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Fernando Rey
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    (September 20, 1917-March 9, 1994)
    Born in La Coruna, Spain
    Birth name was Fernando Casado Arambillet
    Appeared in the films ‘White Mission’ (1946), ‘Don Quixote’ (1947), ‘The Mayor of Zalamea’ (1954), ‘The Last Days of Pompeii’ (1959), ‘The Savage Guns’ (1961), ‘Viridiana’ (1961), ‘Return of the Seven’ (1966), ‘El Greco’ (1966), ‘Chimes at Midnight’ (1967), ‘The Immortal Story’ (1968), ‘The Guns of the Magnificent Seven’ (1969), ‘The Adventurers’ (1970), ‘Tristana’ (1970), ‘The French Connection’ (1971), ‘The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie’ (1972), Seven Beauties’ (1975), ‘French Connection II’ (1975), ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ (1977), ‘Quintet’ (1979), ‘Monsignor’ (1982), ‘Moon Over Parador’ (1988) and ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise’ (1992)
    Appeared in the TV miniseries ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ (1977)
    President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1992-94)
    He complained, ‘He [Director Luis Bunuel] always wanted me to play dirty old men.’
    His most famous English-language role – as a drug kingpin in ‘The French Connection’ – came about by accident: director William Friedkin had actually been interested in Francisco Rabal after seeing Rabal in ‘Belle de Jour,’ but could not recall the actor’s name, remembering only that he was a Spanish actor who worked with Luis Bunuel.
    He claimed, ‘I really am a frustrated golfer. My dream is not to play King Lear; I'd rather be Jack Nicklaus.’
    He planned to become an architect until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War interrupted his studies.
    He dubbed Laurence Olivier’s voice when his Shakespearean films were released in Spain.
    He was Luis Bunuel’s favorite actor during the second half of the director’s career.
    He won best actor awards at the San Sebastian International Film Festival (1971,1988) and Cannes Film Festival (1977).
    The Los Angeles Times wrote, ‘He has that ease of manner and polished actor’s charm that bring to mind Cary Grant.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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