Thursday, August 9, 2012

RIP Sancho Gracia


Spanish actor Sancho Gracia died Wednesday night in Madrid at the age of 75 due to complications from lung cancer, according to the actor's sister, Lucy Gracia.

The actor died on 11.50 p.m. at Chiron Clinic, accompanied by his wife, his three children, his sister and niece. The family is very distressed said his sister, despite his illness, he underwent surgery for a small tumor in the lung in 2001 and we did not expect an ending so quickly.

Remembered for "Curro Jiménez"

Sancho Gracia will always be remembered for giving life to the popular outlaw of the 1976-1978 TV series, “Curro Jiménez” accompanied by El Algarrobo, played by Alvaro de Luna, The Student, played by José Sancho, El Fraile, played by Francisco Algora, and the Gypsy, by Eduardo Garcia. The series was set in the South of Spain in the 19th Century, this successful TV series featured the endless adventures of Curro Jiménez (prototype of the Andalusian "bandolero"), a kind of Spanish Robin Hood, and his gang, the two main members of which were El Estudiante and El Algarrobo. The plot changed in every episode, having in common the theme of the legendary bandit, fair, brave and good-natured, who leads the guerrilla against the French troops during the Spanish War of Independence; there are love stories, fight against injustice and even some comedic episodes

An extensive acting career

The Madrid actor also starred in, among others, “Montoyas y Tarantos” (1989), Vicente Escrivá, and “The Crime of Father Amaro” (2002), by Carlos Carrera, selected to represent Spain and Mexico, respectively, in the nominations for the Oscar.

He was nominated for a Goya in 2002 for Best Actor for his performance in the movie "800 Bullets".

Born in Madrid on September 27, 1936, the son of Felix Angel Sancho Gracia he spent his youth between the neighborhoods of Ambassadors and Lavapiés Madrid. Expelled from several schools because of its restlessness, he moved to Uruguay with his family in 1947, where he lived until 1964, after the death of his father and after his mother contracted a second marriage.

In Uruguay he held various and disparate work and became an actor after reading an advertisement in a newspaper. He was a student of Catalan actress Margarita Xirgu [1888-1969] at the Conservatory in Montevideo, where he studied three years and worked on productions of Blood Wedding, Lorca, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.

Extroverted, Sancho drew the attention of producers and soon became an actor in action movies, spaghetti westerns and comedies. He worked with such directors as Juan Antonio Bardem, James of Armiñán, Vicente Aranda, Mario Camus, Adolfo Aristarain, Alex de la Iglesia and José Luis Rope.

Sancho participated in over 125 films and TV appearances during his 45+ career. But it was on TV where he established himself as an actor and gained further popularity in series such as “Los camioneros” (1973-1974) and “Curro Jiménez” (1976-1978), which he was co-creator and  in the sequel “Los camioneros” (1994), in which he portrayed the role of the bandit-hero, with Álvaro de Luna and Jose Sancho.

He then starred in the series for TVE “Black Mask” (1980) and in the summer of 1982 he starred as Juan Martín Díez 'The Stubborn', hero of the War of Independence in the Spanish-French coproduction ” Los desastres de la guerra”, the Mario Camus orders, together with Paco Rabal and Alvaro de Luna, and more recently “Central Operational Unit – UCO” (2009).

On TV he also played roles like Captain Piñero in “Simón Bolívar” (1969). He starred in Huidos. The Last Maquis (1992), which resulted in his first film as director following a disagreement with the initial project director.

Sancho Gracia combined theater, film and television, giving life to characters on stage as the Tenorio by José Zorrilla (1995), or Goya (1996) (Goya of Honor of the Spanish Association of Friends of Goya).

He was an honorary cultural attache in Uruguay in Spain from January 1991, by appointment of then-President Luis Alberto Lacalle, and was awarded by the Association of Critics of New York in February 2003 for his performance in the Mexican film The Crime of Father Amaro.

The International Festival of Peniscola Comedy Film, he was awarded the Honorary Calabuch an entire career that he gave Alex de la Iglesia in May 2003.

The actor married Aguirre Gomensoro Noelia, the daughter of a prominent politician of the National Party of Uruguay, on May 19, 1969, and had three children (Rodrigo, actor Rodolfo [1975- ]  and Felix). His best man was Adolfo Suarez [1932- ], with whom he had a strong and lasting friendship.

GRACIA, Sancho (Félix Ángel Sancho Gracia)
Born: 9/27/1936, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Died: 8/8/2012, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Sancho Gracia’s westerns – actor:
Murieta – 1963 (Murieta henchman)
Behind the Mask of Zorro - 1965 (Juan de Valverde)
In the Shadow of a Colt – 1965 (Sbirro)
The Sheriff Won’t Shoot – 1965 (bandido)
Django Kill - 1966 (Willy)
The Taste of Killing – 1966 (Bill Kilpatrick)
Guns of the Magnificent Seven - 1968 (Miguel)
Guns of the Revolution - 1969 (Humberto Pro)
100 Rifles – 1969 (Mexican leader)
The Call of the Wild - 1972 (Taglish Charlie)
At Full Gallop - 2000 (Tio Boni)
800 Bullets - 2002 (Julián Torralba)

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