José Isbert

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José Isbert (real name: José Ysbert Alvarruiz), also known as Pepe Isbert (3 March 1886 in Madrid – 28 November 1966 in Madrid), was a Spanish actor.


Early life[edit]

In 1903 he worked at the Court of Accounts (Tribunal de Cuentas), but decided to give up working as a civil servant and that same year he made his stage debut at the Teatro Apolo in Madrid in the play El iluso Cañizares, changing the spelling of his real name from Y to I. He moved to the Teatro Lara, where he was very successful.

He was married to Elvira Soriano and he was father of the actress María Isbert[1] and grandfather of Tony Isbert and Carlos Ysbert (the second Spanish voice of Homer Simpson).


In 1912 he debuted in the short film Asesinato y entierro de Don José Canalejas (playing Pardiñas, the anarchist who killed José Canalejas).

During the silent era he worked in theatre with supporting roles in cinema, but with the advent of sound, he made a big screen comeback in the comedy directed by Florián Rey, La pura verdad in (1931).

In the 1930s he acted in half a dozen films including: ¿Cuándo te suicidas? (1931) directed by Manuel Romero, La bien pagada (1935) by Eusebio Fernández Ardavín or El bailarín y el trabajador (1935), directed by Luis Marquina and based on a play by Jacinto Benavente.

In the 1940s he gained great popularity in films such as Te quiero para mí (1944) and El testamento del virrey (1944), both directed by Ladislao Vajda; Ella, él y sus millones (1944) by Juan de Orduña; El fantasma y doña Juanita (1945) by Rafael Gil and Pacto de silencio (1949), by Antonio Román.

The films he is most remembered for are from the 1950s and 1960s, in classics directed by Luis García Berlanga: Welcome Mr. Marshall! (1953), Los jueves, milagro (1957) and El verdugo (1963); and the dark comedy masterpiece El cochecito by Marco Ferreri, all written by Rafael Azcona.

He was the grandfather in the Spanish classic La gran familia (1962), and its sequel La gran familia... y uno más (1965), these films earning him still greater popularity.

Pepe Isbert died in Madrid due to a heart condition when he was 80 years old. He was buried at Tarazona de la Mancha cemetery in the province of Albacete.

Selected filmography[edit]

Poster of El cochecito.
Poster of El verdugo.
Poster of Bienvenido Mister Marshall.


External links[edit]