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Carlos Villagrán in 2012
|Born||Carlos Villagrán Eslava
12 January 1944
Mexico City, Mexico
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, journalist (former)|
|Notable work||Quico in El Chavo del Ocho|
Carlos Villagrán Eslava (born 12 January 1944) is a Mexican actor, comedian, and former journalist best known for playing Quico in the Televisa sitcom El Chavo del Ocho and the Telerey sitcom ¡Ah qué Kiko!.
Life and career
He went on to write for a local newspaper in Mexico City. As a writer, he became friends with screenwriter and future co-star Rubén Aguirre. Aguirre was hired by Chespirito (Roberto Gómez Bolaños) to play Professor Jirafales in the upcoming El Chavo del Ocho Televisa television series. Aguirre held a party for family and friends at his house, and Villagrán impressed him after expanding his cheeks out of proportion during one of the party's comic steps. As a matter of a fact, that movement would later become a trademark of the character he'd play in El Chavo.
Aguirre recommended Villagrán to Chespirito, and Villagrán was given the Quico character in the show. He also appeared on Chespirito's other hit show, El Chapulín Colorado. Both of Chespirito's shows became major international hits all over Latin America and in the United States, Spain, and other countries. Villagrán acquired great fame with these shows.
Villagrán left the shows in 1978, mostly because he and Chespirito were engaged in a legal battle over the rights of the Quico character. At that same time, Ramón Valdés also left the two shows. This marked the beginning of the end for both productions, although they are still seen on many countries around the world with re-runs.
Villagrán went to Venezuela, where he acted in various Radio Caracas Televisión shows: El niño de papel (1981), Kiko Botones (1981), Federrico (1982), Las nuevas aventuras de Federrico (1983), and El circo de monsieur Cachetón (1985). These were not successful as Chespirito's productions had been in Mexico. He and Valdés were reunited in Mexico when Telerey hired them to make the short-lived television show Ah que Kiko!. Chespirito was not able to prevent the name Kiko, with its different spelling, from being used in the new show. The show was successful until Valdés died of stomach cancer in 1988. For a brief time a local comic Sergio Ramos was brought in as Don Cejudo, but the chemistry was no longer there, so the show soon was taken off the air.
Like many of his co-stars in the Chespirito shows, Villagrán went on to enjoy a circus career, touring with his El circo de Kiko.
Villagrán later did what his friend Aguirre had done before, moving to Argentina, where Chespirito had no rights over the Quico character, and playing his old character there.
In 2000, in an El Chavo del Ocho special which reunited all the actors from the series (except Valdés, Angelines Fernández, Raúl Padilla, and Horacio Gómez Bolaños, who were no longer alive, and Ana Lilian de la Macorra, who was not present), Villagrán and Chespirito reconciled their differences.
Villagrán has three sons and three daughters.
- "Chavo del 8: CARLOS VILLAGRAN ESLAVA" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-11-16.
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