Pedro Ínfante

Pedro Ínfante
Lived hard
Died young
And left a beautiful memory

José Pedro Infante Cruz, born November 18, 1917 in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, is the most loved and famous Mexican actor, movie star and singer of all time.

He began his film career at age 22 in 1939, appearing in more than 60 films, and starting in 1943, he recorded nearly 350 songs. His performance in the movie Tizoc won him the best actor award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Pedro was in love with Mérida and Mérida was in love with him.

He met the exotic dancer Lupita Torrentera and had three children with her in Mérida.   Pedro was a ladies man.  He had a wife, but he often had love affairs with other women.  Many women found his celebrity and charm  irresistible.

The morning of April 15, 1957 at 8:15 a.m., aviator enthusiast Pedro Infante, while piloting his own converted B-24 Liberator bomber, crashed and was killed while leaving the airport at Mérida, Yucatán, on his way to Mexico City.

The world mourned.

A national outpouring of grief spurred the creation of three majestic bronze statues in his memory; in Mexico City, Mazatlán and Mérida.

Cast in bronze from thousands of keys donated, by his adoring fans, this art in action figure is located near downtown Mérida at the intersection of 62 and 93 in Colonia Delio Moreno Canton.

A fitting image of Pedro silhouetted against the sky he loved so much and dressed in his famous movie set attire atop a bucking horse.

Pedro Ínfante sang and recorded, Kiss Me a Lot, his one and only song in English. In Spanish, the song is Bésame Mucho and was composed by Consuelo Velázqiez, Mexico’s greatest female composer.*  That legendary song was featured in the 1951 movie A Toda Máquina in which Pedro was the star.

Pedro Infante’s reputation has enlarged greatly since his death.
He was everybody’s hero; the partying cowboy charro, people of the working class and  lovers of Mexican movies and music  around the world.

To this day, musical tributes of homage are paid to this one-of-a-kind charismatic personality by singers of traditional ranchera and mariachi music.
As Pedro rides off, his timeless songs, which resonate through the ages, are kept alive.

*For the interesting story of Mexico’s most famous female composer, Consuelo Velázqiez, click the following link:
http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1172-did-you-know-consuelo-vel%C3%A1zquez-and-b%C3%A9same-mucho

©2010John M. Grimsrud

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