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Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 24 May 1925Aguilares, Texas, USA
Date of Death 6 February 2006Culver City, Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameRamiro Gonzalez-Gonzalez
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (2)

First came to notice as a contestant on Groucho Marx's quiz show, You Bet Your Life (1950). His highly amusing personality won him bit parts in films, and he continued to work as a minor supporting player for years. He is the brother of Jose Gonzales-Gonzales. His most famous role was on John Wayne's movie Rio Bravo (1959).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Providing rather unrestrained Latin caricature comedy relief by typically mangling the English language and appearing slow to grasp in the 1950s, diminutive character comedian Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez had to endure some "politically incorrect" flak over the latter course of his career but, in retrospect, was a proud and extremely talented entertainer who offered his very best and aimed to both entertain and work at the same time. The Texas native was born Ramiro Gonzalez-Gonzalez (the surnames of both his mother and father), one of nine children. His Mexican-American father, a trumpet player, and mother, a Spanish dancer, put all their children into the family traveling show act which was called "Las Perlitas." Pedro it seemed had a natural born knack for comedy and soon was stealing the thunder out from under everyone else.

He never finished school and, thus, became a functional illiterate for the rest of his life. Married at age 17 to a 15-year old dancer, Leandra ("Lee") Aguirre, who he met while playing the same bill in San Antonio, Pedro was a driver in the Army during WWII. In the late 1940s his parents retired from show business and Pedro found himself working the comedy circuits primarily to Spanish-speaking audiences. He later adapted by learning English. A one-time stagehand to make ends meet, he was appearing on a San Antonio telethon when recommended by the telethon's host to be a contestant on Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life" series. The appearance, with the two comedians mugging and trading quips, proved a riotous success and caught the eye of none other than John Wayne, who signed Pedro to a contract with his production company. A character film actor was born.

Making his film debut with Wings of the Hawk (1953), Pedro would become a stock player in Wayne's company for nearly two decades, appearing alongside the Duke in such films as The High and the Mighty (1954), The Wings of Eagles (1957), Rio Bravo (1959), McLintock! (1963), Hellfighters (1968) and Chisum (1970). As Pedro could not read or write, his wife would help him memorize his lines by reading his script to him, or sometimes the director would encourage the comedian to improvise a scene. Scores of TV parts came his way but the stereotype hurt him in the long run and prevented him from attaining top character stardom. Following the Duke's death in the late 70s, Pedro lost much of his desire to perform. He and wife Lee had three children. Son Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez Jr. appeared with his father in The Young Land (1959) and McLintock! (1963), but eventually retired to become a physician. Well-known actor/grandson Clifton Collins Jr. electrified film audiences recently when he co-starred with Philip Seymour Hoffman as doomed murderer Perry Smith in the critically-acclaimed film Capote (2005). Pedro died at age 80 of natural causes in Culver City, California, survived by his beloved wife of nearly 64 years.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Leandra (1942 - 6 February 2006) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Often played "comedy relief" roles in Westerns. Almost always played a Mexican in a service job (barber, bartender, etc.).

Trivia (13)

Grandfather of Clifton Collins Jr.
Was featured in the EPCOT Mexico ride at Disney World.
Had only the most elemental schooling as a youngster and remained functionally illiterate for much of his life.
One of his early talents was making musical instruments out of tangible items such as hubcaps, water-filled bottles and frying pans.
Father of son, Ramiro and two daughters, Yolanda and Rosie.
Frequently appeared in Rex Allen's live stage show during Rex Allen Days in Willcox, AZ. Also had an alley named for him there (adjacent to Rex Allen Drive).
Grandfather of Bonita Deneen.
Grandfather of Chris Craig.
Grandfather of Veronica Collins.
He is featured in a film that accompanies the boat ride in the Mexican pavilion at the 'EPCOT' park located in Walt Disney World Flordia U.S.A.
Grandfather of Bonita Gonzalez Deneen.
From his appearance on You Bet Your Life (1950): Groucho Marx: "What would we call our act, you know, if we went out together?" Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales: "We would have call it 'Gonzales-Gonzales and Marx'." Marx (to audience): "That's a nice billing. Two people in the act, and I get third place in the billing!".

Personal Quotes (1)

I never learned to speak English too good, but the audience liked it like that.

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