Supposed you have seen Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and The Shape of Water (2017), which earned him Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture: in that case, you can probably attest to Guillermo del Toro’s touch of genius. His professional life has been a source of international fame and recognition. On the other hand, Guillermo’s personal life, which includes his now ex-wife, Lorenza Newton, often gets less public attention.
The renowned Mexican filmmaker and author was married to his wife for 31 years before they quietly got divorced in 2017. Their marriage produced two children, Marissa del Toro and Mariana del Toro before it ended.
The Cause of Guillermo del Toro and Lorenza Newton’s Divorce Remain Unknown
A particular testament to the ultra-private nature of Guillermo del Toro’s personal life is best represented by the fact that no one knew he had separated and divorced from his wife for over a year. The Shape of Water director broke the news himself after raised eyebrows saw him walk the 2018 Oscar red carpet with the scriptwriter, Kim Morgan. He then revealed he had been separated from Lorenza since February 2017 and completed the divorce in September.
However, that was the extent to which the director revealed the circumstances surrounding his relationship status. On the night and since then, there has been zero detail about the cause of their divorce after 31 years of marriage. Did they drift apart? Was it infidelity? There are zero clues when it comes to what happened to Guillermo’s marriage.
A shame, considering for years, she was a part of his rise from an obscure Mexican filmmaker to one of the world’s greatest directors. Lorenza, the cousin of Mexican singer, Guadalupe Pineda, met Guillermo del Toro in the 80s when they studied at the Instituto de Ciencias in Guadalajara. While del Toro found fame with works like Cronos, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Hellboy, Lorenza took the less glamourous route as a film art director. Since 1986, she has worked on projects like Dona Lupe and Geometria. She is also a veterinarian, having studied that in her college years.
Since Guillermo and Lorenza parted ways, there have been little known developments in their respective lives. Del Toro has not been linked with any woman, and he has put the family’s Agoura Hills home on the market. But one thing is for sure, wherever life takes the couple, they will always have their shared memories and children, Marisa and Mariana del Toro.
His Children Are Even More Socially Reclusive than His Wife
There is no denying that the Hellboy director wants the public conversation about him to focus only on his professional life and interests. The entertainment media landscape has mostly granted his wish. But it has also been aided by the fact that there is little information about his personal life, especially his children.
Neither Mariana, born in 1995, nor Marisa in 2001, has a known public presence in traditional or social media. As a result, details such as their professional interests or where they are today remains out of reach. However, in a 2008 interview, we got an insight into their upbringing.
According to Guillermo, growing up, the del Toro-Newton daughters had a nomadic life, as they traveled around the world in service of his creative pursuits. In turn, the daughters have developed interests in music, culture, languages, and cinema. We will have to see if this kind of upbringing will inform their career choices.
One thing that we do seem to know is they are loved and cherished by their father. Guillermo del Toro has thanked his daughters in award speeches and films, with special acknowledgments in movies like Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
Guillermo del Toro’s Father Spent 72 Days in Kidnappers’ Den
One aspect of Guillermo del Toro’s personal life with a more substantial public presence is his extended family. His father, Federico del Toro Torres, got kidnapped in 1997 in their hometown of Guadalajara. The unfortunate incident happened while he was shooting Mimic, the sci-fi horror film produced by Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax.
His father got kidnapped on the streets of Guadalajara for ransom. He and his two brothers later began receiving random notes, a troubling development for a man who had invested his entire stash in the Miramax film. The kidnappers asked for $1 million in ransom, and neither he nor his family had it.
Over two months, the brothers took turns negotiating. They also contracted two specialists from England as part of efforts to beat the figure down and keep their father unharmed. When James Cameron, whom Guillermo had befriended since 1991, finally learned of the ordeal, he drove the director to a bank and handed over $1 million to him in cash. Eventually, Guillermo del Toro’s father returned home in one piece, after 72 days with the kidnappers.
The Ordeal and Subsequent Death Threats Forced Guillermo’s Family to Relocate to the US
A few monumental things happened following his father’s kidnapping. One, it solidified his friendship with James Cameron. To stay sane, he wrote a lot, providing the background for his subsequent works. It also caused him to relocate permanently to the US.
Despite police investigations, only a few men connected to the kidnapping have been arrested. A majority of them made away with the money and have not been found to this day. The family also began receiving death threats, forcing Guillermo del Toro to move his family to America.
Not only did he relocate permanently, but the incident also left a lasting psychological scar on the director. While talking about the experience, Guillermo said he lost a part of himself that he does not believe he will ever get back. It is why he has been on a self-described ‘involuntary exile’ from his home country.
However, while most of the del Toro family followed, his father chose to stay. He has continued to live in the Mexican city to date. Guillermo regularly travels back every six weeks to visit his family. In January 2018, he notably skipped the Screen Actors Guild Awards to spend time with his father, who was ill.
While he no longer lives in Mexico, Guillermo del Toro lives in Toronto and Los Angeles. One of his houses is dedicated entirely to his collection of books, poster artwork, and other belongings related to his work. It comprises more than seven thousand DVD movies and six thousand comics.