Cantinflas (1911–1993)

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Cantinflas (1911–1993)

(Mario Moreno; b. 12 August 1911; d. 20 April 1993), Mexican comedian and film star. Cantinflas began studies in medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), but dropped out for a career as a popular stage comedian in carpas (traveling stage shows). From the onset, Cantinflas created a unique comic persona, dressing in ragged clothes, his pants close to falling off, and using a rapid, nonsensical manner of speech. He debuted in cinema with a small part in No te engañes corazón (1936). The two films that followed, Así es mi tierra (1937) and Águila o Sol (1937), marked Cantinflas as a rising star. His role in Ahí está el detalle (1940) assured his popularity and success. Cantinflas went on to star in over forty features. Among his best-known and praised films are El gendarme desconocido (1941), El 7 machos (1951), El bombero atómico (1952), Ni sangre ni arena (1941), El señor fotógrafo (1952), and Abajo el telón (1954). He also starred in two Hollywood productions, Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and Pepe (1960). Cantinflas, whose career spanned over fifty years, is Mexico's best-known film celebrity, both nationally and internationally.

See alsoCinema: From the Silent Film to 1990 .


Luis Reyes De La Maza, El cine sonoro en México (1973).

E. Bradford Burns, Latin American Cinema: Film and History (1975).

Carl J. Mora, Mexican Cinema: Reflections of a Society: 1896–1980 (1982).

John King, Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Gómez, Cristina. Mario Moreno Cantinflas. Madrid: Dastín, 2003.

Rutiaga, Luis. Mario Moreno Cantinflas. Mexico, D.F.: Grupo Ed. Tomo, 2004.

Stevens, LLan. The Riddle of Cantinflas. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

                                         David Maciel