Pedro Armendariz Hastings, The Godfather of Mexico Real Cafe: One of The Best Mexican Actors in Hollywood and Europe, and his Ties to England

Pedro Armendariz Hastings The Godfather of Mexico Real Cafe

Dear Readers, today we are very happy to present you this post inspired by Pedro Armendariz Hastings, one of the best Mexican actors of the 20th century who has made history with his talent, personality and artistic career in Mexico, Hollywood and Europe.

As Pedro Armendariz has inspired many generations, at Mexico Real Cafe we have written this post as a tribute to this great actor and his legacy.

Pedro Armendariz Hastings positioned the name of Mexico as high as he could with his talent as an actor and his films in the national and international film industries.

We also dedicate this post to Pedro Armendariz because he personifies the modern eagle warrior with his intelligence, leadership spirit, powerful personality, education, achievements and love for the Mexican culture.

These values are shared by the eagle warriors, and as you know Mexico Real’s Cafe logo was inspired by the Eagle Warrior who is a symbol of Mexican culture and high values.

As a modern eagle warrior, Pedro Armendariz made lots of efforts and committed to position the talent of Mexico among the best in the world.

Pedro Armendariz’ Origins 

Pedro Armendariz Hastings was born in 1912 in Mexico City. His father was Pedro Armendáriz García-Conde, a wealthy Mexican man of Spanish descendant from Chihuahua in Northern Mexico.

His mother Adela Hastings Peña was a half Mexican and half British woman born in Roma Texas, in the US. She was 20 years old when she married her husband, who was 50 years old.

Pedro Armendariz Hastings’ grandfather from his mother’s side was Bartolome Clarence Hastings, a British man who settled on the border of Mexico and the US. He married Virginia Peña, a Mexican woman from Tamaulipas Mexico (located at the border of Mexico and the US). As the couple lived exactly on the line between Mexico (Tamaulipas) and the US (Roma, Texas), Adela Hastings (Pedro Armendariz’ mother) was born American but had Mexican and British roots.

As a child, Pedro Armendariz Hastings was a beloved son and enjoyed a lovely childhood in Mexico City. There are many pictures of the actor taken when he was in his early years of life, in which his beautiful childhood is portrayed.

Unfortunately, his parents passed away when he was 9 years old. Then, Pedro Armendariz and his brother moved to their grandparent’s home in Laredo Texas (The U.S.) where they were raised by Bartolome Hastings and Virginia Peña.

Though Pedro Armendariz’ parents passed away, he received love and care from his grandparents. He had also a male nanny whose name was Roque who took special care of him for over 20 years. There are some pictures portraying Armendariz when he was a baby in company with his male nanny Roque.

When Armendariz was young, his uncle (his mother’s brother) who lived in Los Angeles California (the US) invited him to move there to pursue his university studies. Pedro Armendariz accepted and graduated with an aeronautical engineering degree from the California Polytechnic State. He also studied law, journalism, and business. He discovered his passion for acting when enrolled in a theatre group when he was a student at University.  

At the age of 20 and after finishing his university studies, Armendariz moved to Mexico City where he had various jobs such as a journalist at the bilingual tourist magazine Mexico Real.

Pedro Armendariz was also a tour guide. Indeed, he was discovered by chance by Miguel Zacarias, an important film director when Armendariz was trying to seduce a female tourist while working as a guide. This is the story:

Armendariz invited an American lady who was his client to have a cup of coffee in a nice cafe located at the heart of Mexico City centre. To conquer her heart, he recited her a soliloquy in English from Hamlet written by Shakespeare.

However, Armendariz could not conquer the heart of that woman, who thought that he was just flirting with her.

Nonetheless by fortune and chance of fate, Armendariz captured the attention of one of the best film directors of Mexico. Miguel Zacarias, one of the most prominent directors of the film industry of the Mexican Cinema Golden Era was sitting at the next table and witnessed the performance of Armendariz.

The film director was instantly amused by Armendariz’s manly and charming personality, his height (1.85m), expressive green eyes and his acting performance.    

Pedro Armendariz’s Artistic Career

Pedro Armendariz Hastings was discovered by the film Director Miguel Zacarias at the age of 22, and with him the actor developed a film personality trait of strong nationalism.

Armendariz’s artistic career lasted for 30 years in which he participated in movies from various countries: Mexico, The USA, France, Italy and The United Kingdom, becoming one of the most admired and respected actors in the history of Mexican film.

Armendariz has particularly made history as one of the best-known male film stars of the 1940s and 1950s in the so-called Mexican Cinema Golden Era. Armendariz acted with the most well-known Mexican actresses of that time, such as Dolores del Rio, and Maria Felix.

With Dolores del Río, Amendáriz formed one of the most legendary couples of the Mexican cinema. The film named María Candelaria provided Armendáriz with international visibility. The film was awarded the Palm d’Or at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.

Other relevant films in which Armendáriz appeared with Dolores del Río were Las Abandonadas (1944), Bugambilia (1944) and La Malquerida (1949).

Maria Felix was his other co-star in films such as Enamorada (1946) and Maclovia (1948). Other notable films in which Armendariz participated in Mexico were: El Bruto (1953), La Cucaracha (1959) and La Bandida (1962).

Armendáriz made a remarkable career in Hollywood and Europe as well. Armendariz made the jump to Hollywood in the late 40s by the hand of the American film Director John Ford. Armendáriz was Ford’s favourite, appearing in three of his films: The Fugitive (1947), Fort Apache, and 3 Godfathers (both 1948).

Others of Armendariz’ prominent films in Hollywood include: We Were Strangers (1949), The Torch (1950), Border River (1954), The Conqueror (1956) and Diane (1956), among others.

