Friday, April 29, 2011

HOLA Legends: Víctor Argo

Víctor Argo (1934–2004) was a veteran character actor who usually played the part of a tough bad guy in his movies. Born Víctor Jiménez in New York, New York, U.S.A. to parents from Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, he began his career as a stage actor. While performing in an off-Broadway play during the 1960s, he met Yoko Ono, with whom he participated in the so-called "Happening" movement. He also became friends with the then fledgling actor Harvey Keitel, with whom he remained close for nearly forty years. In 1977, he became a founding member of the Riverside Shakespeare Company on New York City's Upper West Side. As a member, he toured the parks of Manhattan playing Lord Montague in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

In the 1970s, he made his film debut with a small part in Unholy Rollers and his television debut in a made-for-TV film "Smile, Jenny, You're Dead." He became a durable movie tough guy and a favorite of such directors as Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. His film credits include Taxi Driver, King of New York, Mean Streets, The Rose, New York Stories, Shadows and Fog, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Last Temptation of Christ, After Hours, Bad Lieutenant, True Romance, Desperately Seeking Susan and Coyote Ugly. In 2001, he played Jennifer López's father in the romantic drama Angel Eyes. His television guest appearances include "The Rockford Files," "Wonder Woman," "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," "Spenser: for Hire," "Law & Order" and "Miami Vice." He lent his talents to seventy-five films and twenty-one television guest roles in total.

Shortly before his death, he realized a lifelong dream of performing on Broadway when he was cast as Santiago, the owner of a cigar factory, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Anna in the Tropics. In his last on-screen role, in the independent film Lustre by director Art Jones, he portrayed a New York City loan shark who retreats from his everyday, hard-nosed rants to a deeply spiritual disconnect with the world. The film was released in 2005. He died in New York from complications of lung cancer at age 69. In 2005, Electronic music group Bodega System releases a 12" vinyl LP which includes the track "Victor Argo."

Trailer for the film The Electric Chair

Trailer for the film True Romance

Film Lustre

No comments: