José Manuel Martín

José Manuel Martín Pérez (born 24 May 1924) is a Spanish retired film and television actor, radio broadcaster, and screenwriter. He was a popular character actor in Spanish cinema during the 1950s and 60s, best remembered for playing villainous henchmen, appearing in more than 100 film and television productions.

José Manuel Martín
José Manuel Martín in Lo voglio morto, 1968.jpg
José Manuel Martín in Lo voglio morto (1968)
José Manuel Martín Pérez

(1924-05-24)24 May 1924
Other namesJ. Manuel Martin, Jose M. Martin, Jose Manuel Martin, José M. Martin, José Manuel Martí, J. Manuel Martín, J.M. Martín, Jose M. Martín, José M. Martín, Manuel Martín, J. Manuel Martín Pérez, J.M. Martín Pérez
OccupationFilm and television actor
Years active1952–1989

Born in Casavieja, Spain, Pérez studied at Madrid's Teatro Español Universitario and the Lope de Rueda, and began working for Radio Nacional de España in 1942, before making his feature film debut in César Fernández Ardavín's 1952 war drama La llamada de África starring Ali Beiba Uld Abidin, Yahadid Ben Ahmed Lehbib and Farachi Ben Emboiric.

Pérez is particularly noted for his work in the Spaghetti Western genre, alongside regulars such as Aldo Sambrell and Andrea Scotti, with supporting roles in Savage Guns (1961), Gunfighters of Casa Grande (1964), Minnesota Clay(1964), A Pistol for Ringo (1965), Seven Dollars on the Red (1966), Arizona Colt (1966), A Bullet for the General (1966), Blood River (1967), 100 Rifles (1969), and Cut-Throats Nine (1972). He also had memorable roles in EuroHorror films such as Sax Rohmer's The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (1973), Count Dracula's Great Love (1974), and Curse of the Devil (1974).

Early lifeEdit

José Manuel Martín Pérez was born on 24 May 1924 in Casavieja, Ávila, Castilla y León, Spain . He initially studied at the Teatro Español Universitario in Madrid with José Luis López Vázquez, María Jesús Valdés and Valeriano Andrés before obtaining a scholarship at the Lope de Rueda. It was there that he started working in professional theater under Alejandro Ulloa. Starting in 1942, he was also employed as a broadcaster for Radio Nacional de España. Pérez eventually received a bachelor degree in journalism.


Martín (left), with co-star José Canalejas, in the Tonino Valerii Spaghetti Western Per il gusto di uccidere (1966)

At age 28, Pérez made his feature film debut in the war drama La llamada de África (1952), written and directed by César Fernández Ardavín, and starred Ali Beiba Uld Abidin, Yahadid Ben Ahmed Lehbib and Farachi Ben Emboiric. This was followed by minor roles in Ángel Vilches' adventure film A dos grados del ecuador (1953), the Luis Lucia comedy Aeropuerto (1953), and Rafael Gil's religious-themed historical dramas I Was a Parish Priest (1953) and Judas' Kiss (1954). He received his first supporting role, as Muñoz, in Gil's next film Murió hace quince años (1954) appearing alongside Rafael Rivelles, Francisco Rabal and Lyla Rocco. He made two other films with Gil, La otra vida del capitán Contreras (1955) and El canto del gallo (1955), as well part of the supporting cast in Javier Setó's dramas Duelo de pasiones (1956) and Ha pasado un hombre (1956), Pedro Luis Ramírez's comedy Los ladrones somos gente honrada (1956), and José María Ochoa's La mestiza (1956). He appeared in one more film for Rafael Gil that same year, Miracle of the White Suit (1956), and landed an important supporting roles in Spanish Affair (1957), co-directed by Don Siegel and Luis Marquina, Sergio Corbucci's Ángeles sin cielo (1957),[1] and Luis Buñuel's Viridiana (1961).[2][3] He also started working in television joining the cast of Diego Valor in 1958. Pérez continued on in supporting roles for number of other films then being shot in Almería and elsewhere.[4]

Spaghetti WesternsEdit

Martín as "Cherokee" in the Gino Mangini Spaghetti Western Bastard, Go and Kill (1971).

In the early-1960s, Eurowesterns, which would evolve into the popular Spaghetti Westerns, were being shot in Almería. Pérez was among a number of Spanish character actors to find fame in this new genre. His background playing villains made him ideal for being cast as a Mexican bandit or henchman. Pérez's prolific appearances made him was one of the most recognizable Spanish actors involved in the genre, rivaling those of fellow Spaghetti Western regulars such as Aldo Sambrell and Andrea Scotti, and is considered one of the best villains of the era.[5]

His first roles were in Savage Guns[6] and Gunfighters of Casa Grande (1964), one of the genre's earliest films, and continued working at its height with memorable performances in Bullets Don't Argue [it] (1964),[6] Minnesota Clay(1964), A Pistol for Ringo (1965),[5][6] Seven Dollars on the Red (1966), Arizona Colt (1966), A Bullet for the General (1966),[5] Blood River (1967),[7][8] I Want Him Dead (1968), 100 Rifles (1969), A Bullet for Sandoval (1969),[2][9] and into the "twilight" Spaghetti Westerns Bastard, Go and Kill (1971), Amigo, Stay Away (1972), and Cut-Throats Nine (1972).[10] His last Italo-Western appearance, Amigo, Stay Away, was an uncredited role as a peddler.

