Extraordinarily prolific Mexican actor Hugo Stiglitz appeared in scores of low-budget, crowd-pleasing genre films from his native country, including "Survive!" (1976) and "Tintorera" (1977), which translated into international appeal and opportunities to appear in other foreign productions, including American pictures lensed in Mexico. Tall, rugged and exceedingly stoic - occasionally to the point of seeming ossified - Stiglitz began his career in 1969 and worked steadily throughout the 1970s, scoring hits throughout the world with the aforementioned titles, both gritty, grimy exploitation movies by writer-director Rene Cardona, Jr. These and other films helped to make Stiglitz a dependable box office presence throughout the world, which translated into roles in European and the occasional American film like "Under the Volcano" (1984). In the 1980s, Stiglitz worked almost exclusively in direct-to-video features, often pulling double duty as writer, director or producer. His cachet among Mexican audiences and American cult movie fans alike kept him busy into the 21st century while earning tributes from the likes of Quentin Tarantino, who borrowed the actor's name for Til Schweiger's violent rogue Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds" (2009). Throughout his long career, Hugo Stiglitz remained the rare Mexican screen star who also enjoyed popularity around the world.
Born August 28, 1940 in Mexico City, Mexico, Hugo Stiglitz made his screen debut in the 1969 comedy "Las fieras," which also marked his first collaboration with actor/filmmaker Rene Cardona, Jr. The actor and director would work together numerous times throughout the 1970s on a wide and often dizzying array of genre pictures, from children's pictures like "Robinson Crusoe" (1971) to odd horror efforts like "The Night of a Thousand Cats" (1972). Stiglitz and Cardona, Jr. attracted international attention in the mid-1970s with a string of gruesome exploitation titles, including "Sobrevivientes de los Andes" ("Survive!" 1976), about the infamous 1972 Andes flight disaster that forced its survivors to resort to cannibalism, and the "Jaws" (1977) knockoff "Tintorera" (1977), with Stiglitz, Dominican actor Andres Garcia and Susan George indulging in a love triangle while hunting a killer shark. The abundance of blood and skin in these and other Cardona-Stiglitz collaborations were popular among global audiences, which granted Cardona the opportunity to employ American actors - usually performers whose stateside careers were on the wane, like Arthur Kennedy, Stuart Whitman or Joseph Cotten - alongside Stiglitz in the berserk disaster thriller "Cyclone" (1978) and "Guyana: Cult of the Damned" (1979), a shamelessly lurid take on the Jonestown tragedy.
By the early 1980s, Stiglitz had graduated to lead and supporting roles in international productions; again, his output varied from grindhouse fare like Italian director Umberto Lenzi's gory "Nightmare City" (1980) to Hollywood output like John Huston's "Under the Volcano" (1984). By the end of the decade, he had settled into steady work as an actor in an astonishing number of Mexican films and direct-to-video titles - Stiglitz appeared in 18 projects in 2002 alone - while also doubling as writer, director and producer on several of his projects. Such a tireless schedule did much to preserve the actor's popularity among Spanish-speaking audiences, as evidenced by the overwhelming audience response to his guest role on the telenovela "Cielo Rojo" (Azteca 13, 2011-2012). In 2013, he was featured as comic actor Eugenio Derbez's domineering father in "Instructions Not Included," a blockbuster Mexican comedy feature that became the fourth highest-grossing foreign film released in America since 1980.