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Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez (May 24, 1925 – February 6, 2006) was an American character actor best known for his appearances in a number of John Wayne movies.

Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez.jpg
Born
Ramiro Gonzalez-Gonzalez

(1925-05-24)May 24, 1925
DiedFebruary 6, 2006(2006-02-06) (aged 80)
Culver City, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Occupationcharacter actor
Years active1953–1998
Spouse(s)Leandra (1942–2006; his death; 3 children)

Contents

Life and careerEdit

Born Ramiro Gonzalez-Gonzalez in Aguilares, Texas to a Mexican American father and a Mexican born mother with identical surnames, Gonzalez Gonzalez grew up in a talent-filled home. His father was a trumpet player, and his mother was a dancer. His brother was actor Jose Gonzales-Gonzales (1922-2000). He left school at the age of seven to join a family act called "Las Perlitas" that toured southwest Texas. As a result, he was functionally illiterate for all of his life. As a result of his illiteracy, he memorized scripts by having his wife read them to him. Gonzalez Gonzalez married at the age of seventeen and served in World War II as a driver in the United States.[1] After the war he performed stand-up comedy for Spanish-speaking audiences.

In 1953, he appeared on the Groucho Marx NBC television quiz show You Bet Your Life under the name Ramiro G. Gonzalez, where his banter with Marx attracted notice. Marx asked him: "What does the 'G' stand for?" to which he replied "Gonzalez", and explained that both his parents had been surnamed "Gonzalez" before being married. So Marx asked: "What does your wife call you: Ramiro or Gonzalez?" He replied "She calls me 'Pedro'", triggering rare laughter from Marx. After Gonzalez performed a 15-second comic dance to strong applause, Marx complimented his guest's comedic skill, saying: "Pedro, we could do a great act together. We could make a fortune in vaudeville, you and I. What -- what would we call our act, you know, if we went out together? 'The Two Hot Tamales'?" After Pedro deadpanned "Gonzalez Gonzalez and Marx", Marx made an aside: "That's nice billing. Two people in the act, and I get third place!" [2]

John Wayne saw his appearance on the program and cast him as comic relief in a number of movies including The High and the Mighty, Rio Bravo and Hellfighters. He also made guest appearances in shows such as The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Gunsmoke and Wanted: Dead or Alive, as well as the Jerry Lewis film, Hook, Line & Sinker. Wayne also had Burt Kennedy write a TV series for Gonzalez Gonzalez that was never made.[3]

Gonzalez Gonzalez played extra characters behind Mel Blanc in a number of Speedy Gonzales cartoons, including "A Taste of Catnip" and "Go Go Amigo," billed generally as Gonzalez Gonzalez.

As a result of playing comic relief roles, he was accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes about Hispanic men. However, Edward James Olmos said of Gonzalez Gonzalez at the time of his death that he "inspired every Latino actor."[4]

He died at his home of natural causes, and was survived by his wife Leandra and three children.[5]

He is the grandfather of actor Clifton Collins Jr.

FilmographyEdit

TelevisionEdit

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies ShortsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (15 February 2006). "Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, 80; Comedic Entertainer and Character Actor Who Starred in Movies and TV". Retrieved 27 February 2017 – via LA Times.
  2. ^ Episode aired February 12, 1953 on YouTube
  3. ^ Axmaker, Sean (6 November 2008). "Burt Kennedy: Writing Broadway in Arizona". Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  4. ^ Obituary in the San Jose Mercury News
  5. ^ Chicago Tribune obituary, February 19, 2006, page 7, section 4

External linksEdit