Pedro Armendáriz Biography
Pedro Armendáriz was a legendary Mexican actor who left an indelible mark on the world of film. Born in Mexico City to a Mexican father and an American mother, Armendáriz had a unique background that would serve him well in his career.
After studying at California Polytechnic State University, Pedro Armendáriz returned to Mexico where he was discovered by film director Miguel Zacarías. With the guidance of director Emilio Fernández, he developed a strong nationalist film personality and went on to become one of the most famous Latin American movie stars of the 1940s and 1950s.
In the Mexican cinema, Armendáriz starred in many iconic films alongside Dolores del Río and María Félix. María Candelaria, which he starred in with Dolores del Río, provided him with international visibility, and he went on to win the Palme d’Or at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. He also made a successful jump to Hollywood, appearing in several films directed by John Ford, including The Fugitive and Fort Apache. Armendáriz’s Hollywood career continued to flourish, with prominent roles in films such as We Were Strangers and Border River. He also made a name for himself in Europe, appearing in the French film Lucrèce Borgia.
Armendáriz’s final film was the second James Bond film, From Russia with Love, where he played Bond’s ally, Kerim Bey. He was terminally ill with cancer at the time of filming, and his final scenes were performed by his double, director Terence Young. Armendáriz died four months before the release of the film, on June 18, 1963. He was 51 years old and had committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a gun he had smuggled into the hospital.
Pedro Armendáriz was married to actress Carmelita Bohr, and they had a son and daughter. His son, Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. also became an actor and was part of the Licence to Kill cast in 1989. His daughter Carmen Armendáriz is a TV producer.