In Memoriam: Chespirito and Film


Acclaimed Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños "Chespirito" died today at the age of 85 in Cancun. Even though he's mostly known and celebrated for the characters he created for television, including "El Chavo del Ocho," and "El Chapulín Colorado" Chespirito also had considerable and popular film career having acted in several films, writing screenplays for several films, and directing a handful of feature films.

As a screenwriter, Gómez Bolaños worked in numerous comedy films between 1959 and 1970. His first incursion into film as an actor was in in 1960 in the comedy film Dos locos en escena directed by Agustín P. Delgado and starring popular comedians Viruta and Capulina. He also appeared in several films including Dos criados malcriados (Agustín P. Delgado, 1960), The Crazy World in Film (José María Fernández Unsaín, 1967), Operación Carambola (Alfredo Zacarías, 1967), and El Zángano (Agustín P. Delgado, 1968).

In 1979, based on the success of his television shows, he wrote and starred in the film El Chanfle (pictured right), directed by Enrique Segoviano. The film follows the adventures of a props of a football team who sees thwarted the dream of having a child after 10 years of marriage. The film was a huge success  at the box office in Mexico and other countries in Latin America. Based on the popularity of the film Chespirito himself wrote and directed the sequel El Chanfle II in 1982. 

He'd direct three other feature films starring the same actors of his popular TV shows: Don Ratón y Don Ratero (1983), Charrito (1994), and Música de viento (1988).

In 1996 he was appointed director of Televicine, the film arm of the Mexican media conglomerate Televisa. In his tenure as director of Televicine the company produced La última llamada (Carlos García Agraz, 1996), Elisa antes del fin del mundo (Juan Antonio de la Riva, 1997), and La primera noche (Alejandro Gamboa, 1998).