Actor Chete Lera dies in a car accident
The actor Chete Lera (Pontevedra, 1949) died this Thursday when his car plunged down a 50-meter drop in Malaga, as reported by the Malaga emergency services and El País has advanced. Ramón Mariano Fernández Lera was 73 years old and had recently participated in Look what you have done, Berto Romero's comedy in which he played his father-in-law.
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His most memorable appearances were in The Red Squirrel (1993), by Julio Medem, Secrets of the Heart (1997), by Montxo Amendáriz, Open Your Eyes (1997), by Alejandro Amenábar, Barrio (1998), by Fernando León de Aranoa and Flowers from another world (1999), by Icíar Bollaín. He also won the award for best actor at the 2002 Malaga Film Festival along with the rest of the cast of the film Smoking Room, by Julio Wallovits and Roger Gual.
Lera entered the profession late, having worked as a pilot, aeronautical engineer and bank clerk. "At 27 I had a stable job and a good salary, but I went through a personal and marital crisis and decided to study psychology," recognized in interviews. It was then that he signed up for theater text reading groups and discovered his vocation. "I had finally found my place."
With almost 40 feature films behind him, Chete Lera was a familiar face in the industry. Although he had abandoned the seventh art ten years ago along with José Luis Cuerda, with whom he shot Todo es silencio. On television he appeared in successful series such as Family Doctor, Summer Grandmother or Tell me how it happened, but in recent years he returned to the stage that gave him his first jobs.
Chete and the theater
Chete Lera in theater was a kamikaze, capable of the worst and the best. Able to get lost and rediscover and, without shame, show that risk to the viewer. He began his career in that independent theater space, but with an experimental vein, which was Espacio Cero in 1980. The first recorded production is the work of Asa Nisi Masa, where he shared with another of the greats of his generation, Pepper Olive. They were militant and investigative years in which they staged works by the Argentinian Tato Pavloski, premiered Heiner Müller's Maquinahamlet in Spain and staged the first works by his brother, Antonio Fernández Lera, a great author of the independent Spanish scene.
In the nineties, instead of abandoning himself like a good part of his generation to a bourgeois theater, he decided to delve into a scene that would make room for another way of doing things. Lera then found his director, Rodrigo García. And the latter found the actor who could embody the works that are myth today: Prometheus, The Three Little Pigs and Protect me from what I wish. A theater of disaster, brutal and poetic that gave an account of contemporary human beings on stage. With Rodrigo García he shared two productions with texts by Shakespeare and Bruce Nauman: The Tempest, and by Thomas Bernhard, Red Wine. This decade shaped what would be the theater of the future in Spain and in which Chete gave everything: health, tenacity and talent.
Already in the 21st century, he acted in relevant and institutional productions such as Cara de plata by Valle Inclán at the Centro Dramático Nacional or Largovoyage towards the night by O'Neill, at La Abadía, directed by Alex Rigola. Also noteworthy is a Pedro and the captain of Benedetti, directed by Emilio del Valle, director with whom he also made Mingus, Cuernavaca, by the French author Enzo Cormann. On his theatrical career reports Pablo Caruana, expert journalist in performing arts.
"The theater is, among other things, to tell power, artistically, what is not right," said the actor in 2014. At that time he represented Subprime at the Fernán Gómez Theater in Madrid, a portrait of political and financial corruption which caused concern among the administration: "There were pressures, some functions were dropped, there was a lack of adequate publicity..." Lera acknowledged.
Institutions and colleagues have fired the actor on social networks after the tragic news. One of the first has been Eduardo Noriega, with whom he shared a set in Abre los ojos. Montxo Amendáriz, who directed him in Secretos del corazón, has also remembered his “great heart”. At the AISGE foundation they have been "shocked" and the National Institute of Performing Arts has recalled that Lera was "very involved in the alternative scene, he worked both with young avant-garde creators and with established directors".
How sad 💔💔 What a big heart you had, Chete. You will always be with us. eternal hug https://t.co/Wb2hnGRPU3
– Montxo Armendariz (@montxoarmendari) May 20, 2022
RIP the great Chete Lera. https://t.co/KzxPmF6Gfb
– Eduardo Noriega (@Norihouse) May 20, 2022