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Inside Manuel Ojeda’s brilliant career as Mexican actor dies at 81


Legendary Mexican actor Manuel Ojeda, best known for his role in 1984’s Romancing the Stone, has died at the age of 81.

The actor’s passing was announced by Mexico’s National Association of Actors in a Facebook post, but the cause of his death wasn’t revealed.

“The National Association of Actors deeply regrets the death of our partner Manuel Salvador Ojeda ‘Manuel Ojeda’, a member of our union,” the ANDA wrote.

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Who was Manuel Ojeda?

Manuel was one of Mexico’s best-known actors. He was also one of the country’s first soap opera stars.

The actor was born on November 4, 1938, in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. IMDb notes that his birth name was Jesús Manuel Ojeda Ruiz de la Peña.

Despite the star’s long career and many acting roles, he still remains best known for his role as the villainous Columbian lawman, Zolo, in 1984’s Romancing the Stone.

Helmed by Robert Zemeckis, the film also starred Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, and Kathleen Turner among others.

The actor was also known to keep his personal life under wraps.

Photo by Hector Vivas/Jam Media/LatinContent via Getty Images

A look at Mexican actor’s brilliant career

Manuel began his acting career with 1974’s Inspector Calzonzin and went on to star in many iconic projects in the ’70s and ’80s.

The actor’s acting credits list is a long one.

Some of his other notable roles were in The Heist (1976), The Chosen One (1977), Santa (1978), Parecido al amor (1979), Cancionera (1980), Por Amor (1982), El amor ajeno (1983) and La traición (1984).

Manuel’s latest acting role was in 2022’s Corazón Guerrero, in which he starred as Abel. He had also finished filming for the upcoming project, La Maria.

Manuel famously also won the Ariel Award for Best Actor for his role in El infierno de todos tan temido (1981).

Fans mourn Manuel Ojeda’s death

Many fans took to Twitter to pay a tribute to Manuel.

“Too many legends dying lately and it sucks. RIP Mexican actor Manuel Ojeda,” said a fan reacting to the news of Manuel’s death.

“Manuel Ojeda’s penetrating gaze allowed him to develop his characters with unique characteristics. Thanks to his enormous acting talent, Manuel was an outstanding actor in Mexican cinema,” said another fan.

“MANUEL OJEDA… MAY THE PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE FOR HIM!!! REST IN PEACE,” a touched fan wrote in Spanish.

“Manuel Ojeda dies at the age of 81. Excellent actor, I saw him for the first time in the movie EL APANDO back in 1975. Rest in peace,” another fan said in Spanish.

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