Along with Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Garcia Berlanga emerged as the only significant figure in domestic Spanish film production of the 1950s. He first achieved international acclaim as the director of...
Spanish actress Amparo Soler Leal has died at the age of 80. The veteran star passed away in Barcelona on Friday (25Oct13) after a long period of ill health.
Soler Leal rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s as a stage and screen actress and was known for her work with director Luis Garcia Berlanga, teaming up for a slew of projects, such as 1961's Placido, La Escopeta Nacional in 1978, and 1993's critically-acclaimed comedy Todos a la carcel.
Her filmography also includes 1976's Retrato de Familia with Antonio Gimenez-Rico, and Pedro Almodovar's 1984 comedy drama What Have I Done to Deserve This?.
She was married to actor and theatre director Adolfo Marsillach from 1954 and 1956, and was the widow of producer Alfredo Matas, who died in 1996.
The 79 year old passed away on Saturday (13Nov10) in Madrid.
Berlanga made his directorial debut in 1951, teaming up with late moviemaker/screenwriter Juan Antonio Bardem for That Happy Couple.
He was an outspoken critic of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the former Spanish head of state, and managed to find ways around strict censorship laws to make movies like 1959's Miracles on Thursdays.
He was also the man behind Welcome Mr. Marshall! and The Executioner, both of which have gone down as classics in the history of Spanish film. He also received high praise for Everyone to Jail! - the 1993 comedy which won him the Goya Award for Best Director.
Berlanga was also recognised by the Academy Awards, landing a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for Placido in 1961.
He is survived by his wife, Maria, and three sons.
Along with Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Garcia Berlanga emerged as the only significant figure in domestic Spanish film production of the 1950s. He first achieved international acclaim as the director of "Welcome Mr. Marshall" (1952), a comedy about the reaction of a small Spanish village to the Marshall Plan, which lifted Spanish cinema out of a fifteen-year doldrum. He earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film for 1961's "Placido", about an impoverished truck driver, and received the International Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival for "Not On Your Life" (1963), which dealt with a former undertaker's assistant who has second thoughts when he succeeds his father-in-law as the town's executioner. Berlanga's biggest commercial success came with "The National Shotgun" (1978), the first in a trilogy of films about the farcical effects of the post-Franco democracy on an aristocratic family. He also won attention with "Open Day in Jail/Todos a la Carcel" (1993), wherein an ambitious promoter proposes a tribute to political prisoners.
Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematograficas