Mario Almada, one of Mexico's most famous action movie actors and a narcocinema icon, died today the age of 94 in his home in Cuernavaca. Born in 1922 in Huatabampo Sonora, he acted in over 300 films—mostly westerns, and action films—in many cases along with his brother Fernando.
Almada began his film career at an early age, participating as an extra in a few films. He formalized his film career as a producer in the 1960s for films starring his brother. He wrote his first film screenplay in 1963, and a couple of years later, Mario replaced an actor who was injured in the film Los Jinetes de la Bruja, starting a successful and prolific acting career. In 1969 he won a Diosa de Plata Award for Best Supporting Actor presented by the Mexican Circle of Film Journalists for his performance as Juan Mariscal in the western El Tunco Maclovio starring Julio Alemán.
During the seventies, Almada worked in numerous films including westerns and action movies. It is during this time that we debuts in narco-themed movies, which proved to be very successful with Mexican audiences such as La banda del carro rojo / The Band of the Red Car (Rubén Galindo, 1976), and La mafia de la frontera (Jaime Fernández, 1979).
He worked with prestigious Mexican director Arturo Ripstein in La viuda negra / The Black Widow playing the role of Father Feliciano, for which he received his first Ariel Award nomination—presented by the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences—for Best Actor. In 1987 he earned a second Ariel Award nomination for Best Actor with his starring role as Chido Guan in the film Tacos de Oro by Alfonso Arau.
During the eighties his popularity as a narcocinema actor grows exponentially, working in numerous box office hits, many of them based on popular narcocorridos. In the nineties and due to many reasons, the mode of production of narcocinema change to video, enabling Almada to participate in even more films, acting in over twenty films per year.
More recently Almada had participated with smaller roles in Patricia Riggen's Under the Same Moon (2007), and Luis Estrada's El Infierno (2010). In 2013 he was presented with the Golden Ariel as a tribute for his film career.