The actor Juan Diego has died today at dawn at the age of 79, as confirmed by the Film Academy and the Association of Performing Artists, Management Society (AISGE) through Twitter. The Film Academy has recalled that the actor, born in 1942 in the Sevillian town of Bormujos de Aljarafe (Seville), was an academic and among his numerous awards he had three Goyas, five awards for best actor at the Malaga Festival and the Concha Silver for Best Actor at the San Sebastian Festival for his work in “Vete de mí”, by Víctor García León.
As confirmed by the office of the interpreter’s representative, Paloma Juanes, Juan Diego has died this morning. It is still unknown where his body will be veiled. In a meeting with the media in September in the Leonese town of Astorga, the actor pointed out that he had “all the desire in the world to continue working” because he does not know how to do anything else and stressed that the most important thing in life is being able to dedicate yourself to the profession you have chosen. The actor starred in several emblematic titles of Spanish cinema such as the holy innocents either Paris-Timbuktu and also has a long career in the world of theater.
He won three Goya Awards and had nine nominations. He is also remembered for movies like The king stunned and,Among his last works as an interpreter in the cinema and theater were I don’t know how to say goodbye (2016) and The cat on the tin roof (2017), respectively, and in television series he is remembered, for example, for Paco’s men.
A long career
Diego Ruiz Moreno, better known as Juan Diego, was born on December 14, 1942 in the Sevillian town of Bormujos de Aljarafe. He began studying Dramatic Art during his adolescence and then took his first steps at the Teatro Español Universitario (TEU) de Filosofía y Letras in Seville.
At the age of 18, he moved to Madrid and combined his rehearsals in amateur theater groups with “extra” work on TV shows. TVElike the series My son and I (1962), together with María Fernanda Ladrón de Guevara. She made her professional debut in 1964 with performances of the Emilio Romero comedy mid-afternoon stories and, in 1966, inside the cinema Fantasy…3by Eloy de la Iglesia, with whom he repeated in Something bitter in the mouth (1969).
During that stage he joined the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), a group he left in 1982 and was one of the promoters of the historic actors’ strike of 1975. In 1976 he played Che Guevara on the big screen and worked in Calderón’s work The life is dream and the TV series Romeo and Julietand in 1977 he played Larra in the play detonation.
During the 70s he took part in more than half a dozen films and, from 1979, he directed the theater group of the Communist Group of the Madrid neighborhood of Usera. It was in the 1980s when he played some of his most remembered roles: He began the holy innocents (1984) by Mario Camus; which he followed pharaoh’s court (1985), with José Luis García Sánchez; the journey to nowhere by Fernando Fernán Gómez (1986); fast dragon (1986), by Jaime Camino, where he played Franco; Shardskin (1987), by Antonio Giménez-Rico; Two-step (1989), by José Luis García Sánchez; either The dark night (1989), with Carlos Saura.
The following decade brought him the New York Film Critics ACE Award for Best Spanish-Speaking Actor for Cow’s head (1991), by the Mexican Nicolás Echevarría. And in 1992 he received the Goya for best supporting actor for Imanol Uribe’s film the stunned king (1991), where he played Father Villaescusa.
After almost ten years of absence, he returned to the theater performing at Madrid’s Teatro Alfil with There’s no way to paradise, baby, which earned him the Actors Union Award. Other films of his were Tyrant Flags by José Luis García Sánchez (1993), the adaptation of barren made by Pilar Távora (1998) and Paris-Timbuktu (1999), by Luis García Berlanga.
For the latter he won the Goya for best supporting actor. On television he starred in the Argentine series by Luis Barone Pepe Carvalho (1993) and the Spanish Stories of the whore mili (1994) and Father Courage (2002), with the latter he won the Actors Union Award. She also appeared in movies like: You’re the one (2000), by José Luis Garci; November (2002), by Achero Mañas; the life that awaits you (2003), by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; the seventh day from Saura (2004); the way of the english (2006), by Antonio Banderas; Y go away from me (2006), a film by Víctor García León that earned him the Goya for best actor, as well as the Silver Shell at the San Sebastián Festival, the Union of Actors Award and the Silver Frames in the same category.
He also participated in Fort Apache (2007), debut feature by Mateu Adrover; casual-day (2008), a film by Max Lemcke; the comedy pink and black (2010), by the French Gerard Jungnot; and the 23-F (2011) by Chema de la Peña, with which he is nominated for the Goya for Best Supporting Actor. And in the theater he embodied Don Juan in the Sevillian Lope de Vega (2007).
In 2012 he premiered all is silence (José Luis Cuerda), a feature film with Galician drug trafficking as a backdrop and premiered at the Valladolid International Film Week. he also rolled nightfall in indiaby director Chema Rodríguez, which premiered in 2014. In theater, in November 2012, he began a tour throughout Spain with the mother tonguea text written by Juan José Millás, which was on the bill for more than two years.
His professional career was recognized with a long list of awards such as the Max Performing Arts Award for best actor, the three aforementioned Goya awards (two for best supporting actor and one for best leading man), the ACE Award from New York York for the best Spanish-speaking actor of 1991 or the Gold Medal of Fine Arts (2006).
Also the 2017 Ercilla Award or the Gold Medal from the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain, Fotogramas de Plata, Best Andalusian Actor Award from the Andalusian Association of Film Writers, RTVA award for his career at the Film Festival of Cine 100% de Sevilla or Malaga Prize for his career at the aforementioned Film Festival, among many others. In 2020, Castilla-La Mancha Workers’ Commissions awarded him the “Atocha Lawyers” Award for his life devoted to work and his defense of freedoms.