Antonia Rey (born Maria Antonia Francesch, October 12, 1926 – February 21, 2019)[1] was a Cuban-born American actress.

Antonia Rey
Maria Antonia Francesch

(1926-10-12)October 12, 1926
DiedFebruary 21, 2019(2019-02-21) (aged 92)
Years active1954-2019
Spouse(s)Andres Castro (m. 1958)

Life and careerEdit

Rey was born in Havana, Cuba, the daughter of Emilia (née Rangel), a nurse, and Antonio Francesch, a dentist.[2] She married theatre director Andres Castro in 1958 – during the intermission of a play. Despite offers of prominence in their fields, they chose to flee communist Cuba in 1961.[1]

Rey's Broadway credits include The Rose Tattoo (1995), The Ritz (1975), A Streetcar Named Desire (1973), 42 Seconds from Broadway (1973), The Engagement Baby (1970), Camino Real (1970), Mike Downstairs (1968), and Bajour (1964).[3]

Rey is better known for her cameos in various movies like Kiss Me, Guido (1997),[4] Jacob's Ladder and King of the Gypsies, as well as the TV-movie pilot for Kojak entitled The Marcus-Nelson Murders. She has also appeared in shows such as Who's the Boss?, Third Watch, Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Rey's final role was Assunta Bianchi, in the television series Happy!; her character dies in the second to last episode of the series, which aired three months after Rey's death, and featured a closing “In Memory” credit dedicated to Rey.

In 2003, she received the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA).



Year Title Role Notes
1968 Coogan's Bluff Mrs. Amador
1969 Popi Mrs. Cruz
1971 Klute Mrs. Vasek
1971 'Doc' Concha
1971 Who Killed Mary Whats 'ername? Waitress
1971 Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!
1972 To Find a Man Modesta
1974 The Lords of Flatbush Mrs. Rosiello
1976 The Money Pearl
1978 King of the Gypsies Danitza Giorgio
1979 Hair Mrs. Berger, George's Mother
1979 Boardwalk Carmelita
1980 The Changeling Estancia
1981 Time Bandits Daisy
1982 The Clairvoyant Spanish Woman
1984 Moscow on the Hudson Counter Woman at McDonald's
1984 Beat Street Flora
1984 Garbo Talks Esmeralda
1986 Wise Guys Aunt Sadie
1987 Forever, Lulu Clara
1987 Spaceballs Clarie
1988 White Hot Market Woman
1988 Spike of Bensonhurst Bandanas Mother
1989 Simple Justice Mrs. Maria Pajarro
1990 Jacob's Ladder Woman on Subway
1991 True Colors Soledad
1991 I Was On Mars La Mama
1992 Chain of Desire Jesus' Mother
1994 Only You Fortune Teller
1994 It Runs in the Family Gypsy Woman
1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance Mrs. Stella
1995 Tarantella Grandmother
1997 Kiss Me, Guido Josephia Zito
1997 The Full Monty Emmy
1998 The Object of My Affection Mrs. Ochoa
1999 Gloria Tenant
2001 Piñero Senora
2005 The Reality Trap Consuela
2005 Corpse Bride Trixie Voice
2009 Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva Veronica English dub
2014 Match Mrs. Trujillo
2015 Alto Nonna Del Vecchio”


Year Title Role Notes
2017–2019 Happy! Assunta Bianchi


  1. ^ a b Seelye, Katharine Q. (March 22, 2019). "Antonia Rey, Latin Actress of Stage and Screen, Dies at 92". Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  2. ^ Antonia Rey Biography (1927-)
  3. ^ "Antonia Rey". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on September 26, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "Kiss Me, Guido, TV Guide". Retrieved November 11, 2018.

External linksEdit