Fernando Lujan, Actor in 'El Mil Amores' and 'Overboard,' Dies at 79

Fernando Lujan - Getty - H 2019
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The award-winning film and TV performer shared credits with Salma Hayek and recently appeared in the Netflix crime drama 'Ingobernable.'

Fernando Lujan, who appeared in more than 120 films and TV shows during a career that spanned seven decades, has died, Mexican network TV Azteca confirmed Friday. He was 79.

TV Azteca, which collaborated with Lujan on numerous soap operas, reported that Lujan died in his home Friday in the Mexican state of Oaxaca due to respiratory problems.

Lujan, who was born in Colombia but moved to Mexico at an early age and became a Mexican citizen, launched his prolific career as a child actor. Initially, he was credited as Fernando (or Alejandro) Ciangherotti; he later changed his name to Fernando Lujan.

At 16 years old, at the height of Mexico's "Golden Age" of cinema, Lujan appeared in the 1954 dramedy El Mil Amores alongside Mexican icon Pedro Infante. Later in his career, he would share credits with Salma Hayek in Arturo Ripstein's adaptation of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel No One Writes to the Colonel (El coronel no tiene quien le escriba).

The last film Lujan appeared in was Overboard, a rom-com remake starring Eugenio Derbez, Anna Faris and Eva Longoria. But perhaps his most memorable role was that of a wistful ex-husband in Mariana Chenillo's dark comedy Nora's Will (Cinco dias sin Nora), which earned him an Ariel Award (Mexico's version of the Oscar) for best actor in 2010.

Lujan also made a name for himself as one of Mexico's leading soap opera stars, his most notable telenovela being Mirada de Mujer, in which he famously played a cheating husband in the thick of a midlife crisis.

The veteran actor also appeared on the Netflix crime series Ingobernable, starring Kate del Castillo and Erendira Ibarra.

Lujan is survived by his wife Martha Mariana Castro and his 10 children.