Ignacio López Tarso

Ignacio López López (born 15 January 1925), known professionally as Ignacio López Tarso, is a Mexican actor of stage, film and television. He has acted in about 50 films and appeared in documentaries and in one short feature. In 1973 he was given the Ariel Award for Best Actor for Rosa Blanca, and the Ariel de Oro lifetime achievement award in 2007. He has also been honored multiple times at the TVyNovelas Awards.

Ignacio López Tarso
López Tarso 2015 (cropped).jpg
Tarso in 2015
Ignacio López López

(1925-01-15) 15 January 1925 (age 98)
Years active1940–present
SpouseClara Aranda
Children3 (including Juan Ignacio Aranda)
  • Alfonso López Bermúdez (father)
  • Ignacia López Herrera (mother)
  • Alfonso López López (brother)
  • Marta López López (sister)
AwardsList of awards


Early life and educationEdit

López was born in Cerano Guanajuato to parents Alfonso López Bermúdez and Ignacia López Herrera, from Spanish (Catalonia and Andalusia roots), Indigenous (Mestizo), and French descent. Because of his father's job, he spent his childhood in several cities including Veracruz, Hermosillo, Navojoa and Guadalajara. His siblings are Alfonso and Marta. At around age 8-9, when he was in Guadalajara, his parents took him to see a play, where he became interested in acting.

He lived in Valle de Bravo, Estado de México, where he went to secondary school. Although his family's economic problems kept him from attending high school, he joined seminaries in Temascalcingo, Estado de México and Mexico City to continue his education. During his time there, a visiting priest from the United States organized a group to perform plays, in which he participated. He learned to read oral poetry and books of classical plays, including those by Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca.

When he was 20, he joined the military service at Querétaro, where he was in barracks for about a year. He also served in the Veracruz and Monterrey regiments, and eventually reached First Sergeant grade. After completing his service, he declined an opportunity to attend military school, even though he liked the discipline.

He worked in Mexico City as a sales agent for a clothing company. He aspired to work in the United States, and planned to work at an orange grove in Merced, California. However, a few days in, he fell from a tree and injured his vertebrae. He returned to Mexico City for rehabilitation therapy which lasted about a year.


Tarso (with wig) during a play in August 2019

While López was in physical therapy, he read books on poetry and theatre, and became a fan of author Xavier Villaurrutia. After his recovery, he heard that Villaurrutia was teaching theatre at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, so he visited him, initially to ask for his autograph, but then was invited to listen in on his lessons. After a few days, he formally joined the theatre academy at age 24. When Villaurrutia advised Lopez to pick a stage name, he changed from "López López" to "López Tarso"; the Tarso was Spanish for Paul the Apostle's hometown of Tarsus, and also one of the cities in Mexico where Lopez had once lived. Besides Villaurrutia, he studied under other masters such as Salvador Novo, Clementina Otero, Celestino Gorostiza, André Moreau, Seki Sano, Fernando Wagner and Fernando Torre Lapham.

López Tarso's professional stage debut was in 1951 for the play Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin. He would also perform in several William Shakespeare plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear. Other productions included: The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, Hippolytus by Euripides, La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, The Miser by Molière, El villano en su rincón by Lope de Vega, The Mayor of Zalamea by Calderón de la Barca, and Exit the king by Eugène Ionesco. "Equus" by Peter Shaffer. He also performed works from authors Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, Guillén de Castro, Hugo Argüelles, Emilio Carballido, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, over a hundred productions throughout his career.

Ignacio López Tarso's theatrical work has been mostly performing in drama, though in the years 2014 and 2015 he starred in a two-person comedy written by Carlos Gorostiza and titled Aeroplanos ("Airplanes"); his performance on stage was presented with Sergio Corona who alternated appearances with Manuel "Loco" Valdés. The play was presented at the Teatro Independencia in Mexico City.


López Tarso's film debut was in 1954 where he played a minor character in La desconocida, which was directed by Chano Urueta.

He played the title character Macario, a supernatural drama directed by Roberto Gavaldón set in the Day of the Dead. The film was entered into the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.[1] and was the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1961.[2] He himself won a Golden Gate Award for Best Actor at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1960, and would win another for his work in the 1963 film The Paper Man, directed by Ismael Rodríguez.

Tarso in 1986

In 1961, López Tarso starred in Rosa Blanca, directed by Gavaldon. Because the film was censured by political interests of the time, it was not released until 1972. He won the Ariel Award for Best Actor in 1973. Other notable movie performances included: Cri Cri, el grillito cantor (1963), directed by Tito Davison; La vida inútil de Pito Pérez (1969), directed by Gavaldón; The prophet Mimi (1972), directed by José Estrada; Rapiña (1973), directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada; and The bricklayers (1976), directed by Jorge Fons.

As part of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, López Tarso has acted in over fifty films, sharing star roles with actors such as Dolores del Río, María Félix, Marga López, Carlos López Moctezuma, Elsa Aguirre, Luis Aguilar, Katy Jurado, Irasema Dilián, Pedro Armendáriz and Emilio el indio Fernández.

Besides film, López Tarso has appeared in over twenty television series, and has released eight albums, many of which he recites poems and corridos about the Mexican Revolution. At one time, he served as a politician and became a federal deputy. He also had jobs in various organizations and trade-unions related to the actor and cinematographic associations.

Personal lifeEdit

López Tarso married Clara Aranda. They have three children: Susana, Gabriela and Juan Ignacio, the last of whom became an actor Juan Ignacio Aranda.

