Cristina Bazán is the name of a highly-famous and successful 1978 Puerto Rican telenovela starring Puerto Rican actress and singer Johanna Rosaly, and the Venezuelan singer/idol José Luis Rodríguez El Puma. The soap opera, was co-produced in Puerto Rico by Radio Caracas Television of Venezuela and Telemundo Puerto Rico.
Cristina Bazán was responsible for bringing Johanna Rosaly and José Luis Rodríguez to international TV stardom in Latin America and Spain. The story of Cristina Bazán was the typical story of Cinderella, where the poor and good girl (Cristina) suffers from the mistreatings of her stepmother and sisters, and finally found the love of the "handsome" and rich guy (Rodolfo Alcantara). Other characters in this soap opera include 'Ambar Alsina' (Gilda Haddock), 'Taina' (Alba Nydia Díaz), 'Rosaura' (Esther Sandoval), 'Miguel Angel' (Luis Daniel Rivera) and 'Tere' (Alejandra Pinedo). A very young Adamari López has a special appearance.
"Cristina Bazán" trivia:
1) Although the soap-opera producers, writers and cast will deny it, the plot was rumored to have originally gyrated around, and later ended up being loosely-based on, a well-known Puerto Rico-residing upscale family headed by urologist/politician/socialite/sports promoter/patriarch Dr. Manuel F. Alsina Capo, and the family antics.
2) Interestingly, before the soap-opera's filming, Johanna Rosaly befriended Lila Alsina, one of Dr. Alsina's daughters (from his second marriage) living in the island. As a result of this short-lived relation, and despite Lila Alsina not having any acting experience at all, she did appear briefly in several early chapters of the soap-opera that were filmed at the WSUR-TV studios, but for some reason didn't receive billing in the credits when it aired and did not re-appear in any subsequent chapters.
3) Another story tells that, allegedly, Johanna Rosaly was responsible for suggesting to the producers the Gilda Haddock character name-change to Ambar Alsina.
4) The supposed parallels in the story, whether true or false, between the "fictional characters" and the real-life family generated much speculation and interest at the time, and it will probably never be known what role, if any, the Alsinas had in inspiring the story, as everyone involved denies any connection to this day. Without understating the superb cast and great acting in "Cristina Bazan" and the enormous fame and popularity of male-lead Jose Luis Rodriguez, the added gossip didn't take long to reach Spain and Mexico, where the Spanish Alsina family had blood counterparts residing, plus many strong friendship ties, and where the soap opera's TV premiere was eagerly anticipated and awaited.
5) Some Alsina well-known personalities that lived in Puerto Rico and their relation to Lila: Norma Gonzalez Sapia (mother), Francesca Sapia Bosch (grandmother, Italian, a.k.a. "Paquita", socialite), Rosa Latimer (Corsican-American, stepmother, socialite), Gema Arruza (stepsister, artist/socialite), Monty, Fernando Rafael, Liza, Angel Eduardo (a.k.a. "Nino") (brothers/sisters, socialites), Jaime Vicens (brother of basketball star Juan "Pachin" Vicens, uncle, businessman/socialite). Other American-continent Alsina relatives include: U.S. Army General Timothy Sapia Bosch, Banco de Ponce (now Banco Popular) Vice-President Salvador Sapia Bosch.
Cristina Bazán tells the story of Cristina, who studies in an intern school in San Juan, Puerto Rico with her frivolous and evil stepsister, Ambar Alsina. Cristina thinks that her mother Laura is a widower and keeps traveling taking care of her business. But Laura is not a widower business woman. The truth is that Laura is allegedly a prostitute who is in jail for false charges. When she goes to prison, she asks Cristina's father to support her. When Cristina and Ambar graduate from the internate school they go live at Cristina's father's house, Cristina's father is married to Rosaura who is the mother of Ambar. Rosaura and Ambar hate Cristina and they make her into some sort of servant. Ambar is going to marry the "handsome" Rodolfo Alcantara who does not have a clue that she is sleeping with Miguel Ángel who is a doctor in medicine. Rodolfo is beginning to interest in Cristina who loves him in silence. Rodolfo refuses to have sex with Ambar on the wedding night, because she is not a virgin. Ambar is pregnant by Miguel Ángel who has fallen into alcoholism and she does not want anyone to know that she is expecting a child from him. Now is when Rosaura invents a plan: make everyone believe that Cristina is awaiting a child from the chauffeur, she has to accept and fake that she is pregnant. Cristina and Ambar go both to the country so Cristina could have "her child". Meanwhile everyone is doing witchcraft.