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Mari Luz Olier

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Mariluzolier

Mari Luz Olier in a recent TV appearance

Mari Luz Olier is a Spanish actress who played Matilde in Barrio Sésamo, Spain's co-production of Sesame Street from 1983 to 1987. She was also heard in several dubs of Muppet or Jim Henson's Creature Shop projects, starting with Los Fraguel (as some of the Doozers), as well as El Cuentacuentos (as the Queen and Lucky's mother in "The Luck Child" and Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story (as Countess Wilhelmina).

Olier began her career as an actress in 1974, with an episode of the TV series Novela, where she played opposite veteran actor Manuel Alexandre. That same year, she debuted in movies with Antonio Mercero's Don Juan, an adaptation of José Zorrilla's play.

In 1980, Olier began what would become a successful career as a dubbing actress, playing roles in such films as Fame, Glory, and the re-dubbed version for Anatomy of a Murder (1959). She remained prolific as a voice actress, although initially only dubbing minor characters ("Woman in Trafalgar Square" in An American Werewolf in London; "Girl at Chuck Full O'Nuts" in Escape from New York; and "Stillman's girlfriend" in Stripes, all of them in 1981). She would have a chance to dub named characters from 1982 onwards, in Porky's and in the Spanish dub of the American soap opera Dynasty (as Leslie Carrington).

At the same time, she appeared on-camera in the TV series La Cometa Blanca from 1981 to 1983. This series featured some sketches from Sesame Street.

From 1983 to 1987, Olier only appeared in Barrio Sésamo playing Matilde, the owner of the "horchatería".

However, she continued with her work as dubbing actress, with movies such as To Have or To Have Not, Fanny and Alexander (playing Alexander in both the movie and also the spin-off series), Federico Fellini's Amarcord or dubbing Virginia Madsen in Class. She also dubbed Maud Adams in Nairobi, a teacher in the first Nightmare at Elm St., and the recurring role of Emma Channing for the first six seasons of Falcon Crest.

In 1987, Olier began working outside her usual dubbing roles for movies and series. Although she dubbed several voices in Stephen King's Creepshow 2, and episodic characters for MacGyver, she also began working in programs targeted at younger audiences, much like Barrio Sésamo. She was one of the main characters in the animated series Maple Town, as well as her work in Los Fraguel.

However, this occupation with cartoons was not her greatest pleasure. She continued with mainstream movies (Catherine O'Hara's role in Beetlejuice or Gina Gershon in Cocktail), TV series (Susan Day in L.A. Law) and re-dubbing of classic movies (Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley in The Bride of Frankenstein - Lanchester does not utter a word in her other role in the movie as "Bride").

Particularly this role as Mary Shelley marked her, as she repeated it on 1990 with Roger Corman's Frankenstein Unbound (this time dubbing Bridget Fonda). It was a good time for her, as she was getting more and more important roles. She also became one of the usual dubbers for Stockard Channing (Bitter Moon; Six Degrees of Separation) and Kathy Baker (Picket Fences in 1992 and, twelve years later, 13 Going On 30).

She also became a dubbing director since 1992, initially only with series such as Picket Fences or Home Improvement in 1992, then in movies such as Threesome (1994), and then as both director and editor, first in series (Boy meets World, 1995) and afterwards in movies such as The Crucible (1996), usually with her own voice as one of the characters (For instance, she dubbed Joan Allen for The Crucible). At the same time, she continued providing voices for some movies and series without directing or editing the dubbing.

She has since directed the dubbing of box office successes such as The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996), The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (1997), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) or Shine (1999) as well as popular TV series such as The Pauly Shore Show or Malcolm.

She has also dubbed Emily Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, is one of the usual dubbers for Vanessa Redgrave, specially in the TV series Nip/Tuck, and has dubbed Dame Maggie Smith (as Professor Minerva McGonagall) in each installment of the Harry Potter series.

Returning to the on-camera world, she guest starred in an episode of the 2004 TV series Hospital Central; "Luz Olier", as she was credited, could be seen in the role of Gloria, the mother of Eva Méndez (Alicia Bogo), in the episode "Amor de Madre" (Mother Love).

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