Spanish Actor Alfredo Landa Dies at 80

Alfredo Landa - P 2013
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His 120-plus film credits include "The Holy Innocents" and "El Crack."

MADRID -- Spanish actor Alfredo Landa, an icon of the Spanish film industry whose work sparked a genre dubbed "landism," died Thursday in Madrid. He was 80 years old.

No official cause of death was given, though the actor who featured in more than 120 films throughout his career had been ill since a stroke in January 2009.

Born in Pamplona in 1933, Landa forged a very Spanish-flavored comedy style in the 1960s and 1970s, coinciding with the Spanish transition from the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco to a democracy.

His signature persona of the funny and unsophisticated pre-feminist-movement man earned him lots of laughs in films like Cateto a babor, No desearas al Vencino del Quinto (Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Fifth Floor Neighbor) and Vente a Alemania, Pepe (Come to Germany, Pepe).

He then launched into more dramatic roles in the late '70s with titles like Mario Camus' The Holy Innocents, which earned him the best actor nod at Cannes, and Jose Luis Garci's 1981 film El Crack.

Landa, who received three Goya awards in his lifetime, officially retired in 2007.