yula Pozo as Lucinda
  • Diana Golden as Fabiola Mayerling San Roman
  • Lucero Lander as Karin
  • Arturo Lorca as El Mollejas
  • Rebeca Manriquez as Justa
  • Erika Oliva as Araceli
  • Irlanda Mora as Aunt Paz
  • Xavier Ximenez as Father Enrique
  • Rossana San Juan as Zafiro
  • Rafael del Villar as Ricardo
  • Patricia Navidad as Iris
  • Victor Vera as Judge Civil Registry
  • Paquita la del Barrio as Paquita
  • Ari Telch as Carlos Urbina
  • Alfredo Gutiérrez as Dr. Arturo Valadez
  • Ricardo Vera as Lic. Gómez Portales
  • Elia Domenzain as Director of Academy
  • Jeanette Candiani as Gloria
  • Martha Zamora as Herminia
  • Sara Montes as Rebeca
  • María Eugenia Ríos as Director of reformatory
  • Eduardo Liñán as Public Ministry Agent
  • Armando Franco as Elías Carillo
  • Tito Livio as El Clavo
  • Jorge Granillo as El Hamburguesa
  • Dolores Salomón "Bodokito" as Ludovina
  • Gustavo Rojo as Dr. Pérez
  • Adal Ramones as Guy Menendez
  • América as Gabriela
  • Aarón Beas as Martín
  • Guillermo Murray as Dr. Carvajal
  • Miguel Garza as Esteban
  • Paola Garera as Mirna
  • Eduardo Rivera as Danilo
  • José Zambrano as Lic. Robles
  • David Ostrosky
  • Lina Michel


Year Award Category Nominee Result
1993 11th TVyNovelas Awards Best Telenovela of the Year Valentín Pimstein Nominated
Best Actor Arturo Peniche Won
Best Antagonist Actress Laura Zapata
Best Supporting Actress Carmen Salinas
Gabriela Goldsmith Nominated
Best Supporting ActorRaúl Padilla "Choforo"Won
Fernando Ciangherotti
Best Young Lead Actress Thalía
Best Female Revelation Nicky Mondellini Nominated
Best Child PerformanceAlfredo Gutiérrez
Premios El Heraldo de MéxicoBest Actress RevelationThalía Won
Premios EresBest Actress
Premios BravoBest Young Lead Actress

International Broadcasters of María Mercedes

North & South America, Caribbean
Europe, Asia & Oceania


  1. "María Mercedes" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on September 11, 2011. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
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