Fernando Sancho

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Fernando Sancho in 1970.

Fernando Sancho (7 January 1916 – 31 July 1990) was a Spanish actor. Sancho was born in Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain, and died in Madrid after surgery.

He was often typecast as a Mexican bandit in paella and spaghetti westerns, including The Big Gundown (directed by Sergio Sollima), A Pistol for Ringo and Return of Ringo (directed by Duccio Tessari), Arizona Colt (directed by Michele Lupo), Minnesota Clay (directed by Sergio Corbucci), and Sartana (directed by Gianfranco Parolini). Though (almost) always given the same role — a portly Mexican bandit chief — Sancho was a strong actor, and became one of the icons of these films.

He also appeared in a number of Spanish horror movies in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the better known horror parts was the role of a corrupt small town mayor in El Ataque de los Muertos sin Ojos (a.k.a. Return of the Blind Dead), directed by Amando de Ossorio. Another notable horror film was Orloff and the Invisible Man (1971), directed by Pierre Chevalier and starring Howard Vernon, an unofficial continuation of the Dr. Orloff saga begun by Jess Franco in The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962). Sancho also turned up briefly in the epic Lawrence of Arabia playing the Turkish sergeant who arrests T. E. Lawrence in Deraa.

Sancho had a prolific career and remained active in film up to his death. He made larger than life characters his specialty, and was a similarly 'big' character off screen as well — popular both with audiences and with his fellow actors.

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