Pedro Armendáriz

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Pedro Armendáriz
Kerim Bey by Pedro Armendariz.jpg
Armendáriz as Kerim Bey in From Russia with Love.
Born Pedro Gregorio Armendáriz Hastings
May 9, 1912
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Died June 18, 1963(1963-06-18) (aged 51)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Resting place
Panteón Jardín, Mexico City
Years active 1935–1963
Spouse(s) Carmelita Bohr (m. 1938–1963) (his death)

Pedro Gregorio Armendáriz Hastings (May 9, 1912 – June 18, 1963), better known as Pedro Armendáriz, was a Mexican-American actor who made films in both Mexico and the United States.

Early life[edit]

Pedro Gregorio Armendáriz Hastings was born in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico to Pedro Armendáriz García-Conde (Mexican) and Adela Hastings (American). He was also the cousin of actress Gloria Marín. Armendáriz lived with his parents in Texas and studied in California, where he graduated with an engineering degree from the California Polytechnic State University.


When Armendáriz finished his studies, he moved to Mexico where he worked for the railroad, as a tour guide and as a journalist for the bilingual magazine México Real. He was discovered by film director Miguel Zacarías when Armendáriz recited a soliloquy from Hamlet to an American tourist. He obtained his first role in a movie at the age of 22 and after that he made many films in Mexico, the United States, France, Italy and England. Under the direction of Emilio Fernández, and with Dolores del Río, he represented Mexican Cinema to all the world. He received a Silver Ariel Award in 1948 in the category of Best Actor for his role in La perla and another in 1952 for El Rebozo de Soledad. In 1947, he was the recipient of a Special Ariel for his works.

Armendáriz was a favorite of American director John Ford, appearing in three of his films: The Fugitive (1947), Fort Apache and 3 Godfathers (both 1948).

Armendáriz's last appearance was in the second James Bond film, From Russia with Love (1963) as Bond's ally, Kerim Bey. Armendáriz was terminally ill with cancer during the filming of From Russia with Love, and towards the end of shooting he was too ill to perform his part; his final scenes were performed by his double, director Terence Young.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Armendáriz was married to actress Carmelita Bohr (née Pardo) and has one son Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. who was also an actor,and appeared in James Bond film Licence to Kill in 1989, and a daughter, Carmen Armendariz, famous TV producer

Later life and death[edit]

In 1954, Armendáriz had a role in the film The Conqueror produced by Howard Hughes. This movie was filmed in the state of Utah during the time when the US government ran nuclear tests in the neighboring state of Nevada. 91 of the 220 people involved in the production of the film contracted cancer within 25 years, and 46 of these died as a consequence of this illness. In rebuttal, Pilar Wayne (John Wayne's widow) later wrote in her autobiography that she did not believe radiation was involved in the deaths of those associated with this film. She claimed she had visited the set many times as had others and did not become sick. Wayne said she believed the real cause of death of her husband and the others was solely due to smoking.

Armendáriz began to suffer pain in his hips and years later it was discovered that he had cancer in this region. He learned his condition was terminal while at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He reportedly acted in From Russia with Love while enduring great pain (he visibly limps in most scenes) in order to leave behind financial resources for his family after his impending death. On June 18, 1963, Armendáriz shot himself in the chest with a gun he had smuggled into the hospital. He was buried in Panteón Jardín, Mexico City, Mexico.

His son Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. was diagnosed with eye cancer on November 2011, and died at age 71 on December 26.



Year Film Role Other notes
1947 The Fugitive A lieutenant of police aka El Fugitivo (Mexico)
1948 Fort Apache Sgt. Beaufort as Pedro Armendáriz
3 Godfathers Pedro "Pete' Roca Fuerte as Pedro Armendáriz
1949 Tulsa Jim Redbird
We Were Strangers Armando Ariete
1950 The Torch José Juan Reyes aka Del odio nace el amor (Mexico)
1954 Border River General Eduardo Calleja
1956 The Littlest Outlaw Gen. Torres
1956 The Conqueror Jamuga as Pedro Armendáriz
Diane Francis I
1957 The Big Boodle Col. Mastegui as Pedro Armendáriz
1959 The Wonderful Country Cipriano Castro
Little Savage El Tiburón
1961 Francis of Assisi The Sultan
1963 Captain Sindbad El Kerim as Pedro Armendáriz
From Russia with Love Ali Kerim Bey as Pedro Armendariz; his last film

Mexican cinema[edit]


External links[edit]