Fernando Rey


Actor
Fernando Rey

About

Also Known As
Fernando Casado Arambillet
Birth Place
Spain
Born
September 20, 1917
Died
March 09, 1994
Cause of Death
Bladder Cancer

Biography

Dapper, durable international star, a leading man in his native Spain who played prominent roles in a wide variety of European and American features. An architecture student when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Rey saw his father, who fought for the Loyalists against Franco, sentenced to death (the sentence was later suspended). He also saw his family's wealth dwindle away and then beca...

Family & Companions

Mabel Karr
Wife
Actor. Married c. 1960; Argentinian.

Notes

He was awarded a Fine Arts Gold Medal by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1982.

He was knighted of Arts and Letters Awarded in 1986.

Biography

Dapper, durable international star, a leading man in his native Spain who played prominent roles in a wide variety of European and American features. An architecture student when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Rey saw his father, who fought for the Loyalists against Franco, sentenced to death (the sentence was later suspended). He also saw his family's wealth dwindle away and then became involved with the fighting as well. Needing money, Rey drifted into film work as an extra and kept busy dubbing voices from foreign films into Spanish, in several films as the voice of Laurence Olivier. Getting acting roles in the mid-1940s, the actor enjoyed success the following decade, performing for such leading Spanish directors as Juan Antonio Bardem and Luis Berlanga.

1961 marked a turning point in Rey's career when he made his first film for the iconoclastic and internationally renowned Luis Bunuel; the result was one of the finest films of the actor's career, "Viridiana" (1961). As the dense but somewhat nasty and always lustful uncle, Don Jaime, Rey enjoyed one of his best-remembered roles, relentlessly pursuing the eponymous heroine, a novice nun. Rey eventually racked up more than 150 feature credits, working for directors including Orson Welles ("Chimes at Midnight" 1966, excellent as Northumberland), Maurice Cloche ("The Viscount" 1967), Alberto Lattuada ("Bianco, Rosso e../White Red and.." 1971), Lina Wertmuller ("Seven Beauties" 1975), Vincente Minnelli ("A Matter of Time" 1976), Robert Altman ("Quintet" 1979), and Stephen Frears ("The Hit" 1984). Rey's work in Carlos Saura's "Elisa, mia vida" (1977) won him best actor honors at Cannes.

Usually sporting his trademark goatee, Rey possessed an aristocratic dignity which suited roles from statesmen to priests and made him ideal for historical sagas; one of his last films was Ridley Scott's misfire Columbus biopic, "1492: The Conquest of Paradise" (1992) and that same year, Rey enjoyed considerable acclaim in a Spanish TV miniseries as Don Quixote. In features Rey often portrayed urbane, cynical men weary of life. He reunited with Bunuel for three more films in the 70s, in which the witty master director would exploit Rey's expressive deadpan in roles as corrupt or dirty old men. He again corrupted a young woman (Catherine Deneuve) in the pensive yet deliciously perverse "Tristana" (1970), brought both class and wickedness to his ambassador in his award-winning performance in the witty "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) and again endured sexual frustration as he pursued a woman (played by two different actresses) in Bunuel's last film, "That Obscure Object of Desire" (1977). American audiences, however, probably still remember Rey best as the crafty drug lord Charnier in "The French Connection" (1971) and its 1975 sequel.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Other Side of the Tunnel (1994)
Madregilda (1993)
Atlantide (1992)
Father Mauritius
Despues del Sueno (1992)
Ramiro Lanza
El Quijote - Part 2 (1992)
Don Quixote
1492: The Conquest of Paradise (1992)
El Quijote - Part 1 (1992)
Don Quixote
Mi General (1992)
Comesana
Naked Tango (1991)
Judge Torres
La Batalla de los Tres Reyes (1990)
A Breath of Life (1990)
Doctor
Hard to Be a God (1989)
Pasodoble (1988)
Don Nuno
Bearn (1988)
Don Antonio
Diario de Invierno (1988)
Father
Le Grand embouteillage (1988)
Moon Over Parador (1988)
Esmeralda Bay (1988)
El Aire de un Crimen (1988)
The Tunnel (1988)
Allende
El Bosque Animado (1987)
Mr D'Abondo
Angel of Death (1987)
El Caballero del Dragon (1986)
Fray Lupo
Hotel du Paradis (1986)
Joseph Goldman
Saving Grace (1986)
Cardinal Stefano Biondi
Rustler's Rhapsody (1985)
Padre Nuestro (1985)
Cardinal
The Hit (1984)
Policeman
Una Strana Passione (1984)
Piachi
Nicole ou l'enfant trouve (1983)
Monsignor (1982)
La Straniera (1982)
Andre
Cercasi Gesu (1982)
Caboblanco (1981)
Vera Storia Della Signora Delle Camelie (1981)
Quintet (1979)
Grigor
The Crime of Cuenca (1979)
Congressman Contreras
Le Dernier Amant Romantique (1978)
Max
The Assignment (1977)
Bidarra
El Segundo Poder (1977)
Cardinal
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
Mathieu
Elisa, Vida Mia (1976)
A Matter of Time (1976)
Charles Van Maar
Voyage Of The Damned (1976)
The Context (1976)
Fatti di Gente Perbene (1975)
Seven Beauties (1975)
Pedro
French Connection II (1975)
Alain Charnier
Corruzione al Palazzo di Giustizia (1974)
Vanini
The Woman With Red Boots (1974)
Perrot
Dites-Le avec des fleurs (1974)
Jacques
Questa Specie d'Amore (1973)
Giovanna'S Father
La Chute D'Un Corps (1973)
Mage
La Duda (1972)
Don Rodrigo
Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
Rafael Acosta, Ambassador Of Miranda
The Light at the Edge of the World (1971)
Captain [Andrew] Moriz
The French Connection (1971)
Alain Charnier
Bianco, Rosso e... (1971)
Chief Physician
A Town Called Hell (1971)
Gli Occhi freddi della paura (1971)
The Adventurers (1970)
Jaime Xenos
Land Raiders (1970)
Priest
Tristana (1970)
Don Lope
Antony And Cleopatra (1970)
Lepidus
Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)
Quintero
The Young Rebel (1969)
Philip II
The Immortal Story (1969)
Merchant
Villa Rides (1968)
Fuentes
The Desperate Ones (1968)
Ibram
The Viscount (1967)
Marco Demoigne
Navajo Joe (1967)
Parson Rattigan
Run Like a Thief (1967)
Colonel Romero
El Greco (1966)
King Philip II
Return of the Seven (1966)
Priest
Son of a Gunfighter (1966)
Don Fortuna
Chimes at Midnight (1965)
Worcester
Scheherazade (1965)
Backfire (1965)
Face of Terror (1964)
Dr. Charles Taylor
The Running Man (1963)
Police official
The Ceremony (1963)
Sanchez
The Castilian (1963)
King of León [Ramiro II]
Goliath Against the Giants (1963)
Bokan
The Savage Guns (1962)
Don Hernán
Viridiana (1962)
Don Jaime
Attack of the Robots (1962)
The Revolt of the Slaves (1961)
Valerio
The Vengeance (1958)
Pantaloons (1956)
Don Inigo
The Miracle of Marcelino (1955)
Brother Moderno
Bienvenido Mister Marshall (1952)
Narrator

