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Fernando Lamas Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (13)

Overview (4)

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Nickname The Latin Lover
Height 6' 0½" (1.84 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Handsome, dapper Argentine-born actor who came to Hollywood as a romantic lead in several colourful MGM extravaganzas and then succeeded in living up to his Latin Lover image in real life. Lamas studied drama at school in his native country and later enrolled in a law course at college. His strong leaning towards athletic pursuits prevailed and he abandoned his studies to take up horse riding, winning trophies fencing and boxing (middleweight amateur title) and becoming the South American Freestyle Swimming Champion of 1937. While still in his teens he appeared on stage, then on radio, and by the age of 24 in his first motion picture.

All this sporting publicity aroused interest in Hollywood and, in 1951, Lamas was signed by MGM to charm the likes of Lana Turner and Esther Williams in A-grade productions like The Merry Widow (1952) and Dangerous When Wet (1953). He also spent time 'on loan' to Paramount who featured him in several Pine-Thomas B-movies, such as the 3-D Technicolour Sangaree (1953) and Jivaro (1954). His sole appearance on Broadway was in the 1957 play 'Happy Hunting'. There was considerable friction between him and co-star Ethel Merman, both on and off-stage. Lamas was nonetheless nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actor, but had the misfortune of coming up against Rex Harrison's Professor Higgins in 'My Fair Lady'.

In real life, Lamas proudly lived up to his reputation as a ladies man. With two ex-wives back in Argentina, he conducted well-publicised affairs with most of his female co-stars, including one with Lana Turner which began while filming 'The Merry Widow'. Actress Arlene Dahl, who appeared with him in 'Sangaree' and The Diamond Queen (1953), became his third wife, and fellow swimming champion Esther Williams his fourth.

In 1963, Lamas directed the Spanish film Magic Fountain (1963), with himself and wife Esther Williams playing the lead roles. From then on, he began to concentrate on television, alternating between acting (notable in a recurring role as playboy Ramon de Vega in Run for Your Life (1965) and directing episodes of shows like Mannix (1967), Alias Smith and Jones (1971), The Rookies (1972) and House Calls (1979).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (4)

Esther Williams (31 December 1969 - 8 October 1982) (his death)
Arlene Dahl (25 June 1954 - 1960) (divorced) (1 child)
Lydia Barachi (1946 - 1952) (divorced) (1 child)
Perla Mux (1940 - 1944) (1 child)

Trivia (13)

Brother-in-law of Stanton Williams.
Father-in-law of Michelle Smith and Kathleen Kinmont.
His effortless charm and way with the ladies earned him the moniker ("First of the Red Hot Lamas").
Father of Lorenzo Lamas. Grandfather of A.J. Lamas, Shayne Lamas and Paton Ashbrook.
He was cast on the television series Gavilan (1982), but due to the cancer that would take his life, he was forced to withdraw from the role after filming a few episodes. Patrick Macnee replaced him in the cast, and the scenes were redone.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1957 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Happy Hunting".
Has eight grandchildren, A.J., Shayne, Paton, Alexandra, Victoria, Isabella, Diana and Sergio. Great-grandfather of Press Dahl Lamas Richie.
He had a daughter, Alexandra "Alex", with his second wife, Lydia.
He had a daughter, Cristina, with his first wife, Perla.
A Republican, he endorsed Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan for president.
Best friends with Jane Wyman (who was also very close with his son Lorenzo Lamas), with whom he co-starred on Falcon Crest (1981). They had that remarkable friendship for 24 years, between 1958 until Fernando's own death in 1982.
His friendly "Latin Lover" rivalry with fellow Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer star Ricardo Montalban prodded a memorable Saturday Night Live (1975) sketch in later years with Bill Murray titled "Quien es mas macho, Fernando Lamas o Ricardo Montalban?".
Fernando Lamas passed away on October 8, 1982, three months away from what would have been his 68th birthday on January 9, 1983.

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