Cannes Film Festival Best Actor winner Alfredo Landa, who was featured in more than 100 Spanish movies, died May 9 in his birthplace of Pamplona, in the Spanish province of Navarra. Landa, who underwent colon cancer treatment in 2004 and suffered a stroke in 2009, was 80.
The son of a Civil Guard officer, Alfredo Landa quit his law studies to enter show business in the mid-’50s. According to the IMDb, he was an extra in Michael Anderson’s 1956 Best Picture Academy Award winner Around the World in 80 Days, though Landa’s first credited role was in Rafael J. Salvia El puente de la paz (“The Bridge of Peace”) two years later.
Landa kept busy throughout the ’60s, coming into his own as a star of lowbrow, post-Francisco Franco sex comedies in the mid-’70s, e.g., Mariano Ozores’ Los pecados de una chica casi decente / The Sins of a Nearly Decent Girl (1975), with Lina Morgan, and Francisco Lara Polop’s Historia de ‘S’ (1979).
Alfredo Landa in the ’80s: Dramatic turn
In the ’80s, the film career of the fifty-something Alfredo Landa took a dramatic turn – both figuratively and literally. As Paco, servant – or rather, serf – to wealthy landowners in 1960s rural Spain in Mario Camus’ The Holy Innocents / Los santos inocentes, Landa shared with co-star and fellow veteran Francisco Rabal the Best Actor Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. The Holy Innocents is considered one of the greatest Spanish movies ever made.
Additionally, Landa was nominated for six Best Actor awards from Spain’s Cinema Writers Circle, winning four times (The Green Pastures, 1979; El Crack, 1981; Canción de cuna, 1994; Sunday Light, 2007); was nominated for a Best Actor European Film Award for José Luis Cuerda’s 1987 rural comedy El bosque animado (“The Living Forest”); and was nominated for seven Goya Awards, winning twice: for El bosque animado and La marrana (1992). Landa was given an Honorary Goya at the 2008 ceremony, the year after he had announced his retirement.
Constantino Romero dies: Spain’s voice of Darth Vader, the Lion King
Earlier today, Spanish TV presenter, radio announcer, and voice actor Constantino Romero died in Barcelona at the age of 65, reports El Mundo. Among the English-language stars whose Spanish voices were provided by Romero were Roger Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Clint Eastwood. Additionally, Romero’s was the voice of Star Wars’ Darth Vader, The Lion King‘s title character, and Blade Runner‘s replicant Rutger Hauer (see/listen to below).
Back in December 2012, Romero had twitted: “It’s been 47 years of work. And a whole life. Radio, TV, stage, dubbing. It’s been worth it. Hugs and that’s all, my friends.”