May 24, 1925
Aguilares, Texas, U.S.
|Died||February 6, 2006
Culver City, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Leandra (1942-2006) (his death) (3 children)|
Born Ramiro Gonzalez-Gonzalez in Aguilares, Texas to a Mexican American father and a Spanish mother, Gonzalez-Gonzalez grew up in a talent-filled home. His father was a trumpet player, and his mother was a dancer. His brother was actor Jose Gonzales-Gonzales (1922-2000). He left school at the age of seven to join a family act called "Las Perlitas" that toured southwest Texas. As a result, he was functionally illiterate for all of his life. As a result of his illiteracy, he memorized scripts by having his wife read them to him. Gonzalez-Gonzalez married at the age of seventeen and served in World War II. After the war he performed stand-up comedy for Spanish-speaking audiences.
In 1953, he appeared on the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life under the name Ramiro G. Gonzalez, where his banter with Marx attracted notice. Marx asked him: "What does the 'G' stand for?" to which he replied "Gonzalez", and explained that both his parents had been surnamed "Gonzales" before being married. So Marx asked: "What does your wife call you: Ramiro or Gonzalez?" He replied "She calls me 'Pedro'", triggering audience laughter. After Gonzales performed a 15-second comic dance to strong applause, Marx complimented his guest's comedic skill, saying: "Pedro, we could do a great act together. We could make a fortune in vaudeville, you and I. What -- what would we call our act, you know, if we went out together? 'The Two Hot Tamales'?" After Pedro deadpanned "Gonzales-Gonzales and Marx", Groucho made an aside: "That's a nice billing. Two people in the act, and I get third place in the billing!" 
John Wayne saw his appearance on the program and cast him as comic relief in a number of movies including Rio Bravo, The High and the Mighty and Hellfighters. He also made guest appearances in shows such as Gunsmoke and Wanted: Dead or Alive, as well as the Jerry Lewis film, Hook, Line & Sinker. Wayne also had Burt Kennedy write a TV series for Gonzalez-Gonzales that was never made.
As a result of playing comic relief roles, he was accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes about Hispanic men. However, Edward James Olmos said of Gonzalez-Gonzalez at the time of his death that he "inspired every Latino actor."
He is the grandfather of actor Clifton Collins Jr.
- Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales at IMDB (Retrieved on 2008-01-25)
- Episode aired February 12, 1953
- Obituary in the San Jose Mercury News
- Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez at the Internet Movie Database
- Hollywood.com "Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez dies" 16 February 2006, retrieved 17 February 2006