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Pedro Gregorio Armendáriz Hastings (Mexico City, May 9, 1912-Los Angeles, California, June 18, 1963) was an actor of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema that also He participated in Hollywood and European films and was the father of the actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
He was the son of the Mexican Pedro Armendáriz García-Conde and the American Adela Hastings, and father of the actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr .. He lived with his parents in Texas and studied there for a while, later he continued with his studies in San Luis Obispo, California where he finished his engineering career at the California State Polytechnic.
After finishing his studies, he moved to Mexico City where he was employed as a railroad worker, tourist guide and journalist for the bilingual magazine Mexico Real.
It was discovered by the film director Miguel Zacarías when Armendariz recited Hamlet’s monologue to an American tourist. He filmed his first film Maria Elena at the age of 22 and has since performed in dozens of films alternating Mexican and American films.
He was the favorite actor of Emilio Fernández, with whom he would perform some of his best films like Soy puro mexicano (1941), Flor silvestre (1942), María Candelaria (1943), Bugambilia (1945), Enamorada (1946) and La pearl (1947), alternating with such mythical figures as Dolores del Río and María Félix.
He also participated in productions in France, Spain, Italy and England. In Hollywood, his work was famous in films like Fort Apache (1948), and under the orders of directors such as John Ford, John Huston or Michael Curtiz. Armendáriz was fluent in both Spanish and English.
In 1956 he participated in the sadly famous film The Conqueror, produced by Howard Hughes. This tape was filmed in the US state of Utah, near the site where the US government had conducted nuclear tests in the neighboring state of Nevada. Radioactivity affected many of the film’s participants, who would later die of cancer.
91 of the 220 people involved in the production of the film became ill with cancer and 46 of them died as a result of this disease, including actors John Wayne (cancer of the stomach and lung), Susan Hayward (brain cancer) , Agnes Moorehead (lung cancer), John Hoyt (lung cancer). In addition to these, the director of the film, Dick Powell (cancer of the lymph nodes) and the double Chuck Robertson.
Armendariz participated in the second film of the James Bond series, filmed in 1963, with Sean Connery, From Russia with Love, in the role of Kerim Bey, head of the Turkish Secret Service, helping James Bond in the mission of entrusted intelligence. By then, he was showing the first symptoms of stomach cancer. His death occurred before the premiere of the film, which took place in October 1963.
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