Viridiana and El Verdugo actress dies aged 94 after a career spanning almost 70 years

Veteran Spanish actress Maria Isbert died Monday April 25 in Villarrobledo, Albacete after an impressive film career that spanned nearly 70 years and more than 200 films.

Isbert was a celebrated film and theatre actress, most noted for her comedy roles, having worked with some of the biggest names in Spanish film history, including Luis Buñuel on his Palme d’Or winning film Viridiana (1961).

Other key titles on her extensive resume include Luis Garcia Berlanga’s comedy-drama El Verdugo (1963), in which she starred alongside Nino Manfredi, Luis Lucia’s musical-comedy Un Rayo De Luz (1960), Jose Luis Cuerda’s fantasy-comedy The Animated Forest (1987), and more recently Javier Fesser’s Mortadelo Y Filemon: The Grand Adventure (2003), which was hugely successful at the Spanish box office.

Isbert is part of an acting dynasty. Her father Jose “Pepe” Isbert also enjoyed a long and illustrious career in film - he starred alongside his daughter in El Verdugo - and two of Maria’s seven children, Toni and Carlos, are also actors.

She died at the Villarrobledo hospital, four days after her 94th birthday, and will be buried in the Tarazona de la Mancha cemetery alongside her father.