Actor Ignacio Lopez Tarso, a veteran of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and star of the first Mexican production to be Oscar-nominated for best foreign language film, has died aged 98.
Mexico’s government confirmed the death of Lopez on Saturday evening.
He played the title role in Macario, a 1960 supernatural drama directed by Roberto Gavaldon set around the Day of the Dead celebration that was nominated for the foreign language Oscar at the 33rd Academy Awards. It lost out to Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring.
In a career spanning over seven decades, Lopez starred in a string of celebrated Mexican films. Acting well into his 90s, he had been in declining health in recent days, according to Mexican media.
Mexico’s Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto said Lopez had left an “indelible mark” on the performing arts. His death was a “great loss for Mexico,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.
Born in Mexico City in 1925, Lopez made his biggest impact on Mexican cinema as the Golden Age – a period the government has described as lasting from 1936 to 1956 – was fading. Later in life, he enjoyed a brief spell as a federal congressman.