Ignacio López Tarso (born Ignacio López López on January 15, 1925 in Mexico City, Mexico) is a Mexican actor of stage, film and television. He has acted in about 50 films and appeared in documentaries and in one short feature. In 1973 he was given the Ariel Award for Best Actor for Rosa Blanca, and the Ariel de Oro lifetime achievement award in 2007. He has also been honored multiple times at the TVyNovelas Awards.
Early life and education:
López was born in Mexico City to parents Alfonso López Bermúdez and Ignacia López Herrera. Because of his father's job, he spent his childhood among several cities including Veracruz, Hermosillo, Navojoa and Guadalajara. His siblings are Alfonso and Marta. At around age 8-9, when he was in Guadalajara, his parents took him to see a play, where he became interested in acting.
He lived in Valle de Bravo, Estado de México, where he went to secondary school. Although his family's economic problems kept him from attending high school, he joined seminaries in Temascalcingo, Estado de México and Mexico City to continue his education. During his time there, a visiting priest from the United States organized a group to perform plays, in which he participated. He learned to read oral poetry and books of classical plays, including those by Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca.
When he was 20, he joined the military service at Querétaro, where he was in barracks for about a year. He also served in the Veracruz and Monterrey regiments, and eventually reached First Sergeant grade. After completing his service, he declined an opportunity to attend military school, even though he liked the discipline.
He worked in Mexico City as a sales agent for a clothing company. He aspired to work in the United States, and planned to work at an orange grove in Merced, California. However, a few days in, he fell from a tree and injured his vertebrate. He returned to Mexico City for rehabilitation therapy which lasted about a year.
While López was in therapy, he read books on poetry and theatre, and became a fan of author Xavier Villaurrutia. After his recovery, he heard that Villaurrutia was teaching theatre at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, so he visited him, initially to ask for his autograph, but then was invited to listen in on his lessons. After a few days, he formally joined the theatre academy at age 24. When Villaurrtia advised Lopez to pick a stage name, he changed from "López López" to "López Tarso", the Tarso was Spanish for Paul the Apostle's hometown of Tarsus, and also one of the cities in Mexico that Lopez had also once lived. Besides Villaurrutia, he studied under other masters such as Salvador Novo, Clementina Otero, Celestino Gorostiza, André Moreau, Seki Sano, Fernando Wagner and Fernando Torre Lapham.
López Tarso's professional stage debut was in 1951 for the play Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin. He would also perform in several William Shakespeare plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. Other productions included: The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, Hippolytus by Euripides, La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, The Miser by Molière, El villano en su rincón by Lope de Vega, The Mayor of Zalamea by Calderón de la Barca, and Exit the king by Eugène Ionesco. He also performed works from authors Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, Guillén de Castro, Hugo Argüelles, Emilio Carballido, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, over a hundred productions throughout his career.
López Tarso's film debut was in 1954 where he played a minor character in La desconocida, which was directed by Chano Urueta.
He played the title character Macario, a supernatural drama directed by Roberto Gavaldón set in the Day of the Dead. The film was entered into the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. and was the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1961. He himself won a Golden Gate Award for Best Actor at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1960, and would win another for his work in the 1963 film The Paper Man, directed by Ismael Rodríguez.
In 1961, López Tarso starred in Rosa Blanca, directed by Gavaldon. Because the film was censured by political interests of the time, it was not released until 1972. He won the Ariel Award for Best Actor in 1973. Other notable movie performances included: Cri Cri, el grillito cantor (1963), directed by Tito Davison; La vida inútil de Pito Pérez (1969), directed by Gavaldón; The prophet Mimi (1972), directed by José Estrada; Rapiña (1973), directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada; and The bricklayers (1976), directed by Jorge Fons.
As part of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, López Tarso has acted in over fifty films, sharing star roles with actors such as Dolores del Río, María Félix, Marga López, Carlos López Moctezuma, Elsa Aguirre, Luis Aguilar, Katy Jurado, Irasema Dilián, Pedro Armendáriz and Emilio el indio Fernández.
