Spain awoke Thursday morning to the news that veteran director and scriptwriter Juan Antonio Bardem had died on Wednesday in Madrid at the age of 80.

After getting his start as co-scripter on Luis Garcia Berlanga's Welcome Mr Marshall (Bienvenido Mr Marshall), celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, he directed such classics as Calle Mayor (1956) and Death Of A Cyclist (Muerte De Un Ciclista) (1955).

Bardem was highly regarded as one of the fathers of modern Spanish cinema. People often talk of the "three B's" of Spanish cinema: Bardem, Luis Garcia Berlanga and Luis Bunuel.

The son of actors, Bardem was also patriarch to one of Spanish cinema's most recognized dynasties, including sister Pilar and nephew Javier, both actors; nephew Carlos, a writer and actor; and sons Miguel, a director, and Juan, a composer.