Lamas in the 1960s.
|Born||Fernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos
January 9, 1915
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Died||October 8, 1982
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Writer|
|Spouse(s)||Perla Mux (m. 1940; div. 1944)
Lydia Barachi (m. 1946–52)
Arlene Dahl (m. 1954; div. 1960)
Esther Williams (m. 1969; his death 1982)
Early life and career
Born Fernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by 1942, he was an established movie star in his native country. 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.
Lamas was married four times. His first marriage was to Argentine actress Perla Mux in 1940 and they had a daughter, Christina before divorcing in 1944.
His second marriage was in 1946 to Lydia Barachi. Fernando and Lydia also had a daughter, Alexandra. They were later divorced in 1952.
"When a person has an accent, it means they 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, "Sometimes other men said that he was gay, and nothing pleased him more than proving them wrong with their own wives."
In popular culture
After his death, Lamas's archetypal playboy 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).
- On the Last Floor (1942)
- Stella (1943)
- Southern Border (1943)
- Villa rica del Espíritu Santo (1945)
- Evasion (1947)
- The Poor People's Christmas (1947)
- Tango Returns to Paris (1948)
- Story of a Bad Woman (1948)
- La Rubia Mireya (1948)
- La Otra y yo (1949)
- The Story of the Tango (1949)
- The Unknown Father (1949)
- Vidalita (1949)
- Corrientes, calle de ensueños (1949)
- The Avengers - André LeBlanc (1950)
- Rich, Young and Pretty - Paul Sarnac (1951)
- The Law and the Lady - Juan Dinas (1951)
- The Merry Widow - Count Danillo (1952)
- The Girl Who Had Everything - Victor Y. Raimondi (1953)
- Sangaree - Doctor Carlos Morales (1953)
- Dangerous When Wet - Andre LaNet (1953)
- The Diamond Queen - Jean Baptiste Tavernier (1953)
- Jivaro - Rio Galdez (1954)
- Rose Marie - James Severn Duval (1954)
- The Girl Rush - Victor Monte (1955)
- The Lost World - Manuel Gomez (1960)
- Duel of Fire - Antonio Franco (1962)
- Magic Fountain (1963)
- Revenge of the Musketeers - D'Artagnan (1964)
- A Place Called Glory (1965)
- The Violent Ones - Manuel Vega (1967)
- Kill a Dragon - Nico Patrai (1967)
- 100 Rifles - General Vertugo (1969)
- Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood - Premiere Male Star (1976)
- The Cheap Detective - Paul DuChard (1978)
- Lux Video Theatre (1954)
- The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour (ep. Lucy Goes to Sun Valley) (1958)
- Jane Wyman Presents (1958)
- Climax! (1958)
- Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (1960)
- Shirley Temple's Storybook (1960)
- Burke's Law (1965)
- The Virginian (1965)
- Laredo (1966)
- Combat! (1966)
- The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966)
- Valley of Mystery (1967)
- Run for Your Life - Ramon De Vega (1965-1968)
- The Red Skelton Show - Harry Sneak (ep. A Spy Is a Peeping Tom on Salary) (1971)
- Hondo - Rodrigo (ep. Hondo and the Comancheros) (1967)
- The High Chaparral - El Caudillo (ep. The Firing Wall) (1967)
- Tarzan - Velasquez (ep. Jungle Ransom) (1968)
- Then Came Bronson - Miguel Cordova (ep. Where Will the Trumpets Be?) (1969)
- The Lonely Profession - Dominic Savarona (1969)
- It Takes a Thief - (1968), (1969), (1970)
- Mission Impossible - (1968), (1970)
- The Name of the Game -
- Dan August -
- Alias Smith and Jones -
- Bearcats! -
- The Mod Squad -
- Night Gallery -
- McCloud -
- Murder on Flight 502 (1975)
- Bronk -
- Switch -
- Charlie's Angels - Jericho
- Police Woman - Carlos Rubenez
- The Love Boat
- How the West Was Won - Fierro
- House Calls -Doctor Langston (ep. Defeat of Clay) (1980)
- The Dream Merchants - Conrad Stillman (1980)
- International Directory of Performing Arts Collections and Institutions
- Elaine Aradillas (2009-07-02). "Meet the Real Most Interesting Man in the World". people.com. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Lamas, Lorenzo, Lenburg, Jeff (2014). Renegade at Heart: An Autobiography. BenBella Books, Inc.. Kindle Edition. pp. 6, 7.
- Malone, Michael (May 1979). Heroes of Eros: male sexuality in the movies. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-525-47552-1. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Friedman, Roger (2006-11-09). "Britney Takes Publicity Into Her Own Hands". FoxNews.com.
- Thomas, Bob (1985-10-29). "Billy Crystal Moving from TV to Silver Screen". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. p. 8C.
- Fox News. 2010-09-27. http://video.foxnews.com/v/4149883/the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world
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