In between Spaghetti Westerns, Pérez also had supporting roles in The Ceremony (1963),[2] Operation Atlantis (1965),[11] Fall of the Mohicans (1965),[12] Con el viento solano (1966), and Bewitched Love (1967).

Later careerEdit

In the late-1960s and 70s, Pérez starred in Spanish horror films such as Sax Rohmer's The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (1973), Count Dracula's Great Love (1974), and Curse of the Devil (1974). An author of numerous poems, he occasionally tried his hand at screenwriting. His first script was for Rafael Romero Marchent's The Student Connection (1974), co-written with Luciano Ercoli, José Luis Navarro, and Marchent.

Pérez went into semi-retirement in the late-1970s. He made several guest appearances on the popular action-adventure television series Curro Jiménez, starring Sancho Gracia, in 1977. Other notable performances included supporting roles in Alberto Vázquez Figueroa's Oro rojo (1978), Mariano Ozores' comedy western Al este del oeste (1984), Jaime Camino's Spanish Civil War film Dragón Rapide (1986), and the Peter Lilienthal sports film Der Radfahrer von San Cristóbal (1988). His last regular film was an uncredited role in Montoyas y Tarantos (1989) followed by a final appearance in the crime-drama film Amor propio (1994) directed by Mario Camus. He also wrote two more scripts during the decade: Ángel Martínez Astudillo short film El pisito (1996) and the comedy Maestros (2000), which he co-wrote with director Óscar del Caz.

In the early-2000s, Pérez made one-time guest appearances on television series Policías, en el corazón de la calle and Los Serrano. He also had a cameo on Dunia Ayaso and Félix Sabroso's dramady Descongélate! (2003), starring Pepón Nieto, Candela Peña and Loles León.


Year Film Role Notes
1952 The Call of Africa Unknown
1953 A dos grados del ecuador Unknown
Airport Unknown (uncredited)
I Was a Parish Priest Unknown
1954 Judas' Kiss Unknown (as J.M. Martín Pérez)
He Died Fifteen Years Ago Muñoz (as J. Manuel Martín Pérez)
1955 La otra vida del capitán Contreras Unknown
The Cock Crow Unknown
1956 Duelo de pasiones Unknown
Ha pasado un hombre Unknown
We Thieves Are Honourable Antón, El Mayordomo
La mestiza Unknown
Miracle of the White Suit Jugador
1957 Spanish Affair Fernando
Ángeles sin cielo Curro
1958 El aprendiz de malo Socio de Bautista
Die Sklavenkarawane Unknown
1959 Molokai, la isla maldita Unknown (as José M. Martín)
Luna de verano Unknown
Gayarre Frascuelo
Two Men in Town Unknown
Leap to Fame Unknown
Life Around Us Unknown
Der Löwe von Babylon Aftab
1960 Juicio final Unknown
Juanito Carras (as José M. Martin)
Peace Never Comes Unknown
1961 Conqueror of Maracaibo Unknown
At Five in the Afternoon Secretario
Viridiana Beggar
El hombre de la isla Unknown
Savage Guns Sequra
1962 Mentirosa Unknown
Cupido contrabandista Walter
1963 Cristo negro Unknown
The Castilian Unknown
Shéhérazade Unknown (as J.M. Martín)
The Girl from La Mancha Unknown
Los Tarantos Curro (as J. Manuel Martín)
The Ceremony 2nd Gendarme
1964 Rueda de sospechosos Unknown
Gunfighters of Casa Grande Don Luis Ariola (uncredited)
Weeping for a Bandit "El Tuerto"
Bullets Don't Argue Ramon
Minnesota Clay Unknown
1965 A Pistol for Ringo Pedro
Man from Canyon City Esteban
Operation Atlantis Nailawi
Train d'enfer Unknown
Fall of the Mohicans Cunning Fox
1966 Seven Dollars on the Red El Gringo / Chulo
Con el viento solano Zafra (as Manuel Martín)
Per il gusto di uccidere Rodrigo
Arizona Colt Watch Henchman
Five for Revenge Ramon
Gunfight at High Noon Richard
He Who Shoots First Ringo (as José M. Martín)
A Bullet for the General Raimundo
Cuatro dólares de venganza Manuel de Losa
1967 Bewitched Love Lorenzo
Operation Delilah Joe
Blood River Bud
Forty Degrees in the Shade
1968 Fifteen Scaffolds for the Killer Benny
Un treno per Durango Peons Speaker
Four Dollars of Revenge Manuel de Losa
Un minuto per pregare, un instante per morire "El Bailarin" (uncredited)
I Want Him Dead Jack Blood
Pride and Vengeance Juan (uncredited)
Commando Attack Unknown
1969 El médico y el curandero Unknown Short film
Juan Pedro the Scyther Unknown
100 Rifles Sarita's Father (as Jose Manuel Martin)
Deadly Sanctuary Victor
Sax Rohmer's The Castle of Fu Manchu Omar Pashu (as Jose Manuel Martin)
The Forgotten Pistolero Miguel
A Bullet for Sandoval Guerico
Day After Tomorrow Unknown
1970 La larga agonía de los peces fuera del agua Hombre de la pistola
Fortunata and Jacinta Fortunata's Uncle
Arizona Moreno
No desearás al vecino del quinto Taxista (as Jose M. Martín)
The Wind's Fierce Visitante
1971 Bastard, Go and Kill Cherokee
El Cristo del Océano Libio
Rum Runners Un Policier Panaméen (uncredited)
Death Walks on High Heels Smith (as J. Manuel Martin)
Hunt the Man Down Mexican Soldier
1972 Amigo, Stay Away The Peddler (uncredited)
Antony and Cleopatra Guard
Cut-Throats Nine John McFarlane
1973 The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff Albert Mathews
1974 El último viaje Manolo
Count Dracula's Great Love Unknown (as Jose Manuel Martin)
Curse of the Devil Bela (as Jose M. Martin)
1976 La espada negra Unknown
1977 Del amor y de la muerte Unknown
1978 Oro rojo Unknown
1980 Adiós, querida mamá Unknown
1984 Al este del oeste Unknown (as Jose Manuel Martin)
1986 Dragón Rapide Oficial ayudante del General Franco (as José Manuel Martí)
1988 El Lute II: mañana seré libre Unknown
Der Radfahrer von San Cristóbal Camillo
The Brother from Space Unknown
1989 Montoyas y Tarantos Unknown (uncredited)
1994 Amor propio Quico
2003 Descongélate! Unknown
As a screenwriter
Year Film Role Notes
1974 The Student Connection Co-writer (as José M. Martin)
1996 El pisito Writer Short film
2000 Maestros Writer