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Orson Welles' Don Quixote (1992)
Other

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Captain Cook (1989)
Sir Edward Hawke
A.D. (1985)
Black Arrow (1985)
Jesus of Nazareth (Do Not Use) (1977)
Origins of the Mafia (1974)

Life Events

1944

Film acting debut in "Eugenia de Montijo"

1954

Acted in the US Production, "The Siege"

1961

First film with director Luis Bunuel, "Viridiana"

1971

Played best-known English-language film role, that of druglord Alain Charnier in "The French Connection"

1977

Last film with Bunuel, "That Obscure Object of Desire"

1977

Played Gaspar on the TV miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth"

1985

Played Seneca on the TV miniseries sequel to "Jesus of Nazareth", "A.D." (Rey's role in this miniseries was unrelated to the one he played in the earlier program)

1989

Last major U.S. TV work, playing Sir Edward Hawk on the TNT historical miniseries, "Captain Cook"

1992

Starred as Don Quixote in a prestigious, made for Spanish TV series which was also released theatrically as "El Quijote, Parts 1 and 2"

1994

Last film, "Al Otro Lado del Tunel/At the Other End of the Tunnel"

Videos

Movie Clip

Chimes At Midnight (1965) - The Days That We've Seen Writer-director Orson Welles as Falstaff and Alan Webb as Shallow open, Ralph Richardson narrates and John Gielgud as Henry IV assumes control, in Welles’ under-financed project, shot over two years in Spain, sampling Falstaff’s story from five Shakespeare plays, Chimes At Midnight, 1965.
Tristana (1970) - God Rot His Soul Arresting opening from director Luis Bunuel, deaf kids including Saturno (Jesus Fernandez) playing soccer, his mother (Lola Gaos) and Catherine Deneuve (title character), who's the new ward of her boss Don Lope (Fernando Rey), visiting, on location in Toledo, from Tristana, 1970.
French Connection, The (1971) - Open, Marseilles Brief credits then a quick introduction of Charnier (Fernando Rey) in Marseilles, and the stalking of a victim by the mostly unseen Nicoli (Marcel Bozzuffi), from William Friedkin's The French Connection, 1971.
Viridiana (1962) - You Should Bid Him Farewell Director Luis Bunuel’s opening, from the picture which the fascist government of his native Spain invited him home to make, introducing Silvia Pinal as the title character, a novitiate being instructed by her superior (Rosita Yarza), then meeting her uncle (Fernando Rey), in Viridiana, 1962.
Viridiana (1962) - Who's There? Though not clear at the time, we’ll learn that Silvia Pinal (title character), visiting the uncle whom she barely knows, before she enters a convent, is sleepwalking, as he fiddles with the personal belongings of his late wife, whom she closely resembles, in Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana, 1962.
Immortal Story, The (1969) - The Idea Of Friendliness Following credits with writer-director Orson Welles and co-star Jeanne Moreau top-billed, Welles narrates his adaptation of the Isak Dinesen story, from her collection Anecdotes Of Destiny, Fernando Rey as a local denizen, Roger Coggio his clerk, in The Immortal Story, 1969.
Tristana (1970) - Lots Of Religion The bellringer (Jose Calvo) receives his son and friend Saturno (Jesus Fernandez), with new-in-town affluent orphan Catherine Deneuve (title character), who somehow slips into a dream, comforted by Saturno's mom (Lola Gaos), in Luis Bunuel's Tristana, 1970, shot on location in Toledo, Spain.

Trailer

Family

Fernando Rey
Son
Doctor. Mother Mabel Karr.

Companions

Mabel Karr
Wife
Actor. Married c. 1960; Argentinian.

Bibliography

Notes

He was awarded a Fine Arts Gold Medal by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1982.

He was knighted of Arts and Letters Awarded in 1986.

He was president of the Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences in his later years.