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Writings on film. Shock and art. There may be blood.

Francisco Rabal

Francisco Rabal circa 1960
Best known for:

Belle De Jour


Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

Related artists:

Luis Buñuel


Best Actor, Cannes, 1984

Lifetime Achievement, Montreal WFF


Francisco "Paco" Rabal was perhaps Spain's premier actor and was extremely popular with audiences as well as industry professionals. He appeared in around 200 films over the second half of the 20th century, a number of which are considered masterpieces. Site visitors who aren't interested in all that high-minded stuff will appreciate his appearances in Nightmare City and Dagon. The latter appearance surprised the Spanish film industry and was made due to his fanhood of H.P. Lovecraft's work.

Rabal was a popular leading man in his youth and turned down a number of offers from Hollywood. Age and injury took their toll on his appearance, but his acting matured and he continued to work steadily for several decades. He worked with a number of notable directors, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Pedro Almodovar and, in particular, Luis Buñuel.

Rabal died on an airplane while returning from the Montreal World Film Festival, at which he had been honored with a lifetime achievement award. News of his death caused attendees to cry openly. Dagon, which was filmed shortly before his death, was dedicated to his memory. Francisco is the grandfather of Live Flesh star Liberto Rabal.

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