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Fernando Rey is a Actor Espagnol born on 20 september 1917 at A Coruña (Espagne)

Fernando Rey

Fernando Rey
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Birth name Fernando Casado Arambillet
Nationality Espagne
Birth 20 september 1917 at A Coruña (Espagne)
Death 9 march 1994 (at 76 years) at Madrid (Espagne)

Fernando Casado Arambillet (20 September 1917 – 9 March 1994), best known as Fernando Rey, was a Spanish film, theatre, and TV actor, who worked in both Europe and the United States. A suave, international actor best known for his roles in the films of surrealist director Luis Buñuel (Tristana, 1970; Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972; That Obscure Object of Desire, 1977) and as a drug lord in The French Connection (1971), he appeared in more than 150 films over half a century.

The debonair Rey was described by French Connection producer Philip D'Antoni as "the last of the Continental guys". He achieved his greatest notoriety after he turned 50: "Perhaps it is a pity that my success came so late in life", he told The Times of Madrid in 1973. "It might have been better to have been successful while young, like El Cordobés in the bullring. Then your life is all before you to enjoy it."


The beginnings
Rey was born in A Coruña, Spain, the son of Captain Casado Veiga. He studied architecture, but the Spanish Civil War interrupted his university studies which led him to his success.

In 1936, Rey began his career in movies as an extra, sometimes even getting credited. It was then that he chose his stage name, Fernando Rey. He kept his first name, but took his mother's second surname, Rey, a short surname with a clear meaning ("Rey" is Spanish for "King").

In 1944, his first speaking role was the Duke of Alba in José López Rubio's Eugenia de Montijo. Four years later, he acted the part of Felipe I el Hermoso, King of Spain, in the Spanish cinema blockbuster Locura de amor.

This was the start of a prolific career in movies (he played in around two hundred films), radio, theater, and television. Rey was also a great dubbing actor in Spanish television. His voice was considered intense and personal, and he became the narrator of important Spanish movies like Luis García Berlanga's Bienvenido Mr. Marshall (1953), Ladislao Vajda's Marcelino Pan y Vino (1955), and even the 1992 re-dubbed version of Orson Welles' Don Quixote. In fact, Rey acted in four different film versions of Don Quixote in different roles, if one counts the Welles version (for which Rey supplied offscreen narration in the final scene).

His brilliant performance in the role of a demotivated and doubtful actor in Juan Antonio Bardem's Cómicos (1954), while showing him for the first time in a successful lead part, paradoxically, as he saw himself as the real incarnation of the role, plunged him in a professional depression, of which he did not emerge until his collaboration with Luis Buñuel several years later. However, in the short term, Buñuel's disconcerting public remark on Rey's performance in other Bardem's film, Sonatas (1959), "I love how this actor plays a corpse", could only increase Rey's apprehensions. Nevertheless, Rey became eventually Buñuel's preferred actor and closest friend.

International career
Rey's first international performance was in The Night Heaven Fell (Les bijoutiers du clair de lune) a 1958 French-Italian film directed by Roger Vadim, where he acted alongside Stephen Boyd, Marina Vlady and Brigitte Bardot. Previously he had played in an American TV series, It happens in Spain, the story of the exploits of a private detective, operating out in Spain, who helps distressed American tourists.

In 1959, Rey co-starred with Steve Reeves and Christine Kaufmann in the Italian sword and sandal film The Last Days of Pompeii.

In 1961 Rey played in a European Western, The Savage Guns, and as the popularity of that genre increased during that decade appeared in some other movies, including the political The Price of Power (1969), the bizarre cult classic Companeros, and two sequels of The Magnificent Seven, namely Return of the Seven (1966) and Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969).

It was his work with Orson Welles and Luis Buñuel during the 1960s and 1970s that made Rey internationally prominent; becoming the first 'international Spanish actor.' Rey starred in Buñuel's Viridiana (1961), Tristana (1970), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie) (1972) (a surreal movie which received the 1972 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film) and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). For Welles, Rey performed in two completed films, Chimes at Midnight (1966) and The Immortal Story (1968).

