Saturday, October 13, 2012

Remembering Antonio Vilar

 Antonio Justinanodos dos Santos was born in Lisbon, Portugal on October 13, 1912. Known to movie fans as Antonio Vilar he was one of the most famous actors of his time, working both at home and abroad (notably in Spain, France, Italy, Argentina and Brazil). In the 1950s, he became friends with Virgilio Teixeira, one of the biggest national actors seen in international films. At 18 he became an amateur actor, then was discovered by director Leitão de Barros who gave him a small role in “A Severa” (1931), the first Portuguese sound film. Vilar continued his film career with small roles in “Feitiço do Império” (1940) e “Pão Nosso” (1940). But his face became only familiar to the Portuguese public with his performance in “O Pátio das Cantigas” (1942), where he played the role of guitarist Carlos Bonito and opposite Laura Alves, António Silva, Vasco Santana and Ribeirinho. Gradually, he became one of the most sought-after heartthrobs of the Portuguese cinema: for Simão Botelho he appeared in “Amor de Perdição” (1943), where he was half of a romantic couple with Carmen Dolores, and in “Camões” (1946), before moving to Spain, where he lived until the end of his life. Between 1946 and 1978, he starred in nearly 40 films Castilians, among which were “La Mantilla Beatriz” (1946), “Santa Reina” (1947), “Una Mujer Cualquiera” (1949), “Don Juan” (1950), “Alba de America” (1951), “El Redentor” (1957), “Muerte Al Amanecer” (1959), “Command Asessinos” (1967) and “Disco Rojo” (1973). During this period, he also worked in Brazil “Guarany” (1948), in Italy, where he starred in “Honra e Sacrifício” (1949) and “Il Padrone delle Ferriere” (1959). Vilar returned to Portugal to head the cast of “O Primo Basílio” (1959 ) with António Lopes Ribeiro and shot sporadically in France, appearing alongside Brigitte Bardot in “La Femme et le Pantin” (1959). Vilar appeared in one Euro-western as Ronald Hoffman in “Have a Nice Funeral” (1970) with Gianni Garko. His last film was in “Estimado Señor Juez” (1978). In the following years, he pursued his dream of producing, performing and playing in an epic about Ferdinand Magellan, having spent his personal fortune in pre-production of the film, but was refused government subsidies by Portugal and Spain. To this end, he managed to build a replica of a ship in the fleet of Magellan, which was offered to the National Commission of the Portuguese Discoveries, after his death on August 16, 1995 in Madrid, Spain. Today we remember Antonio Vilar on what would have been his 100th birthday.


  1. Vilar was born October 31st, apparently:

  2. Some sources says that he was born at 13th and others 31th. But after a research that i made, I believe that 13th it's the correct one.