Argentine filmmaker, singer and songwriter Leonardo Favio died on Nov. 5 after years of health problems. He was 74 years old.
With a dramatic tenor that veered from flamenco to tango-tined, Favio was recognized throughout Latin America as one of the most distinctive voices of the continent and popularized hits like “Fuiste Mía un Verano” and “Ding Dong, Son Las Cosas del Amor.”
But Favio’s first passion and his most enduring legacy is as a filmmaker, with Argentine daily El Clarín describing him as “one of the glories of Argentine cinema.”
He wrote and produced a vast array of films, of many different styles, including his biggest commercial hit, “Nazareno Cruz y el lobo,” which was seen by nearly 3.5 million people in Argentina when it was released in the mid 1970s.
A strong supporter of Juan Perón, Favio went into exile after the military coup of 1976. In many countries outside of Argentina, Favio was known more as a pop singer than a filmmaker, but he never saw himself as a musical artist first.
“Music allowed me to live with dignity,” he said in an interview quoted by El Clarín.
Favio’s last film was 2007’s Aniceto which won nine Cóndor de Plata awards, including Best film and Best director.