José Luis Borau Moradell was born on August 8, 1929 in Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain. He was the only son of a middle class couple, old enough to be his grandparents. During the Spanish civil war he was not sent to school by his overprotecting parents. From an early age, Borau had great love for literature and films. Following family pressure, he studied law in his native Zaragoza and worked at Madrid's Ministry of Housing in 1957. He began his career working for the regional newspaper Heraldo de Aragón as film critic. He pursued his interest in filmmaking by moving to Madrid and enrolling in the national film school IIEC (Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias de Cinematografia) where he specialized in film direction. He graduated with the short film “En el Río” (1960).
Borau followed this with a series of shorts and commercials for Spanish television. His first feature film was his only Euro-western: “Ride and Kill” (1963), a low low-budget Western starring Alex Nicol and Robert Hundar. He was credited as J.L. Boraw for director and Joe Baker for screenwriter.
He was president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1994–1998), and member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival in 1991. In February 2008 he was elected to the B seat of the Real Academia Española.
Borau died on November 23, 2012 in Madrid, Spain at the age of 83.
Today we remember José Luis Borau on what would have been his 85th birthday.