- Alterio, Héctor
- (1929- )Born in Buenos Aires, Alterio has had a long and substantial career both in Spain and in his home country. He started as a stage actor, and debuted in small film parts in the late 1950s, but his career only consolidated in the late 1960s with a starring role in Don Segundo Sombra (Manuel Antin, 1969), followed by work for great Argentine auteurs like Leopoldo Torre Nilsson (La mafia, 1974) and Héctor Olivera (La Patagonia rebelde / Rebel Patagonia, 1974).Alterio migrated to Spain in 1975, to escape from Jorge Rafael Videla's dictatorship and threats from the terrorist group Triple A. He did not work again in Argentinean cinema until the 1980s. In Spain, he worked hard, sometimes appearing in five or six films a year. He became a regular in the films of Spanish auteurs, often playing menacing patriarchs. His most significant roles of the mid-1970s were for Carlos Saura in Cría cuervos (Raise Ravens, 1976), where he portrayed the protagonist's military father as a ghostly presence; for Ricardo Franco in Pascual Duarte (1976); and, especially, his starring role in Jaime Chávarri's A un dios desconocido (To an Unknown God, 1977). Here he gave a subtle, complex performance as a homosexual magician who tries to come to terms with his past, and he won a best actor award at the San Sebastian Film Festival for it.Another defining role was as the middle-aged teacher who falls in love with a teenage girl in Jaime de Armiñán's 1980 El nido (The Nest), a performance many critics rate his best. Other important parts in Spanish film include: ¡Arriba Hazaña! (Hail Hazaña! José María Gutiérrez Santos, 1978), Don Juan en los infiernos (Don Juan in Hell, Gonzalo Suárez, 1991), El detective y la muerte (Gonzalo Suárez, The Detective and Death, 1994), Plata quemada (Burnt Money, Marcelo Piñeyro, 2000), Sagitario (Sagitarius, Vicente Molina Foix, 2001), and Noviembre (November, Achero Mañas, 2003). Back in Argentina after the end of the dictatorship, he played, among many other roles, the corrupt protagonist of the controversial and award-winning La historia oficial (Luis Puenzo, 1985) and, more recently, an engaging role in the box-office hit El hijo de la novia (Son of the Bride, Juan José Campanella, 2001) and a sour grandfather in Marcelo Piñeyro's Kamchatka (2002). He is actor Ernesto Alterio's father.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.