Year Film Role Notes
1958 Diego Valor Mekong
1965 Estudio 1 Casca Episode: "Julio César"
1974 Los camioneros Rogelio Episode: "Seis toros y uno toreado"
1977 Curro Jiménez Episode: "Carambola a tres bandas"
Episode: "El secuestro"
Episode: "Veinte mil onzas mejicanas"
1983 La comedia Episode: "El baile de los ladrones"
2000 Policías, en el corazón de la calle Episode: "Vivir se ha puesto al rojo vivo"
2004 Los Serrano Episode: "El fluido básico"


  1. ^ Sammons, Eddie. Shakespeare: A Hundred Years On Film. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2004. (pg. 125) ISBN 0-8108-4446-X
  2. ^ a b c Krafsur, Richard P., ed. The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1961-1970. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1976. (pg. 131, 161, 412, 439, 708, 847, 1180) ISBN 0-520-20970-2
  3. ^ Schneider, Stephen Jay, ed. 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. 5th ed. Happage, New York: Barron's Educational Series, 2008. (pg. 393) ISBN 0-7641-6151-2
  4. ^ Masegosa, Lola Caparrós, Ignacio Fernández Mañas, and Juan Soler Vizcaíno. La producción cinematográfica en Almería, 1951-1975. Almena: Instituto de Estudios Almerienses, 1997. ISBN 84-8108-131-0
  5. ^ a b c Hughes, Howard. Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006. ISBN 1-85043-896-X
  6. ^ a b c Fridlund, Bert. The Spaghetti Western: A Thematic Analysis. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2006. (pg. 76) ISBN 0-7864-2507-5
  7. ^ Pym, John, ed. The Time Out Film Guide. London: Penguin Books, 2002. (pg. 122) ISBN 0-14-029395-7
  8. ^ Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide 2004. New York: Signet, 2003. (pg. 538) ISBN 0-451-20940-0
  9. ^ Kinnard, Roy. The Blue and the Gray on the Silver Screen: More than Eighty Years of Civil War Movies. Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Publishing Group, 1996. (pg. 253) ISBN 1-55972-383-1
  10. ^ Bruckner, Ulrich P., ed. Für ein paar Leichen mehr: der Italo-Western von seinen Anfängen bis heute. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2002. ISBN 3-89602-416-7
  11. ^ Parish, James and Michael Pitts. The Great Spy Pictures II. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow, 1986. (pg. 11) ISBN 0-8108-1913-9
  12. ^ Weisser, Thomas. Spaghetti Westerns: The Good, The Bad, and The Violent: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Filmography of 558 Eurowesterns and Their Personnel, 1961-1977. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1992. (pg. 187) ISBN 0-89950-688-7

Further readingEdit

  • Frayling, Christopher. Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. 2nd ed. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1998. ISBN 1-86064-200-4
  • Gasca, Luis. Un siglo de cine español. Barcelona: Planeta, 1998. ISBN 84-08-02309-8

External linksEdit