Basurto, Luis (1920–1990)

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Basurto, Luis (1920–1990)

Luis Basurto (b. 11 March 1920; d. 9 July 1990), Mexican playwright, actor, director, producer, and critic. A native of Mexico City, Basurto studied law, philosophy, and literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and began his career as a journalist. For many years he wrote film and theater reviews and a regular Thursday column in the Crónica de México. He was a tireless performer known throughout the Hispanic world. When he was awarded the Juan Ruiz de Alarcón Prize for literature shortly before his death, it was fitting tribute to a man who brought enormous talent and energy to the Mexican theater for more than fifty years.

Several of Basurto's twenty-six plays, some of which date from the 1940s, have become classics of the Mexican repertory. In more than 7,000 performances Cada quien su vida (1955) has shown with compassion and understanding the realities of Mexico's marginal classes during a New Year's Eve celebration. Other major works include Los reyes del mundo (1959), Con la frente en el polvo (1967), and El candidato de Dios (1986). At the time of his death Basurto was directing Corona de sangre (1990), the history of Padre Pro, who was executed for treason without trial in 1927 but had recently been beatified by the Vatican. Many of his plays have strongly Catholic themes. Basurto was adept at mixing sensational and often degenerate aspects of society with a strong social message.

See alsoJournalism in Mexico; Theater.


Frank Dauster, Historia del teatro hispanoamericano (siglos XIX y XX), 2d ed. (1973).

Additional Bibliography

Pacheco, Cristina, and Mauricio Sanders, eds. Al pie de la letra: Entrevistas con escritores. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005.

                                     George Woodyard