Besides film, López Tarso has appeared in over twenty television series, and has released eight albums, many of which he recites poems and corridos about the Mexican Revolution. At one time, he served as a politician and became a federal deputy. He also had jobs in various organizations and trade-unions related to the actor and cinematographic associations.
López Tarso married Clara Aranda. They have three children: Susana, Gabriela and Juan Ignacio, the last of whom became an actor Juan Ignacio Aranda.
Awards and accolades:
López Tarso has won many Mexican and international awards including the following:
Golden Gate Award (San Francisco International Film Festival 1960, United States) Best Actor for Macario.,
Golden Gate Award (San Francisco International Film Festival 1963, United States) Best Actor for The Paper Man.,
Ariel Award (Mexican Academy of Film, 1973, Mexico) Best Actor for Rosa Blanca.,
Association of Latin Entertainment Critics Award (2001, United States).,
Hispanic Heritage Society Award (2006, United States).,
Ariel de Oro (Mexican Academy of Film, 2007, Mexico) for his lifetime achievement in the film industry. Shared award with the cinematographer, Rosalío Solano.,
TVyNovelas Awards (Mexican Award 2011, Mexico) for his lifetime achievement on stage. Shared award with the actress, Silvia Pinal,
El profeta Mimí
Best Male Antagonist
El derecho de nacer
Best First Actor
Senda de gloria
Imperio de cristal
La casa en la playa
De pocas, pocas pulgas
La desconocida (1954),
Chilam Balam (1955),
Felíz año, amor mío (1955),
Vainilla, bronce y morir (Una mujer más) (1956),
The Soldiers of Pancho Villa (La cucaracha) (1958),
Empty star (La estrella vacía) (1958),
El hambre nuestra de cada día (1959),
Ellas también son rebeldes (1959),
Macario (filmed 1959, released 1960),
Sonatas (Aventuras del Marqués de Bradomin) (1959),
Juana Gallo (1960),
La sombra del caudillo (1960),
Y Dios la llamó tierra (1960),
My son, the hero (Los hermanos del hierro) (1961),
Rosa Blanca (filmed 1961, released 1972),
Heart of a child (Corazón de niño) (1962),
Días de otoño (1962),
Furia en el edén (1962),
The bandit (La bandida) (1962),
Cri Cri, el grillito cantor (1963),
The Paper Man (El hombre de papel) (1963),
Un hombre en la trampa (1963),
The golden cockerel (El gallo de oro) (1964),
Always Further On (Tarahumara) (1964),
Pedro Páramo (1966),
Las visitaciones del diablo (1967),
Largo viaje hacia la muerte (L.S.D.) (1967),
The door and the woman of the butcher (La puerta y la mujer del carnicero), episode: The woman of the butcher (1968),
La trinchera (1968),
La vida inútil de Pito Pérez (1969),
La generala (1970),
Cayó de la gloria el diablo (1971),
The prophet Mimi (El profeta Mimí) (1972),
En busca de un muro (1973),
Resigned for reasons of health (Renuncia por motivos de salud) (1975),
La casta divina (1976),
The Bricklayers (Los albañiles) (1976),
Los amantes fríos, episode: El soplador de vidrio (1977),
The children of the Sanchez (Los hijos de Sánchez) (1977),
Toña Machetes (1983),
Under the Volcano (Bajo el volcán) (1984),
The other (El otro) (1984),
Muelle rojo (1987),
Banderas, the tyrant (Tirano Banderas) (1993),
Reclusorio, episode: Quiero quedarme en la cárcel (1995),
Santo Luzbel (1996),
Ángela (telenovela) (1998),
Mar de Amor (2009/2010),
La fuerza del destino (2011),
La que no podia amar (2011),
Corazón indomable (2013),
La Malquerida (2014),