In Europe, Pedro Armendariz participated in the film Lucrèce Borgia (1953) filmed in France.

Armendáriz’s last film was in the second James Bond film, From Russia with Love (1963), as Bond’s ally, Kerim Bey.

During his career as a film actor Armendariz was a six-time nominee for the Ariel Award for Best Actor, which he won twice (1948 and 1953). The Ariel Award is considered Mexico’s Academy Award. In 1947, he won a special Ariel Award.

Overall, Armendariz was very talented and thanks to his passion, force, acting abilities, and educated background he could perform various types of characters: manly characters, elegant personalities, powerful and iconic Mexican characters. As example of the latter, he played tough and manly men, indigenous, peasants, revolutionaries and Mexican charro man.

Additionally, Pedro Armendariz was considered a prototype of masculinity. His green eyes and attractive body features combined with his gentlemanly quality made him an instant favourite of great Hollywood directors like John Ford, and international co-stars like Maria Felix, Susan Hayward, Sean Connery among others.

Pedro Armendariz’s Death

Pedro Armendariz passed away on June 18, 1963 when he shot himself in the chest directly to his heart with a gun he had smuggled into a hospital in Los Angeles, California.

He had been hospitalized and diagnosed with terminal cancer in his hips, and he did not want to cause pain or to make his beloved family suffer from his illness, thus, he committed suicide.

He wrote a letter to his family explaining these reasons and secretly said goodbye to them some days before shooting himself.

It is believed that he developed this fatal illness as a consequence of participating in the film “The Conqueror” produced by the Hollywood film director Howard Hughes in 1956 and filmed in Utah in the US.

The Conqueror was filmed during the time when the US government ran nuclear tests in the neighbouring state of Nevada. 91 of the 220 people involved in the production of the film contracted cancer within some years.

In 1963 Armendariz filmed his last movie which was the second James Bond movie. When filming it Armendariz was already sick and suffered from severe pain in his hips. However, he decided to continue forward in order to leave behind financial resources for his family after his death.

Armendariz’s death, devastated his wife (Carmelita Pardo Bohr who was a retired film actress), his son (Pedro Armendariz Jr. also a prominent actor) and daughter (Carmen Armendariz, a TV producer). With Armendariz’s death, his family lost a beloved husband and lovely father. Mexico as a country also lost one of the greatest film actors in history.  

As Pedro Armendariz Hastings always loved Mexico, he was buried in Mexico City where he was born.

Pedro Armendariz Hastings’ Love for Mexican Culture and Nationalism

Pedro Armendariz was so proud of his Mexican cultural heritage. He refused to change his name and surname to a more commercial one when a film director suggested it.

Even when he could claim American citizenship from his mother, who was born in the US, and because he was raised and educated in the US, or the British citizenship from his grandfather’s side, he preferred to be remembered as a Mexican film actor. He preserved his Mexican citizenship and made history as a Mexican film actor leaving his legacy in Mexico.

As an interesting fact about the Mexican culture that is also portrayed through Pedro Armendariz’s personal life and we would like to highlight is the role of the family in the Mexican culture.

For Mexicans, family is very important, as we can see in Pedro Armendariz’s story. For instance, though he lost his parents when he was a young child, he was raised with love by his grandparents.

He moved to California to study thanks to the support of his uncle. Later when he got married, he became a lovely father concerned for the economic future of his family. For this reason Pedro Armendariz filmed his last movie despite the intense pains caused by his illness.

When thinking about where the love for the Mexican culture and nationalism were born, we focus our attention on his family values and also we would like to highlight the role of Roque (his male nanny for 20 years).

Pedro Armendariz Hastings received love and care during the most important years of his young life from his grandparents, uncles, and Roque.

Roque may have had an important influence on Pedro Armendariz, because from Roque he could learn to love the roots of the Mexican culture.

This may also explain why Pedro Armendariz developed a strong nationalism during his film career in Mexico and portrayed indigenous people, peasants, charros and revolutionary characters even though he was highly educated and the descendant of a wealthy family of European and Mexican origins.

Pedro Armendariz Hastings, The Godfather of Mexico Real Cafe

For his magnificent film career, leadership spirit, love for the Mexican culture and some commonalities that Mexico Real Cafe shares with Pedro Armendariz, at Mexico Real Cafe we have named Pedro Armendariz Hastings the Godfather of Mexico Real Cafe.

Some of the nice coincidences that we discovered when writing this post dedicated to Pedro Armendariz Hastings include the following: Pedro Armendariz Hastings wrote for the bilingual magazine called Mexico Real. Similarly, we share the passion to write for the bilingual blog of Mexico Real Cafe.

Another coincidence that we share is our tie to England. In this regard, Pedro Armendariz is of British descent. His surname Hastings may be related to the seaside town of Hastings in East Sussex England. Similarly, Mexico Real Cafe started its journey and business story in a seaside town in East Sussex, England.

We also share the values and love for the best aspects of Mexican culture, and work hard to position the name of Mexico as high as we can through our Specialty Arabica Coffee grown wild in Mexico and also share with people from around the world the best aspects and expressions of Mexican culture.

We invite you to drink our Mexican Gourmet Arabica Coffee: Maya Chiapas, Pluma Mountain and Swiss Water Decaffeinated Pluma Oaxaca coffee and continue visiting Mexico Real Cafe’s Blog to learn more about the various expressions of Mexican Culture.

On our blog you can read posts about: The Mexican Cuisine, The Traditional Day of the Dead, The Mayan Culture, The Eagle Warrior, The History of Donaji and Nucano, Frida Kahlo, The paintings of Diego Rivera, Coffee Recipes, The Mexican Panthera Onca and much more.

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