Actor, Comedian. Known universally by the name "Cantinflas," Charlie Chaplin referred to him as the 'funniest man in the world.' He was the second of 15 brothers born to a poor family. In his youth he had to work as a shoemaker, cab driver, bull fighter and on occasions had to help his father, a mailman, deliver the mail. He began to study Medicine in order to please his family but promptly left it behind. He was in the military and a professional boxer before trying his hand as a dancer and impersonator in the circus. One day during a show, the director asked him to go out and entertain the public because one of the actors was late. He was so nervous that he could not speak and his broken up speech made everyone laugh. He spoke about the town gossip, of the injustices of the life and of the ire of God. It was enough to gain him fame and a name, "Cantinflas." He joined the Follies Bergere Theater in 1935 and came to Hollywood in 1940. He was a master of humor, using evasive speech without summarizing ideas. He used humor as a weapon speaking of critical social, political and philosophical issues with a disguised language that earned him and his manner of speech a listing in the "Dicionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española." He made more than 90 feature films, with "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956) earning him an Oscar nomination and "Pepe" (1960) earning him a Special Achievement and Actor In a Leading Role Golden Globe. He was honored with a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and served as President of the Mexican Actors Union and Secretary of the Film Workers Union. When he died, the United States Senate held a minute of silence to honor his memory.
Bio by: Debbie
1917–1966 (m. 1934)