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Fernando Rey Poster

Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Died in Madrid, Spain  (bladder cancer)
Birth NameFernando Casado Arambillet
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Fernando Rey, the great Spanish movie actor primarily known in the United States for his role as "Frog One" in The French Connection (1971) and its sequel, was born Fernando Casado D'Arambillet on September 20 1917, in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain, the son of Colonel Casado Veiga. Originally, the young Fernando intended to become an architect. However, when the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, his architectural studies were interrupted, and he gained employment as a movie extra. He took the stage name "Fernando Rey" at the beginning of his career, equivalent, in English, to "Fernando King". Eight years after his movie debut, he was cast in his first major speaking role, as the Duke de Alba in José López Rubio's 1944 movie "Eugenia de Montijo".

Rey enjoyed a long and prosperous career as an actor in movies, the theater, radio, and television. He also was a major voice-over artist in Spain, narrating films and dubbing the voices of actors in foreign films. Rey's most fruitful collaboration was with the great director Luis Buñuel, which began during the 1960s and continued thought the 1970s. The films that Rey appeared in for Buñuel' made him an international star, the first produced by the Spanish cinema. By the early 1970s, Rey's career reached its high point, with his co-starring role in "The French Connection" (Best Picture Oscar Winner for 1971) and his starring role in Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) ("The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie", Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner for 1972). Rey followed up these successes by appearing in The French Connection (1971) in 1974, and Buñuel's tandem That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) ("That Obscure Object of Desire"), an art-house hit that was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Ironically, in the film, Rey's voice was dubbed into French by Michel Piccoli. That same year, he won the Best Actor prize at Cannes for Carlos Saura' Elisa, vida mía (1977).

Many honors came to Rey in the twilight of his career, during the 1980s and 1990s. He was awarded at San Sebastián and Cannes, and was presented with the gold medal of the Spanish Art and Movie Sciences Academy. He became the president of that Academy from 1992 till his death from cancer two years later.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Mabel Karr (1960 - 9 March 1994) (his death)

Trade Mark (2)

Eloquence in both Spanish and French
Often played respectable-looking older gentlemen whose genial surface belie an inner perversity

Trivia (10)

Studied architecture.
Thanks to his work with Luis Buñuel he was the first Spanish actor who gained international fame.
(1992-1994) President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975
Due to his starring in The French Connection (1971) and that he did much of his acting work in French films, many Americans perceived him as a Frenchman, when he was in fact very much Spanish.
Became the favorite leading actor of Luis Buñuel in the latter half of the director's career.
Was also a voice actor, and provided the Castilian Spanish dubbed voice for Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) and The Prince and the Showgirl (1957); for Henry Fonda in The Longest Day (1962), and for the character "Jim" in the animated feature When the Wind Blows (1986) (John Mills in the original). He also dubbed himself into Spanish in the roles he performed in other languages, as well as other Spanish actors in Spanish movies whose voice was deemed unsuitable for the screen.
Had a son, Fernando Casado Campolongo.
The January 16, 1974, edition of Variety, in the Film Production section, reports the movie The Captive began filming Sep. 13, 1973, producer/director Herb Freed, starring Rey, 'Oliver Reed (I)', and, Curt Jurgens. No evidence the movie was ever released.
Got his part in The French Connection after his name was mixed up with that of actor Francisco Rabal; Rabal himself turned out to be unavailable at the time, so Rey was retained for the role.

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