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Famous People from Madrid
Miguel de Cervantes
(1547-09-29 - 1616-04-23 )
, Address in Madrid: Calle de Cervantes 2
The most outstanding writer from Spain's Golden Age of Culture (the 16th and early 17th Century), don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Alcale de Henares in the old kingdom of Toledo. Even though he authored a number of plays and verses, as well as several prose works, his fame rests largely upon his masterpiece, the first modern novel 'Don Quixote de la Mancha', which is considered by many to be one of great importance and value in world literature. Unquestionably, the novel reveals a great deal of narrative power, great humour, a magnificent command of dialogue and a forceful style. The first part of 'Don Quixote de la Mancha' appeared in 1605, while the second part was issued ten years later.
Lope de Vega
(1562-11-25 - 1635-08-27 )
, Address in Madrid: Calle de Cervantes 11
Among the ingenious Spanish writers, Lope de Vega is surpassed only by his contemporary Miguel de Cervantes. In 1609, de Vega published a manifesto of his artistic convictions, entitled 'Arte nuevo de hacer comedias en este tiempo'. His astonishingly prolific output encompassed tomes of lyric poetry, narrative poems and numerous prose works. But he was first and foremost a playwright, penning around 2,000 plays and dramatic pieces over the long span of his career, of which more than 400 survive to this day. These include, to name just a few, 'Corral de la Cruz' (1579), 'Corral del Príncipe' (1582), 'El Grao de Valencia' (1589-90?), 'Los Locos de Valencia' (1590-95) and 'El perro del hortelano' (The Dog in the Manger, 1613-15).
(1900-02-22 - 1983-07-29 )
, Address in Madrid: Residencia de Estudiantes, Calle Pinar 23
Bunuel was born in Calanda, a little village in the Spanish province of Teruel, and studied in Madrid, where he befriended fellow student Salvador Dali. Together, they collaborated on Bunuel's first film project as director, titled 'Un Chien Andalou' (An Andalusian Dog, 1929). The two worked together again the following year to make another purely Surrealist motion picture, 'L1Age d'Or'. With Bunuel's filmmaking career launched, he went on to direct many films, and several great and memorable ones, including 'Viridiana' (1961), 'Le Journal d'une Femme de Chambre' (The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1964), 'Belle de Jour' (1967), 'Tristana' (1970), 'Cet Obscur Object du Desir' ( That Obscure Object of Desire, 1977), 'Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie' (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972) and 'Le Fantome de la Liberte' (The Phantom of Liberty, 1974).
(1899-07-21 - 1961-07-02 )
, Address in Madrid: Hotel Florida, Calle Floridablanca 12 - 14
Madrid has none of the look that you expect of Spain... yet when you get to know it, it is the most Spanish of all cities, the best to live in, the finest people, month in month out, the finest climate...
Hemingway was definitely a giant in literature. His famous simple prose style has inspired generations of writers. In 1954, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His celebrated novels include 'The Torrents of Spring' (1925), 'The Sun Also Rises' (1926), 'A Farewell to Arms' (1929), 'To Have and Have Not' (1937), 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' (1940), 'Across the River and into the Trees' (1950) and 'The Old Man and the Sea' (1952; won the Pulitzer Prize). He also published non-fiction works such as 'Death in the Afternoon' (1932) and 'Moveable Feast' (1964), as well as short story collections like 'In Our Time' (1924), 'Men Without Women' (1927) and 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' (1932).
(1904-07-12 - 1973-09-23 )
, Address in Madrid: Calle Rodriguez San Pedro 71
Known under the artistic pseudonym of Pablo Neruda, his real name was Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto and he was born in Chile. Neruda is considered to be the most popular poet of Latin America, whose poems, especially the love ones, continue to inspire and captivate readers around the world to this day. The poet's first book, 'Twilight Songs', was published in 1923, but his literary breakthrough came only with a volume of surrealistic verses titled 'Residence on Earth' (1935). In 1971, Neruda's poetry won him the Nobel Prize in Literature. The poems are included in a number of anthologies such as 'Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair' (1924), 'General Study' (1950), 'Elementary Odes' (1954), 'The Grapes and the Wind' (1954) and '100 Love Sonnets' (1960).
(1949-09-24 - )
, Address in Madrid: Pedro Almodóvar Production Company El Deseo, Francisco Navacerrada 24
Starting with the idea of a realistic film, I wanted to place the film in a very clear context and space. For example, you do see junkies in the streets of Madrid, just like in the film.
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is an internationally recognised film director, screenwriter and producer, the most successful in today's Spain. Born to a poor family in the province of Castile-La Mancha, at the age of 8 he was sent to a religious boarding school in the city of Cáceres. In 1967, he left for Madrid, against his parents will. Because of the political situation and lack of money, he didn't attend film school, but worked for the national phone company, along with other odd jobs which allowed him to buy a professional camera and practise his directing skills. Madrid was a perfect city to develop his interest in experimental cinema. Almodóvar's first feature film was 'Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Women on the Heap', made in 1980 and reflecting the cultural and sexual freedom of its time. His other famous films include 'What Have I Done to Deserve This?' (1984), 'Law of Desire' (1987), 'Kika' (1993), 'All About My Mother' (1999), 'Talk to Her' (2002) and 'Volver' (2006). The latter won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay.
(1974-04-28 - )
, Address in Madrid: childhood in the working-class suburb of Alcobendas
I'm happy with the way things are going, because I've been working for 11 years in my country and now I'm making a movie in Madrid in Spanish.
Born in the capital of Spain, Penélope Cruz was originally a dancer and star of Spanish television, eventually gaining international celebrity status as a Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated actress. She studied classical ballet at Spain's National Conservatory for nine years. After winning a competition, she became a part-time fashion model. She was only 16 when she began hosting kids' TV programmes. She started her film career in her early twenties with 'Belle Epoque', which won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The same award was given to Pedro Almodóvar's 'All About My Mother' (1999), in which she also starred. Cruz’s Hollywood career came along with 'All the Pretty Horses' and 'Vanilla Sky'. The success of the latter, and above all her relationship with co-star Tom Cruise made her enormously popular. Her more recent roles have been in 'Sahara' and Almodóvar's 'Volver'. The actress tries to maintain a balance between doing Hollywood movies and her work in European cinema. She considers Madrid her home.
(1947-08-02 - )
Her real name is María de los Ángeles Santamaría Espinosa, and she’s a Madrid-born singer who’s mostly famous for winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968. Her song 'La la la' beat out even Cliff Richard's 'Congratulations'. That same year, the singer also starred in the film 'Cantando a la Vida'. In 1977, Massiel released the album 'Baladas Y Canciones De Bertolt Brecht', featuring Spanish versions of Brecht's songs to Kurt Weil's music. She was also very popular in the 1980s thanks to such songs as 'El Amor', 'Hello America', as well as several Mexican covers bringing her renown in Latin America. Massiel sang 'La la la' at the 50th Anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2007, she became a member the Mision Eurovision jury. She has been married twice, given birth to a son, and still lives in the capital of Spain.