Alex Angulo: Spanish television and film comedian who appeared in 'Day of the Beast' and 'Pan's Labyrinth'
Monday 04 August 2014
Alex Angulo, who has died tragically in a traffic accident aged 61, was a remarkable repertory actor of the type that has marked the history of Spanish cinema.
He was the latest in a long line of Spanish comics whose apparent meekness invariably belied a wicked streak. Poe-faced, mild-mannered, short, bespectacled and balding, Angulo was never a star. His impeturbable demeanour gave force primarily to comedy (ofter playing the straight man to Santiago Segura) but at times playing subtlely understated characters in serious drama, such as Guillermo del Toro's 2006 Pan's Labyrinth.
His most celebrated role was as the priest Angel Berriatua in The Day of the Beast (1995). which earned him the first of three nominations for the Goya award (Spain's Oscars).
Alex de la Iglesia, who directed The Day of the Beast, led the tributes to Angulo in an emotional memorial held in Bilbao. De la Iglesia also hired Angulo to play the music promoter, agent and long-suffering go-between of the two rivals striving for success in Dying of Laughter (1999). Angulo specialised in this kind of function, mediating and negotiating – while simultaneously exposing from within.
Even his bit parts proved memorable. In the introductory sequences of Pedro Almodovar's Live Flesh (1998), he played the bus driver brow-beaten into helping deliver a prostitute's (Penelope Cruz) child aboard the bus he was driving.
Born in 1953 in the Basque Country, Angulo worked as a schoolteacher before joining "Karraka", the Bilbao-based theatre troupe directed by Ramon Barea with whom Angulo would often collaborate throughout his career.
His work in film was complemented by a successful career as a television actor, most notably in the long-running series Periodistas in which, as Blas Castellote, he shared the screen with some of Spain's major actors such as Belen Rueda and Jose Coronado.
Angulo's domination of the comic register marked him out as a singular voice – an everyman – of his generation. There are few actors who have better exploited the humorous effects of facial hair. With his Groucho Marx moustache, and densely-populated eyebrows, he made a virtue out of the nondescript.
A prolific actor – he participated in more than 60 films – Angulo was in the midst of shooting a new film, Bendita calamidad, at the time of his death.
Alejandro Angulo Leon, comedian and actor: born Erandio, Vizcaya, Spain 12 April 1953; died 20 July 2014.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...