Ángela Susana Pereda Estrada (born 18 June 1950), known professionally as Susana Estrada, is a Spanish actress, vedette, and singer. She is considered one of the most uninhibited and provocative sex symbols from the era of the Spanish transition to democracy, and one of the most prominent actresses of “uncovered cinema [es]“.
From a mining family, Susana Estrada resided in Gijón, where she worked as a librarian at the Ateneo Jovellanos. In the early 1970s she decided to move to Madrid to start her artistic career, beginning with modest incursions into café-théâtre. After a short time she had small roles in films by directors such as José Luis Merino (El Zorro de Monterrey, 1971),Benito Alazraki (Las tres perfectas casadas, 1973), Tomás Aznar (El libro de buen amor, alongside her cousin Blanca Estrada), Jorge Grau (La trastienda [es], 1975), and Amando de Ossorio (Night of the Seagulls, 1975).
In 1976, only a few months after the death of Francisco Franco – and with it the end of his regime’s censorship – Estrada presented “the most daring show in Madrid”, Historias de “Strip-Tease”, at the Videoset Theater at No. 5 Calle de la Princesa. In it, alluding to the film Gilda in which Rita Hayworth sensually removes a single glove, Estrada removed everything except that garment. This made her the first Spanish actress to perform completely nude onstage (María José Goyanes and Victoria Vera [es] had previously shown their breasts, in Equus and ¿Por qué corres, Ulises? [es] respectively), marking a transgressive sexual milestone of the time.
The same year, she began editing a sexology advice column in Play Lady magazine. Her opinions were considered so immoral that she was prosecuted 14 times for creating a public scandal and sanctioned with a fine, withdrawal of her passport, disqualification from public office, and loss of the right to vote until 1988, “to the point of being forced to have four bodyguards”.
But, far from being intimidated, the actress continued to appear nude in numerous magazines, such as Interviú (in “desnuda en familia”, August 1976), Lib [es], Climax, Papillon, and Solo para hombres. The erotic fotonovelaEl sexo de Susana was published in the latter in 1979, with episodes titled Entre mis jóvenes muslos (II), Dulce sexo de Lesbos (III), La magia del deseo (VII), and Placeres crueles (VIII). In her public statements, she made it clear that she does not take off her clothes because of “demands of the script”, but because she feels like it and, above all, because she considers that the equality of women must begin with total disinhibition when it comes to showing their bodies in public and sexual activity without prohibitions.
From 1977 to 1981, she starred in a series of films of high erotic content, such as El jovencito Drácula (Carlos Benpar [es], 1977), Sexy… amor y fantasía (Juan Xiol, 1977, with Ágata Lys [es]), and Pepito piscinas (Luis María Delgado, 1978, with Fernando Esteso). She became known for appearing in films which were rated “S”, indicating sexual content that went beyond the simple exposure of a nipple. At the same time she released some singles, such as “¡Gózame ya!”, “Hagámoslo juntos”, “¡Quítate el sostén!”, “Tócame”, “Voy desnuda, Mi chico favorito”, and “Qué calor!”, the last two of which were rated “S” for their pornographic content.
On 29 May 1978, the actress, who had already become a symbol of the incipient sexual revolution in the country with her frequent nude scenes and her irreverent language, published a story in Can Can [es] magazine, alongside established authors such as Francisco Ibáñez, Raf [es], and Roberto Segura [es].
Also in 1978, the book Susana Estrada húmedo sexo was published by her representative Carlos de las Heras, in which the author describes the artist’s sex life in detail, and for which he was sentenced in August 1984 to a month and a day of major arrest, disqualification, and a fine of 40,000 pesetas.