Rey played memorably the French villain Alain Charnier in William Friedkin's The French Connection (1971). Initially, Friedkin intended to cast Francisco Rabal as Charnier, but could not remember his name after seeing him in Luis Buñuel's Belle de jour; he only knew the person he had in mind was a Spanish actor who had worked with Buñuel. Rey was hired after he flew to New York to be met by a surprised Friedkin. Rey's English and French were not perfect, but Friedkin discovered that Rabal spoke neither of them, and opted to keep Rey, who reprised the role in the less successful sequel, French Connection II (1975).

Along 1970s and 1980s Rey played in many international co-productions, some of his appearances being cameos. These films include Lewis Gilbert's The Adventurers (1970), Mauro Bolognini's Drama of the Rich (1974), Vincente Minnelli's A Matter of Time (1976), Valerio Zurlini's The Desert of the Tartars (1976), Robert Altman's Quintet (1979), J. Lee Thompson's Caboblanco (1980) and Frank Perry's Monsignor (1982). One of Rey's greater successes in these years was Elisa, vida mía, a 1977 Spanish drama film written and directed by Carlos Saura.

On his work in Stuart Rosenberg's Voyage of the Damned (1976), Rey once said: "I played [Cuban] president Brú; a cameo. They paid me a lot of money for less than six hours of shooting, in the Barcelona Stock Exchange building, with James Mason. I got more money than Orson Welles, who played a great role ...".

Back in Spain
In later years, Rey preferred to work in Spain, with successes as Francisco Regueiro's Padre Nuestro (1985), José Luis Cuerda's El bosque animado (1987) and Jaime de Armiñán's Al otro lado del túnel (1992) as well as his portrayal of Don Quixote, alongside Alfredo Landa as Sancho Panza, in the memorable Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón's El Quijote de Miguel de Cervantes (1991) for the Spanish National TV.

His last appearance on the screen was in a supporting role in the Spanish black comedy El cianuro ... ¿sólo o con leche? (Cyanide ... pure or with milk?) (1994).

Recognition and awards
In 1971 Fernando Rey won the best actor award in the San Sebastián International Film Festival, for his performance in Rafael Gil's La duda, based, like Viridiana and Tristana, on a novel by Benito Pérez Galdós.

Another of the successes of Rey-Buñuel's collaboration was That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), nominated for another Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the same category, though the movie failed to win either. Rey's voice had to be dubbed by Michel Piccoli.

In Lina Wertmüller's Academy Award-nominated film, Seven Beauties (1975), Rey played the role of Pedro the anarchist who, as a friend of the protagonist and fellow prisoner Pasqualino Settebellezze, chooses a gruesome suicide rather than spend another day in a Nazi concentration camp.

Rey won Best Actor award at 1977 Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Elisa, vida mía.

In 1988 he again won the best actor award in the San Sebastián International Film Festival, this time for his performance in two films: Francisco Regueiro's Diario de invierno and Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi's El Aire de un Crimen (The Hint of a Crime).

Fernando Rey was also awarded the gold medal of the Spanish Movie Arts and Sciences Academy.

Best films

The French Connection (1971)
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
Backfire (1964)
Illustrious Corpses (1976)
The Last Days of Pompeii (1959)
Revenge (1958)

Usually with

Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(4 films)
Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel
(5 films)
Jesús Franco
Jesús Franco
(4 films)
José Nieto
José Nieto
(10 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Fernando Rey (114 films)