On May 22, 2016, Tarso underwent surgery to treat a growing tumor in his large intestine and polyps in his small intestine.[3] Tarso was later placed under intensive care unit.[3]

Awards and accoladesEdit

Tarso holding a recognition paper in a homage done for him by the Mexico City Government in 2015

López Tarso has won many Mexican and international awards including the following:

Premios ArielEdit

Year Category Movie Result
1973 Best Performance Rosa blanca Won
1974 El profeta Mimí Nominated
1975 Rapiña

TVyNovelas AwardsEdit

Year Category Telenovela Result
1983 Best Male Antagonist El derecho de nacer Nominated
1988 Best First Actor Senda de gloria
1991 Ángeles blancos
1995 Imperio de cristal Won
1998 Esmeralda
2001 La casa en la playa Nominated
2003 De pocas, pocas pulgas Won
2014 Corazón Indomable Nominated



Year Title Role Notes
1954 La desconocida Debut film
1955 Chilam Balam
1957 Feliz año, amor mío Manuel
1957 Vainilla, bronce y morir Ricardo Castillo
1958 Ama a tu prójimo Voice only
1959 Nazarín El sacrílego
1959 Sonatas Jefe de guerrilleros
1959 La cucaracha Trinidad
1959 El hambre nuestra de cada día Pablo
1960 Macario Macario
1960 La estrella vacía Luis Arvide
1960 La sombra del Caudillo General Hilario Jiménez
1961 Ellas también son rebeldes Dr. Gabriel Renteria
1961 Juana Gallo Pioquinto
1961 Los hermanos Del Hierro El pistolero
1961 Y Dios la llamó tierra Efren Domínguez
1961 Rosa Blanca Jacinto Yáñez
1963 La bandida Anselmo
1963 Corazón de niño
1963 El hombre de papel Adán
1963 Días de otoño Albino
1963 Cri Cri el grillito cantor Francisco Gabilondo Soler "Cri-Cri"
1964 Furia en el Edén
1964 El gallo de oro Dionisio Pinzón
1965 Un hombre en la trampa Javier Ortiz
1965 Tarahumara Raúl
1967 Pedro Páramo Fulgor Sedano
1968 Un largo viaje hacia la muerte
1968 Las visitaciones del diablo Félix Estrella
1969 La puerta y la mujer del carnicero Melitón Torres Segment: "La mujer del carnicero"
1969 La trinchera
1970 La vida inútil de Pito Pérez Pito Pérez
1971 La Generala Rosauro Márquez
1972 Cayó de la gloria el diablo Don Emeterio Sánchez
1973 El profeta Mimi Ángel Peñafiel, Mimi
1973 The Divine Caste Don Wilfrido
1974 En busca de un muro José Clemente Orozco
1974 Hernán Cortés Short film
1975 Rapiña
1976 Renuncia por motivos de salud Ingeniero Gustavo Sánchez Camero


Tarso in 2019
Year Title Role Notes
1957 Noches de angustia Television debut
1961 Cuatro en la trampa
1963–1964 Gran teatro Episodes: "Cyrano De Bergerac" & "Hipolito"
1966 Amor y orgullo
1967 La tormenta Gabriel
1970 La constitución
1971 Rosas para Verónica
1972 El edificio de enfrente
1972 El carruaje Cura
1973 El honorable Señor Valdez Humberto Valdéz Lead role
1978 La trampa Henry Morell
1979 Amor prohibido Arturo Galván
1980 El combate
1981 El periquillo sangriento
1981 El derecho de nacer Don Rafael del Junco
1987 Senda de gloria General Eduardo Álvarez
1990 Ángeles blancos Perfecto
1994 Imperio de cristal Don César Lombardo
1995 Bajo un Mismo Rostro
1997 Esmeralda Melesio
1998 Camila Genaro
1998 Ángela Feliciano Villanueva
2000 La casa en la playa Don Ángel Villarreal Cueto
2001 Atrévete a olvidarme Gonzalo Rivas
2001 Navidad sin fin Rodito
2002–2003 ¡Vivan los niños! Don Ignacio Robles
2003 De pocas, pocas pulgas Don Julián Montes
2005 La esposa virgen Francisco Ortiz
2005 Peregrina Don Baltazar
2007 Amor sin maquillaje
2008 Mañana es para siempre Isaac Newton Barrera
2009 Mar de amor El Mojarras
2011 La Fuerza del Destino Don Severiano
2011 La que no podía amar Fermín Peña
2013 Corazón Indomable Don Ramiro Olivares
2014 La malquerida Juan Carlos Maldonado
2015 Amores con trampa Don Porfirio Carmona
2019 Médicos, línea de vida Héctor


1964 Laura; {{Collapsible List

1. Los Mejores 3:45 2. A Ver 1821 2:47 3. Koala es una ciudad 5:45 4. La Ciudad de la historia 2:28 5. Una gran 1:23 6. Simple question 1:00 7. Bala es una gran 0:44 8. Gracias por todo (¿Como na Tede?) 2:11}} 1992 Una gran 1. Lu La La 1:45 2. La Mejor Forma 4:23 3. Sevilla 2:28 4. Una Gran 1:23 5. Se trata del primer 4:35 6. Roma Roma 2:45 7. Cine y cine 1:45 8. Ole y ole 2:20 9. La Air de la historia 1:22 2000 Sevilla es una ciudad 1. Promo Ana 5:55 2. Lu Es una ciudad muy 1:28 3. Se trata 1:55 4. Cómoda 1:25 5. El Juego de la historia 2:45 6. Lo que pasa es que no se pueden 3:22 7. La Ciudad 3:33 8. Lola 2:14


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Macario". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  2. ^ "The 33rd Academy Awards (1961) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  3. ^ a b Armando Tinoco (23 May 2016). "Ignacio López Tarso Hospitalized: Mexican Actor In Intensive Care After Surgery". Latin Times. Retrieved 24 May 2016.

External linksEdit