Friday, June 9, 2023

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Manuel Arbó

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Manuel Arbó del Val was born in Madrid, Spain on July 18, 1898. He appeared in more than 200 films between 1915 and 1970. While preparing to enter the Military Academy, he discovered his true calling in the theater. At the age of seventeen he made his debut at the María Isabel Theater in Madrid with the company of Ernesto Vilches, in which he remained sixteen years and where he met his wife, the Mexican Virginia Barragán. With that company, Arbó toured America for ten years. During this time he made his film debut in 1915 in a still silent film shot by Alberto Marro and Joan María Codina with the title of “Barcelona y sus misterioso” (Barcelona and Its Mysteries), in which he found success, which led to his continuation with another film: “El testamento de Diego Rocafort” (The Testament of Diego Rocafort).

When sound films appeared at the end of the 1920s the major Hollywood studios began making alternate version of their films in Spanish, French and German so not to lose their European markets.  While Arbó was acting in Cuba, he became aware of the Spanish productions that were being shot in Hollywood, so he moved to Los Angeles to offer his services to the different studios. There he appeared in such films as he participated in a short film entitled “El Dios del mar” (The God of the Sea) produced by Paramount Pictures. He began the 1930s with an appearances in “Oriente y Occidente” (East and West) directed by George Melford with Universal Pictures. He’d go on to appear in a dozen more including a role as a nurse in Tod Browning’s “Dracula” directed in Spanish by George Melford,

After his return to Madrid, he stayed for a season at the Teatro Lara, but rejoined the cinema in 1933 with the film “Odio”, directed by Richard Harlan.

He remained in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War, acting in theater productions and appearing in up to a dozen films a year. As the years passed his memory began to fade so he was given smaller roles until his definitive retirement from the big screen, in 1966, in the film “Vestido de novia”, directed by Ana Mariscal. In all Arbo appeared in over two hundred and twenty films and TV appearances between 1915 and 1966.

Arbo was married to the actress Virginia Barragán [1870-1950] from 1932-1950 and fathered two children. He died in Madrid on May 25, 1973.

ARBO, Manuel (aka Manvel Arbó, Manuel Arbó Clarin, Arbó de Val) (Manuel Arbó del Val) [7/18/1898, Madrid, Madrid, Spain – 5/25/1973, Madrid, Madrid, Spain] – theater, film actor, married to actress Virginia Maria Barragán [1870-1950] (1932-1950) father of two children.

Juanito – 1959

Three Swords of Zorro – 1963 (tavern patron)

Bullets Don’t Argue – 1964 (banker)



  1. El de la imagen es JUAN CORTES

  2. Thanks! I've deleted the photo and replaced it with another photo of Arbo.

  3. Manuel Arbo was born 125 years ago on my birthday, July 18th. But don't let that fool ya. I'm not THAT old. LOL (I was born in 1993 if anyone's asking).