Display filmography as list


1492: Conquest of Paradise, 2h29
Directed by Ridley Scott
Origin France
Genres Drama, Biography, Action, Adventure, Historical
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films
Actors Gérard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver, Armand Assante, Fernando Rey, Loren Dean, Ángela Molina
Roles Marchena
Rating63% 3.198023.198023.198023.198023.19802
In the beginning, Columbus is obsessed with making a trip westwards to Asia, but lacks crew and a ship. The Catholic theologians at the University of Salamanca heavily disapprove of it, and they are not keen on ideas that go against the writings of Ptolemaeus. After continuous warnings at the monastery, he becomes involved in a brawl with the monks, ending up lying in the monastery courtyard to pay penance. His eldest son, Diego, one of the monks, looks on disapprovingly. As Columbus continues his penance through a vow of silence, he is approached by Martín Pinzon, a shipowner from Palos, who introduces Columbus to the banker Santángel. Queen Isabella I (Sigourney Weaver) owes money to Santángel. Columbus meets with the queen, who grants him his journey in exchange for his promise to bring back sufficient amounts of riches in gold.
Don Quixote
Directed by Orson Welles, Jesús Franco
Origin Espagne
Genres Drama, Fantasy, Adventure, Historical
Themes Buddy films
Actors Akim Tamiroff, Paola Mori, Orson Welles, Patty McCormack, Fernando Rey, Constantino Romero
Roles Closing Scene Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Rating60% 3.0017853.0017853.0017853.0017853.001785
Les aventures du Chevalier à la triste figure perdu entre la Terre et la Lune, confrontant le monde ancien à la modernité, dans une Espagne rêvée et reconstituée qui le conduit de la Manche à Pampelune en passant par l’Estrémadure… accompagné de son fidèle serviteur.
L'Atlantide, 1h50
Directed by Bob Swaim
Origin France
Genres Drama, Adventure
Themes Films set in Atlantis
Actors Tchéky Karyo, Christopher Thompson, Victoria Mahoney, Anna Galiena, Jean Rochefort, Günther Maria Halmer
Roles Father Mauritius
Rating53% 2.6661852.6661852.6661852.6661852.666185
Un ancien officier de la légion étrangère, Morhange, part à la recherche de son ami Saint Avit perdu dans le désert du Sahara, duquel il reçoit un étrange dessin gravé d'un symbole en forme de croix et du nom « Antinea ».
Breath of Life, 1h36
Genres Drama
Themes Medical-themed films, Seafaring films, Transport films
Actors Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave, Fernando Rey, Lucrezia Lante della Rovere, Salvatore Cascio, Dalila Di Lazzaro
Roles Gran Magno
Rating66% 3.3343.3343.3343.3343.334
In 1946, Gesualdo (Nero) is a recovering Second World War soldier in a Palermo TB clinic. Most of the patients are young yet aware of their impending death. Gesualdo holds the same bleak expectations. Yet miraculously he recovers while all the others perish, including the medical professionals. Gesualdo is the only survivor that can bear witness to the ordeal in the clinic.
Naked Tango
Directed by Leonard Schrader
Genres Drama, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films
Actors Vincent D'Onofrio, Mathilda May, Esai Morales, Fernando Rey, Constance McCashin, Josh Mostel
Roles Judge Torres
Rating59% 2.954752.954752.954752.954752.95475
Returning by ship to Buenos Aires, a young woman escapes her elderly husband by swapping places with a woman committing suicide. She believes her new life will be that of an arranged marriage but finds it is in fact a ruse to cause her to work in a brothel. The film plays on the association of tango with brothels and clearly alludes to the practices of the Zwi Migdal white-slavery and prostitution ring that was active in Buenos Aires early in the twentieth century and was dissolved thanks to Raquel Liberman.
Drums of Fire, 2h19
Directed by Souheil Ben Barka
Genres Action, Historical
