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Paco Rabal; Award-Winning Spanish Actor

Paco Rabal, 75, one of Spain’s most popular actors, died Wednesday while flying home from the Montreal Film Festival.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but Rabal began coughing and was given oxygen. His plane made an emergency landing in Bordeaux, France, but Rabal died before doctors could reach him, his wife, actress Asuncion Balaguer, told Spanish national news agency Efe.

During his long acting career, Rabal appeared in more than 200 films and plays. He worked with top movie directors, from Luis Bunuel to Oscar-winning Pedro Almodovar. He appeared in Almodovar’s “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down.”

He won the Cannes best actor award in 1984 for his performance in “The Holy Innocents” in which he played a fool. He was scheduled in September to receive the Donostia Prize, a lifetime award, at the Basque region’s San Sebastian Film Festival. He won a Goya best actor award two years ago.

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He also was known for his commitment to human rights and other social causes.


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