Battled cancer for past five years.

Spanish actress and singer Rocio Durcal, who found fame as one of Mexico's most popular folk singers, has died following a long battle against cancer, her family said on Sunday (March 26).

Durcal, born Maria de los Angeles de las Heras Ortiz, became a star with a string of films in the 1960s and start of the 1970s, such as "Song of Youth" and "The Most Beautiful."

However she made her big breakthrough in Latin America, and in particular Mexico, during the 1980s for her albums of Mexican folk-music known as 'ranchera'.

Durcal was known as 'the most Mexican Spaniard' and sold some 40 million records around the world, later recording duets with some the Latin world's biggest stars, such as Julio Iglesias and Ricky Martin.

"I think I'm made of different stuff," Durcal told the Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers after learning she had cancer. "One thing you can say is that I'm not frightened of anything."

Durcal died in her home city of Madrid on Saturday after a five-year fight against cancer of the womb. She was 61.

- Reuters