Film journalist Armando del Moral dies

Reporter also helped establish the Golden Globes

Armando del Moral, an influential journalist who covered show business for the Spanish-speaking world in the 1940s and '50s, died July 21 in North Hollywood of natural causes. He was 93.

Del Moral also helped establish the Golden Globe Awards; acted as Hollywood representative for the Mexican actors union; wrote, produced and directed a radio soap opera; and helped studios with their Spanish-language publicity campaigns.

For more than 30 years, del Moral wrote and edited the magazine Cine-Grafica, offering coverage of the Hispanic social and entertainment scene in Los Angeles.

A Spanish Civil war refugee, del Moral arrived in Mexico in 1939, became a reporter and began covering the country's blooming film industry. He settled in Los Angeles in 1943 and five years later was named a vp of the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Assn. (the forerunner to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.). He served as host and awards presenter during a number of the organization's Golden Globe ceremonies.

The charismatic del Moral headed the Spanish-language publicity campaign for George Sidney's "Pepe" (1960), which starred famed Mexican comedian Cantinflas; wrote publicity articles for Disney; and provided counsel on "The Magnificent Seven" (1957). He also directed Alfred Hitchcock for the Spanish-language ads for "Psycho" (1960); the British helmer had trouble speaking Spanish, del Moral recalled.

Del Moral also endeavored in Mexican film publicity, working with Azteca Films and collaborating with Clasa Mohme and Columbia Pictures, the major distributors of Mexican films.

In 1954, he began writing, producing and directing a very successful Spanish-language road soap opera, "Maria Elena," which was syndicated throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Among del Moral's survivors are his daughter Matilde del Moral of Barcelona and his sons Roger of Washington and Ralph of Sacramento, Calif.