kate del castillo
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Kate del Castillo has made a lengthy career of serving up juicy drama on telenovelas, but none of the story lines compare to her real-life controversies. From her relationships to her connection with the notorious Mexican mob boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, her life has been quite a journey so far.

While authorities investigated her business relationship with the iconic criminal, Kate suffered all sorts of crazy fallout: accusations from Mexico authorities, the almost cancellation of her Netflix show Ingobernable, and the negative press that hounded her.

More from MamásLatinas: 12 Telenovela stars who successfully crossed over into Hollywood

Before all that drama, she was one of Mexico's most beloved telenovela stars. She has been in the spotlight from an early age. Her father, Eric del Castillo, was a major novela star, and his daughter followed in his footsteps. She grew up in front of the public's eye, and she has transformed so much throughout the years.

Despite all she's been through recently, the Mexican star continues to shine. Her career is on fire again, and she seems to be on the second act of her life and her career. And it's so incredible to watch! Take a look at her career and changing looks over the years. 

--With additional reporting by Marlene Fuentes

Kate had her acting debut when she was just 6 years old in 'Los de Abajo.' 1

Kate had her acting debut when she was just 6 years old in 'Los de Abajo.'

Image via Agencia México

What a cutie! Kate was just 5 when this photo was taken. The actress, who was born in Mexico City, clearly had star power as a kid. In Los de Abajo, she worked alongside her dad, Eric del Castillo, who starred in the war film.

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She's always been daddy's girl. 2

She's always been daddy's girl.

Image via Agencia México

The star's love for acting runs in the family. Her dad, Eric del Castillo, is iconic for his work in Mexican film and telenovelas. Kate followed right in his footsteps!

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She still looks the same as this pic from 1992. 3

She still looks the same as this pic from 1992.

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Kate was 19 years old when she made her acting debut in the 1990 film El último escape. The fresh-faced star still looks the same! 

Her teen years marked her breakout role. 4

Her teen years marked her breakout role.

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Kate's big break came with her breakout role in the 1991 telenovela Muchachitas. She's serving up some diva attitude in this pic from when she was 17!

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Her first television hit made her a star. 5

Her first television hit made her a star.

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Kate became a household name after her role as Leticia in the 1991 telenovela Muchachitas. She is posing like a pro alongside her castmates, Tiaré Scanda, Cecilia Tijerina, and Emma Laura. 

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Life imitating art in 'Muchachitas.' 6

Life imitating art in 'Muchachitas.'

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Kate was an up-and-coming star on the hit telenovela about four young women chasing after their dreams to stardom. Life was imitating art in a pretty amazing way when she was on Muchachitas

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Life as a telenovela star was busy. 7

Life as a telenovela star was busy.

Image via Agencia México

The roles kept pouring in for Kate in the 1990s. She also starred in hit telenovelas like Imperio de Cristal and La Mentira.

As the '90s went on, Kate looked hotter than ever. 8

As the '90s went on, Kate looked hotter than ever.

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Kate's career was hotter than ever, and she was quickly dominating as a lead actress in the telenovela world. In this photo, she was playing Alejandra in the 1996 drama Azul. Just look at what great shape she was in!

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In 1997, Kate debuted a new look for a new telenovela. 9

In 1997, Kate debuted a new look for a new telenovela.

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In 1997, Kate starred in the telenovela Alguna Vez Tendremos Alas. She was modeling a shorter haircut and looking fabulous while doing so!

With 'La Mentira' came a softer look. 10

With 'La Mentira' came a softer look.

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It seemed like Kate's career was unstoppable. In 1998 she starred in the hit telenovela La Mentira. She was giving us some camera-ready beauty! 
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Another lead role that made her change up her look. 11

Another lead role that made her change up her look.

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In 2000, Kate played Ramona Moreno in the popular telenovela Ramona. That hairstyle probably wasn't as loved as her role. 

Kate started rocking bangs in the early 2000s. 12

Kate started rocking bangs in the early 2000s.

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Kate decided to switch up her look by cutting bangs for her role in the 2001 hit remake of El Derecho de Nacer.

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In 2001, Kate del Castillo had a fairy-tale wedding. 13

In 2001, Kate del Castillo had a fairy-tale wedding.

