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Fernando Guillén Dies: Pedro Almodóvar Collaborator, Goya Award Winner

Fernando GuillenFernando Guillén dies: Pedro Almodóvar Collaborator, Goya Award winner for Don Juan in Hell

Fernando Guillén, a Spanish acting legend whose film, stage, and television career spanned close to six decades, died of cancer earlier today at a Madrid hospital. The Barcelona-born Guillén was 81 according to the daily El Mundo. (As per the IMDb, he was 80; born on Nov. 22, 1932.)

Curiously, Fernando Guillén became more active in Spanish cinema in the last three decades. Among his movies are three directed by Pedro Almodóvar: Law of the Desire (1987), in which Guillén plays the police investigator; the Academy Award-nominated Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), as Carmen Maura's jerk ex-boyfriend; and the Oscar-winning All About My Mother (1999), as the Doctor featured in the play A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marisa Paredes as Blanche DuBois. (Correction: Penélope Cruz's father is played by Fernando Fernán Gómez.) [Photo: Fernando Guillén.]

Other Guillén movies include Pedro Costa's controversial El caso Almería (1984, "The Almeria Affair"), which dared to portray the Spanish military in a negative light, and featuring a young Antonio Banderas; the Pedro Olea-directed, Mario Camus-adapted Más allá del jardín (1996, "Beyond the Garden"), from a novel by Antonio Gala, and co-starring Concha Velasco; and a supporting role in Joaquín Oristrell's largely improvised comedy-drama With George Bush on My Mind / Los abajo firmantes (2003), which ridicules the Spanish government's decision to join the American-led invasion of Iraq.

Fernando Guillén: Goya winner

Fernando Guillén won the Spanish Academy's Best Actor Goya Award for his aging Don Juan in Gonzalo Suárez's Don Juan in Hell / Don Juan en los infiernos (1991). Additionally, Guillén was nominated for two other Goyas, both times in the Best Supporting Actor category: for Carlos Saura's The Dark Night of the Soul / La noche oscura (1990), starring Juan Diego, and Eduard Cortés' Otros días vendrán (2006, "Other Days Ahead"), starring All About My Mother's Cecilia Roth. The latter also earned Guillén a nomination for Spain's Cinema Writers Circle Awards.

Besides his work in front of the camera, Guillén also did voice work. He can be heard in the Spanish-language versions of movies such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, and Andy and Lana Wachowski's The Matrix Reloaded.

Actors Cayetana Guillén Cuervo and Fernando Guillén Cuervo

Fernando Guillén was for a time married to actress Gemma Cuervo. Their two children, Cayetana Guillén Cuervo and Fernando Guillén Cuervo, became actors as well. Cayetana played the female lead in José Luis Garci's Oscar-nominated The Grandfather, in which her father has a supporting role as the mayor of small town on Spain's northern coast (Fernando Fernán Gómez has the title role in Garci's film). Among Fernando Guillén Cuervo's movies are Boca a Boca / Mouth to Mouth (1995), Bulgarian Lovers (2003), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Balada triste de trompeta / The Last Circus (2010).

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2 Comments to Fernando Guillén Dies: Pedro Almodóvar Collaborator, Goya Award Winner

  1. Andre

    @Raul,

    You're absolutely right. Fernando Guillén plays the Doctor in the "A Streetcar Named Desire" segment. The text will be amended right away.
    Thank you for the correction.

  2. Raul SanFran

    The role of Penélope Cruz's father in "All about my mother" was played by the late Fernando Fernán Gómez, not by Fernando Guillén.




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