Actors Massimo Ghini, Claudia Cardinale, Ugo Tognazzi, Fernando Rey, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham
Roles Papa Pablo V
Rating63% 3.1757053.1757053.1757053.1757053.175705
The film tells the story of the Saadi dynasty prince Abdelmalek, exiled from Morocco by his brothers. Since his exile, he will live twenty adventurous years: fight the Spanish Inquisition, take part in the Battle of Lepanto, be incarcerated in Alicante prison, and assist in the Conquest of Tunis. Eventually, he returns to Morocco to fulfill his destiny.
Moon Over Parador, 1h43
Directed by Paul Mazursky
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Romantic comedy, Action, Romance
Themes Seafaring films, Monde imaginaire, Politique, Films about television, Transport films, Political films, Films about Latin American military dictatorships
Actors Richard Dreyfuss, Raúl Juliá, Sônia Braga, Jonathan Winters, Fernando Rey, Regina Casé
Roles Alejandro
Rating59% 2.998582.998582.998582.998582.99858
The film follows the exploits of film actor Jack Noah (Dreyfuss), who is filming in the small, fictional South American country of Parador when Paradorian President Alfonse Simms suddenly dies of a heart attack. Not wanting to lose his position in power, the president's right-hand man, Roberto Strausmann (Juliá) forces Jack to take the 'role of a lifetime' - that of the dead president, as the two men look so much alike. Jack accepts, eventually winning over the people and even the dead president's mistress, Madonna (Braga). However, when paradise proves to be too boring, Jack needs to find a way to get out while keeping Roberto out of the loop.
The Betrothed (TV miniseries), 7h30
Actors Burt Lancaster, Franco Nero, Helmut Berger, Fernando Rey
Rating62% 3.1439753.1439753.1439753.1439753.143975
This script must be run from the command line
Paradise Hotel
Origin France
Genres Drama
Actors Sacha Briquet, Fernando Rey, Michael Medwin, Fabrice Luchini, Juliet Berto, Hugues Quester
Roles Joseph
Rating58% 2.9204452.9204452.9204452.9204452.920445
Hôtel du Paradis, Paris. Joseph, un acteur vieillissant y séjourne chaque année avec sa sœur Sarah. Pendant son séjour parisien, il tente de mettre en scène La Chute de Camus. Son chemin croise celui d’autres personnalités bizarres séjournant à l’hôtel: Frédérique, photographe fuyant son ex-petit ami, Arthur, cinéaste potentiel, ainsi que Maurice, propriétaire endetté d’un théâtre. Un portrait intime d’un petit hôtel parisien et de ses habitants.
Saving Grace, 1h52
Directed by Robert Malcolm Young
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Actors Tom Conti, Fernando Rey, Erland Josephson, Giancarlo Giannini, Donald Hewlett, Patricia Mauceri
Roles Cardinal Stefano Biondi
Rating68% 3.4390353.4390353.4390353.4390353.439035
A year after his election, a youthful Pope (Conti) longs to be involved in ordinary people’s lives again, as he was when he was a priest.
L'été 36
L'été 36 (1986)
, 1h30
Directed by Yves Robert
Origin France
Genres Drama, Romance
Actors Christian Clavier, Anaïs Jeanneret, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Marie-Christine Barrault, Michel Aumont, Jean Carmet
Roles le général Saint-Aubert
Rating68% 3.420743.420743.420743.420743.42074
A l'été 36, les Français profitent de leurs premiers congés payés. Les vacanciers dansent le tango sous les fenêtres d'un manoir breton...
Black Arrow, 1h33
Directed by John Hough
Origin USA
Genres Adventure
Actors Oliver Reed, Fernando Rey, Donald Pleasence, Benedict Taylor, Georgia Slowe, Stephan Chase
Roles Warwick
Rating63% 3.196763.196763.196763.196763.19676
During the Wars of the Roses Sir Daniel is a powerful, unscrupulous knight, surrounded by equally treacherous retainers, Oates, Sykes, Appleyard, and Scar. Since the white rose of the House of York is in the ascendant, Sir Daniel and his household are loyal to York and the white rose. The film takes place just before the revolt of Richard, Earl of Warwick's rebellion against Edward IV (1469–1471).