Spanish actor Francisco (Paco) Rabal died Wednesday August 29 on his way home to Spain from the Montreal World Film Festival, where he was part of a tribute this week.
Rabal was also scheduled to receive a Donostia Award at next month's San Sebastian International Film Festival. The Spanish Festival released a statement mourning the loss of an actor, friend and man who was "always faithful to his ideas and principles [and] will be impossible to forget."
Rabal, 75, burst onto the international scene in the 1960s thanks to director Luis Bunuel and films such as Father Nazario (Nazarin, 1958), Viridiano (1961) and Belle De Jour (1966).
In 1984 Rabal received a best actor award at Cannes for Mario Camus' The Holy Innocents (Los Santos Inocentes). More recently he was given a standing ovation when he won Spain's best actor Goya award in 1999 for his role in Carlos Saura's Goya In Bordeaux (Goya En Burdeos). He had been honored with many of Spain's most prestigious national film awards over the years.
An accomplished stage actor with film writing and directing credits to his name as well, Rabal acted in close to 200 feature films in a career spanning more than half a century. His wife of 50 years, Asuncion Balaguer, is also an actress, as is his grandson Liberto Rabal (Live Flesh).
The San Sebastian Festival says it will carry through on plans to honor Rabal in its forthcoming September edition. Rabal and wife Balaguer both appear in Mexican director Beto Gomez's El Sueno Del Caiman, which screens in the new directors competition at San Sebastian.