Fernando Lamas

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Fernando Lamas

Lamas in the 1960s.
BornFernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos
(1915-01-09)January 9, 1915
Buenos Aires, Argentina
DiedOctober 8, 1982(1982-10-08) (aged 67)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, Director, Writer
Years active1942–1980
Spouse(s)Esther Williams (widow: 1969–82)
Arlene Dahl (divorced: 1954–60)
Lydia Barachi (divorced: 1946–52)
Perla Mux (divorced: 1940–44)
ChildrenLorenzo Lamas, Alexandra Lamas and Christina Lamas
 
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Fernando Lamas

Lamas in the 1960s.
BornFernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos
(1915-01-09)January 9, 1915
Buenos Aires, Argentina
DiedOctober 8, 1982(1982-10-08) (aged 67)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, Director, Writer
Years active1942–1980
Spouse(s)Esther Williams (widow: 1969–82)
Arlene Dahl (divorced: 1954–60)
Lydia Barachi (divorced: 1946–52)
Perla Mux (divorced: 1940–44)
ChildrenLorenzo Lamas, Alexandra Lamas and Christina Lamas

Fernando Álvaro Lamas (January 9, 1915 – October 8, 1982) was an Argentine-born actor and director, and the father of actor Lorenzo Lamas.

Contents

Early life and career

Lamas with co-star Danielle Darrieux in Rich, Young and Pretty.

Lamas was born Fernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos[1] in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1942, he was an established movie star in Argentina. His first film made in the United States was The Avengers in 1950. In 1951, he signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and went on to play "Latin Lover" roles.

In 1951, he starred as Paul Sarnac in the musical, Rich, Young and Pretty and as Juan Dinas in the comedy, The Law and the Lady. Throughout the 1950s, Lamas had leading roles in a number of MGM musicals, including Dangerous When Wet with his future wife Esther Williams. After the beginning of the 1960s, he turned to TV series; mostly appearing in guest roles. From 1965 to 1968, Lamas had a regular role as Ramon De Vega on Run For Your Life, which starred Ben Gazzara.

Lamas directed for the first time in 1963. It was a movie titled Magic Fountain starring his future wife Esther Williams. He directed another feature film, The Violent Ones, which was released in 1967 and co-starred Aldo Ray and David Carradine. He was most active directing on television, doing episodes that included Mannix, Alias Smith and Jones, Starsky and Hutch and Falcon Crest. The latter show co-starred his son, Lorenzo.

Personal life

Lamas was married four times, to Perla Mux (1940-1944), Lydia Barachi (1946-1952), actress Arlene Dahl (1954-1960), and swimmer and actress Esther Williams (1969-his death in 1982). He had a daughter with Mux and another with Barachi, and a son, actor Lorenzo Lamas (born January 20, 1958), with Dahl.

Fernando Lamas died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, California at the age of 67. His ashes were scattered by close friend Jonathan Goldsmith from his sailboat.[2]

Quotes

"When a person has an accent, it means he can speak one more language than you" — when Johnny Carson teased him about his accent during an appearance on The Tonight Show. In one of his most memorable moments on The Tonight Show, Lamas intimated that "sometimes other men said that he was gay, and nothing pleased him more than proving them wrong with their own wives."

In popular culture

An archetypal playboy,[3] after his death, Lamas's image lived on in popular culture via the "Fernando" character developed by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s. The character was outlandish and exaggerated but reportedly inspired by a remark Crystal heard Lamas utter on The Tonight Show; "It is better to look good than to feel good." This was one of the Fernando character's two catchphrases along with the better-remembered "You look marvelous!" (usually spelled "mahvelous" in this context).[4][5]

His friend, actor Jonathan Goldsmith, took inspiration from Lamas for the character The Most Interesting Man in the World.[6]

Filmography

Television work

References

External links