In the theme song of "La Reina del Sur" television series that she starred in, Kate del Castillo is the "traficante mas famosa" - the most famous drug trafficker.
But this week she is getting attention for her connection to real life's most famous druglord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
Actor Sean Penn named del Castillo, who became a U.S. citizen last year, as the link that helped him get an interview for Rolling Stone with Guzmán. Guzmán had been a fugitive after escaping from a Mexican prison through a tunnel built over a year to his prison cell. He was captured Friday in a shootout with authorities in Mexico. He could now possibly be extradited to the U.S.
She posted a photo with Sean Penn and a mariachi group on Instagram.
The daughter of Mexican actor Eric del Castillo and a star in Mexico for more than 20 years, del Castillo has built success in the U.S. Most recently, she was part of the cast of the movie "The 33," a movie telling the true story of the rescue 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for two months. She played the wife of Mario Sepulveda, the lead miner.
She played a telenovela star and the old flame of Jane's father, Rogelio de la Vega, on "Jane the Virgin."
She was in the 2002 PBS series "American Family" that starred Raquel Welch, Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Esai Morales and Sonia Braga among others. She played Ofelia, the wife of Morales's character.
She played a mobster on the television series "Weeds," has been the voice for characters in animated films such as "Cars," "Rio," and "Book of Life" and recently starred in "Under the Same Moon."
Mexican government corruption is part of the storyline in "La Reina del Sur," a series based on a book by Spanish author Arturo Perez-Reverte. It was produced and aired by Telemundo and now available on Netflix.
Her character ends up in the drug trade through her relationships with men, but she's portrayed as good hearted, although her decision to kill enemies also is part of her character.
In 2012, she tried to appeal to Guzmán to traffic for good, with love. Her written appeal, being dug up amid the latest news, was part of a long rant that summed up her lack of faith in institutions and disgust with government corruption.
"Today I believe more in Chapo Guzmán than in the government that hides the truth from me," she wrote.
"Mr. Chapo, wouldn't it be "padre" (which means "great") if you would start trafficking for good? With cures for diseases, with food for kids on the street," she wrote the drug kingpin. She also exhorted him to stop "trafficking with corrupt politicians and not with women and kids "who end up as slaves." Del Castillo also asked El Chapo to close the "whorehouses" where a woman is worth less than a pack of cigarettes.
"You would be the hero of heroes, let's traffic in love, you know how," she wrote.
According to Penn, after writing that appeal, del Castillo was contacted by the Guzmán's lawyer in 2012 and again after his arrest in February 2014, when "gringos were scrambling to tell his story.
This story includes material from The Associated Press