Born Anthony Rudolph Oaxaca Quinn on April 21, 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico. Quinn and his family left Mexico for the United States shortly after his birth and eventually settled in Los Angeles, California. His father died when he was only nine years old. Quinn then quit school and worked odd jobs to help support his family.
In 1936, Quinn made the leap into the acting profession. That year he had a role in the play “Clean Beds” (1936) with Mae West and appeared in the film “Parole!” (1936). This opened the door to other film roles, often playing the part of the villain.
Quinn made some of his finest films in the 1950s and 1960s. He played Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in “Viva Zapata” (1952), a performance that won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Quinn received that same honor again in 1956 for his portrayal of the painter Paul Gauguin in “Lust for Life” with Kirk Douglas. He was also nominated for Best Actor in 1957 for “Wild Is the Wind” and in 1964 for “Zorba the Greek”. Quinn achieved box-office success with starring roles in “The Guns of Navarone” (1961) with Gregory Peck and David Niven and “Laurence of Arabia” (1962) with Peter O'Toole. He appeared in two Euro-westerns “Guns for San Sebastian” (1967) and “Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears” (1972).
During the course of his career, Quinn appeared in more than 200 films. In his later years, he took on fewer acting roles and pursued his interest in art by painting, sculpting, and designing jewelry. Married three times, Quinn is said to have fathered 13 children. He died of respiratory failure on June 3, 2001, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Today we remember Anthony Quinn on what would have been his 95th birthday.
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