FRANCISCO RABAL Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » francisco rabal


Name: Francisco Rabal                                                               
Born: 8 March 1926 Águilas, Murcia, Spain                                           
Died: 29 August 2001 Bordeaux , France                                               
Francisco Rabal (March 8, 1926 - August 29, 2001), perhaps better known as Paco     
Rabal, was a Spanish actor born in Águilas, a small town in the province of         
Murcia, Spain.                                                                       
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War broke out. Rabal and his family left Murcia and       
moved to Madrid. Young Francisco had to work as a street salesboy and in a           
chocolate factory. When he was 13 years old, he left school to work as an           
electrician at Estudios Chamartín.                                                 
Rabal got some sporadic jobs as an extra. Dámaso Alonso and other people advised   
him to try his luck with a career in theater.                                       
During the following years, he got some roles in theater companies such as Lope     
de Vega or María Guerrero. It was there that he met Asunción Balaguer; they       
married and remained together for life. Their daughter, Teresa Rabal, is also an     
In 1947, Rabal got some regular jobs in theater. He used his full name,             
Francisco Rabal, as stage name. However, the people who knew him always called       
him Paco Rabal. (Paco is the familiar form for Francisco.) "Paco Rabal" became       
his unofficial stage name.                                                           
During the late 1940s, Rabal began acting in movies as an extra, but it was not     
until 1950 that he got some speaking roles in cinema. He only needed a few years     
to fully consolidate his career in this new medium, mainly thanks to Luis Buñuel   
and to his ease in roles as a beau or as a rogue. He starred in three films         
directed by Buñuel - Nazarín (1959), Viridiana (1961) and Belle de jour (1966).   
William Friedkin thought of Rabal for the French villain of his 1971 movie The       
French Connection. However, he could not remember the name of "that Spanish         
actor". Mistakenly, his staff hired another Spanish actor, Fernando Rey.             
Friedkin discovered that Rabal did not speak English or French, so he decided to     
keep Rey. Rabal has previously worked with Rey in Viridiana.                         
Throughout his carrier, he worked in France, Italy and Mexico with famed             
directors such as Gillo Pontecorvo, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti,       
Luis Buñuel, Valerio Zurlini, Jacques Rivette, Alberto Lattuada, etc.               
It is widely considered that Rabal's best performances came after Francisco         
Franco's death on 1975. In the 1980s, Rabal starred in Los Santos Inocentes,         
winning the Award as Best Actor in Cannes Film Festival, in El Disputado Voto       
del Señor Cayo and also in the TV series Juncal. In the 1999 he played the         
character of Francisco Goya in Carlos Saura ' Goya en Burdeos, winning a Goya       
Award as Best Actor.                                                                 
Francisco Rabal is the only Spanish actor to have received a honoris causa           
doctoral degree from the University of Murcia.                                       
Rabal died in 2001 from compensatory dilating emphysema, while on an airplane       
travelling to Bordeaux, when he was coming back from receiving an Award at           
Montreal Film Festival.