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Kate made the picture-perfect bride when she got married to soccer star Luis García in 2001. The couple divorced three years later, and the rumors over their split got really nasty. Kate recently opened up about the abuses she suffered at the hands of her husband.

After just three years, the fairy tale turned into a nightmare. 14

After just three years, the fairy tale turned into a nightmare.

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Kate and her husband called it quits in 2004 (and even then there were rumors of domestic violence). Her wedding look was flawless, however.

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Kate rocked a more sophisticated look for her American debut. 15

Kate rocked a more sophisticated look for her American debut.

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Kate was going for a more sophisticated look while working on the 2002 groundbreaking PBS show American Family.

In 2009, she was the leading lady in 'Vidas Cruzadas.' 16

In 2009, she was the leading lady in 'Vidas Cruzadas.'

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Kate del Castillo proved she was an official leading lady after reuniting with her La Mentira costar Guy Ecker 10 years later for the telenovela Vidas Cruzadas

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Kate del Castillo and Aarón Díaz met in 2006. 17

Kate del Castillo and Aarón Díaz met in 2006.

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The beautiful telenovela stars married in 2009. Their romance seemed to be picture perfect. 

But this romance wasn't meant to last for Kate either. 18

But this romance wasn't meant to last for Kate either.

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Kate and Aarón's love just wasn't cut out for a "happily ever after" ending, and the couple split in 2011. Despite the breakup, she told People en Español in a 2015 interview, "I love him. I'll always love him." 

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Her turn as a narco queen cemented her fame. 19

Her turn as a narco queen cemented her fame.

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Kate's stardom got even bigger when she starred as Teresa Mendoza in the 2011 Spanish-language drama La Reina del Sur. It was one of Telemundo's most expensive and most popular soap operas of all time. 

Kate looked amazing in this lace dress. 20

Kate looked amazing in this lace dress.

Image via Agencia México

Kate wore this classic little black dress for the 2008 premiere of her independent film Under the Same Moon. She looked flawless! 

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In 2015, Kate played drug trafficker Anastasia Cardona in Telemundo's narconovela 'Dueños del Paraíso.' 21

In 2015, Kate played drug trafficker Anastasia Cardona in Telemundo's narconovela 'Dueños del Paraíso.'

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In the telenovela, she played a tought drug lord once again. Life certainly seemed to imitate art just a few months later in early 2016, when all heck broke loose after it was revealed Kate del Castillo and Sean Penn met with Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán while he was on the run. He was caught a short time after those meetings, and Kate's private messages with the drug lord were made public. Kate has been managing to keep her reputation and career going after this massive scandal.

The future is bright for Kate del Castillo after all the recent turmoil. 22

The future is bright for Kate del Castillo after all the recent turmoil.

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Kate stars in the hit Spanish-language Netflix series Ingobernable, a series that almost didn't happen because of all the El Chapo fallout. But Netflix ended up going through with the show; here's Kate at the premiere looking perfect.

In late 2017, Netflix released a documentary of Kate del Castillo's and El Chapo's story from her point of view. Kate revealed so much about women in the Mexican TV and film industry and even more details about the fateful day she and Sean Penn met El Chapo.

Despite all her controversies, the future is bright.

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She always stands up for what she believes in. 23

She always stands up for what she believes in.

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She posed for a shopping campaign for PETA in 2017 and looked amazing. Kate wore a super-stylish outfit to unveil her campaign, which read, "I'd rather be naked than wear fur."

Her style game has always been on point. 24

Her style game has always been on point.

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Her personal fashion sense has evolved flawlessly through the years. She wore this gorgeous black blazer dress to the NBC Universal upfronts in May 2019 and looked incredibly chic and gorgeous.

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Kate looks incredible in white. 25

Kate looks incredible in white.

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She looked incredible on the black carpet at the GQ Hombres del Año 2019. This dress is beyond stunning on her, and we loved how she styled it and the way she wore her hair and makeup. 

Kate knows how to keep up with the times. 26

Kate knows how to keep up with the times.

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She looked radiant and youthful at the 2019 Latin American Music Awards. She wore a gown by Mexican fashion designer Alfredo Martinez, and she kept it fun and cool with some sparkly boots and a matching blazer.