Thursday, December 25, 2014

Remembering Armando Calvo

Armando Calvo was born Armando Calvo Pascual Lespier on December 25, 1919 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was the son of actor Juan Calvo and the older brother of actor Manolo Calvo [1928-1987]. Because of the work of his father, the family decided to settle in Spain, where Armando quickly was schooled. Since childhood he showed great interest in theater where at  just five years of age he makes his debut in the play “Barro sin”. He continued to work in the theater and only at the end of the 1930s did he begin to receive small roles in films, and for co-productions of Spain and Italy.
His most important role was in the film “El Escándalo de” (1943_ under the production of José Luis Sáenz de Heredia. With this character role, Armando became very popular in Spain, making it easier to find important roles. In 1945 he was in “Los últimos de Filipinas” where he shared credits with Fernando Rey and received great reviews for Best Actor.
Armando had made himself a name in Franco’s Spain and the Mexican producer Gregorio Wallerstein signed him to make a film with the ultimate Mexican female star of the era, the beautiful Maria Felix in the 1946 film, “La mujer de todos”. The film became a success despite continuing disputes that existed between both actors and filming became a big problem. From there Armando decided to be in Mexico, leaving his fame in Spain. Armando continued with other projects and participated in “Bel Ami” (1947) with actress Gloria Marín.
After nearly ten years in Mexico he returned to Spain to work in "El último cuplé” (aka “The Last Torch Song”) whith the actress Sarita Montiel. Armando started working in Spain, Mexico and Italy.
Calvo appeared regularly in Euro-westerns making eleven from “The Sign of Zorro” In 1962 to “A Fistful of Lead” in 1970. Some of his best remembered roles were in “Ringo the Face of Revenge” (1966) as the Fidel, “Killer Adios” (1968) as Bill Bragg.
Armando continued working as an actor and traveled to Spain and Italy constantly, while his wife Ursula Calvo remained in Madrid to care for their nine children. After Armando retired he spent his final years at home writing and painting, He suffered from emphysema and also had developed kidney problems. Calvo died of heart failure died on July 6, 1996 in Mexico City. He was 76 years old.
Today we remember Armando Calvo on what would have been his 95th birthday.

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