Actor Quique San Francisco dies at 65

A few years ago Quique San Francisco attended the premiere of a film in Bilbao. He narrowly arrived at the cinema escorted by a Civil Guard car. When the actor had a theatrical performance, he slept in a hotel next to the theater. It was the only way to make sure he would show up every night. Jorge Sanz, your partner on the construction site ‘Mom’s children’, assures that with him he learned Latin: nobody has forced him to improvise so much in each performance. San Francisco he rightly forged his title as the most cranky actor in Spanish cinema. He was best known among younger people for his appearances in ‘The Hormiguero’ that for a career that started in 1961 and that concluded last Christmas with the announcement of Campofrío, in which he ironically interpreted the grim reaper scythe in hand, his latest work according to IMDB.

The actor He died this Monday at 65 years old at the Hospital Clínico San Carlos in Madrid at not being able to overcome severe bilateral pneumonia that he had been admitted for several weeks. He spent 47 days at UCI. It is unknown whether the origin of the disease, one of the most severe conditions that the coronavirus can cause, is in a previous contagion of at covid-19. San Francisco gave an interview to the magazine ‘Hello!’ during his hospital stay in which he stated that he was sedated and intubated upon admission. He was unable to walk and still needed a respirator. The comedian dragged health problems for years, aggravated by the use of drugs in the past. In 2002 he suffered a serious motorcycle traffic accident that put him in a wheelchair for more than a year, during which time he stayed away from scenarios he had known since childhood.

An intense life dedicated to cinema, theater and television
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Born in Madrid in 1955, Quique San Francisco said that at the age of two he already made his debut in the theater, at six at the movies and at nine he dubbed the repellent boy from ‘Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang’. Son of the actors Enriqueta Cobo and Vicente Haro (whom he met as a teenager), he was a child prodigy, a handsome blond boy who worked with the best directors of Spanish cinema and that, already in his maturity, He reinvented himself as a stand-up comedian. In recent years he was further away from the cinema and devoted himself to the theater. His health problems became known precisely when the performance of the work with which he was on tour since 2018, ‘La penultima’, was suspended in Getxo on January 23. In some of his interviews, San Francisco magnified his rogue legend with episodes that ranged from sordid to hilarious. As soon as he confessed that he was ruined having been scammed by an agent of his union and that he lived in a cheap motel on the outskirts of Madrid, as he remembered his time in the Army as a precision marksman in the rifle corps.

Above, in ‘Navajeros’, below in ‘Orquesta Club Virginia’ and ‘El club de la comedia’.

Debt and drug addiction were a constant in his life. Before he was 10 years old, he had already appeared in films such as ‘Different’, ‘The blue balloon’ Y ‘Three sparrows and a beak’. As a teenager we saw him in series like ‘Curro Jiménez’, ‘Chronicles of a people’, ‘The rogue’ Y ‘Study 1’. Nevertheless, its popularity came from the hand of the quinqui cinema with three box office titles signed by Eloy de la Iglesia:‘Navajeros’, ‘Colegas’ and ‘El pico’. It was the 80s and Quique San Francisco he lived intensely the nights of the Madrid Movida. To that time belongs his most mediatic sentimental relationship with Rosario Flores, which he met filming a video clip of the singer. The break occurred, according to his own confession, because of drugs. In his filmography they stand out ‘Wonders’by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; ‘Sunrise, which is no small thing’by José Luis Cuerda; ‘The stunned king’by Imanol Uribe; ‘Mutant action’by Álex de la Iglesia; Y ‘Paris-Timbuktu’by Luis García Berlanga. It was twice candidate for the Goya as a supporting actor for ‘El baile del pato’ and ‘Orquesta Club Virginia’, but he was always resisted.

The bulging eyes and waxy voice by Quique San Francisco are part of the sentimental memory of everyone who has sat in front of a television in our country. Of ‘One two Three…’ a ‘The Cristal ball’, of ‘Thieves go to the office’ a ‘Tell me’. His bizarre life episodes range from being imprisoned in Nepal for having touched sacred animals to being detained when renewing the DNI when searching and capturing for a judicial summons that he forgot. When they went to put him in the patrol car, there was no room for him to go in a wheelchair. «I have not come to make history, but I would love that when people talk about me in a while they say ‘He was a great actor that I loved’», He acknowledged in a recent interview, in which he pointed out his epitaph: “Where is there a bar?”.

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