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Anthony Quinn

Quinn, Anthony (Anthony Rudolph Oaxaca Quinn), 1915–2001, American actor, b. Chihuahua, Mex. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was four years old. Quinn had a number of jobs before turning to acting in the 1930s; his first movie role was in 1936. Of Mexican-Indian and Mexican-Irish parentage, he was tall, swarthy, and powerfully built, and early in his career played dozens of Native American and outlaw roles. Thereafter, he was cast as a rugged ethnic or exotic of varying backgrounds. An actor who seemed to personify the life force, he played a dissolute Mexican in Kazan's Viva Zapata! (1952, Academy Award), an Italian strongman in Fellini's La Strada (1954), an intense Gauguin in Lust for Life (1956, Academy Award), a battered prizefighter in Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), the charismatic Zorba in Zorba the Greek (1964; he toured with the musical stage version, 1982–83), and an Aristotle Onassis–like figure in The Greek Tycoon (1978). He made more than 100 additional films and appeared in several plays and television dramas. He was also an accomplished visual artist.

See his autobiographies, The Original Sin (1972) and One Man Tango (1995); biography by M. Amdur (1993); study by A. H. Marill and A. Kennedy (1975).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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