|— Matador ♂ —|
Monument to Manolete in front of the bullring in Linares
|Born||Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez
4 July 1917
Córdoba, Andalucia, Spain
|Died||29 August 1947
Linares, Andalucia, Spain
|Alternativa||2 July 1939
Real Maestranza de Sevilla
Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez (4 July 1917 – 29 August 1947), better known as Manolete, was a Spanish bullfighter.
He rose to prominence shortly after the [Spanish Civil War] and is considered by some to be the greatest bullfighter of all time. His style was sober and serious, with few concessions to the gallery, and he excelled at the 'suerte de matar'—the kill. Manolete's contribution to bullfighting included being able to stand very still while passing the bull close to his body and, rather than giving the passes separately, he was able to remain in one spot and link four or five consecutive passes together into compact series. He popularized a pass with the muleta called the "Manoletina," which is normally given just before entering to kill with the sword. In addition to all of the major bullrings of Spain, he had very important triumphs in Plaza Mexico.
He died following a goring in the right upper leg as he killed the fifth bull of the day, the Miura bull Islero, an event that left Spain in a state of shock. Manolete received his fatal goring in the town of Linares where he appeared alongside the up-and-coming matador Luis Miguel Dominguín, who, after Manolete's death, proclaimed himself to be number one. In response to Manolete's death, General Francisco Franco, then dictator of Spain, ordered three days of "national mourning", during which only funeral dirges were heard on the radio.
In popular culture
- The George A. Romero film, Land of the Dead featured a character named Manolete, who was named after the bullfighter.
- Crooked Fingers' 2005 album Dignity and Shame is loosely based in part on the life of Manolete.
- "Death of Manolete" is a 10,000 Maniacs song from the 1983 album Secrets of the I Ching.
- Manolete was cited as the greatest bullfighter in the Twilight Zone episode, "A Game of Pool".
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