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Linares - Monumento a Manolete.jpg
Monument to Manolete in front of the bullring in Linares
Personal information
Birth name Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez
Nationality Spanish
Born (1917-07-04)4 July 1917
Córdoba, Andalucia, Spain
Died 29 August 1947(1947-08-29) (aged 30)
Linares, Andalucia, Spain
Sport Bullfighting
Position Matador
Partner Lupe Sino
Bullfighting career
Début novillero 1931
Alternativa 2 July 1939 
 • Place Real Maestranza de Sevilla
 • Godfather Manuel Jiménez
 • Witness Rafael Vega de los Reyes

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[who?] 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 the bull passed 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 a 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 in August 1947 following a goring in the upper right 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 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[edit]

  • 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".
  • Salvador Dalí portrays Manolete in his famous double-image painting, "The Hallucinogenic Toreador", 1969, Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, FL
  • In the 35th episode of Los Serrano ("A Broken Heart"), a nervous Diego is taking it out on his middle son Guille, and even though Guille was innocent of the thing Diego blamed him for, Diego nevertheless says that Guille is guilty even for the death of Manolete.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]