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Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez

Previous star: John Wayne

Biography

Source: Wikipedia

Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez (May 24, 1925 – February 6, 2006) was an American character actor best known for his appearances in a number of John Wayne movies.

Born Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez in Aguilares, Texas to a Mexican American father and a Spanish mother, Gonzalez-Gonzalez grew up in a talent-filled home. His father was a trumpet player, and his mother was a dancer. He left school at the age of 7 to join a family act called "Las Perlitas" that toured southwest Texas. As a result, he was functionally illiterate for all of his life. As a result of his illiteracy, he memorized scripts by having his wife read them to him.

Gonzalez-Gonzalez married at the age of seventeen and served in World War II. After the war he performed stand-up comedy for Spanish-speaking audiences.

In 1953, he appeared on the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life under the name Ramiro G. Gonzalez where his banter with Marx attracted notice. Marx asked him: "What does the 'G' stand for?" to which he replied "Gonzalez". "What does your wife call you; Gonzalez, Gonzalez or Gonzalez? He replied "She calls me 'Pedro'". "If we got together as an act, what would be it called?" After he replied "Gonzalez-Gonzalez and Marx," the host made an aside: "Do you believe that? Two men in the act, and I get third billing!."

John Wayne saw his appearance on the program and cast him as comic relief in a number of movies including Rio Bravo, The High and the Mighty and Hellfighters. He also made guest appearances in shows such as Gunsmoke and Wanted: Dead or Alive, as well as the Jerry Lewis film, Hook, Line & Sinker. Wayne also had Burt Kennedy write a TV series for Gonzalez-Gonzales that was never made.

As a result of playing comic relief roles, he was accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes about Hispanic men. However, Edward James Olmos said of Gonzalez-Gonzalez at the time of his death that he "inspired every Latino actor."

Fact file

  • Birth Name: Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez
  • Born: May 24, 1925
  • Died: February 6, 2006 (Aged 80)

Read more about Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

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