Pedro Infante Cruz better known as Pedro Infante, was a Mexican actor and singer. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, he is considered an idol of the Latin American people, together with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís, who were styled as the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (the Three Mexican Roosters).
Infante was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico and was raised in Guamúchil. He died on 15 April 1957, in Mérida, Yucatán, in a plane crash during a flight en route to Mexico City.
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His film career began in 1939 with him appearing in more than 60 films – thirty of them with his brother Angel Infante, and starting in 1943, he recorded about 350 songs. For his performance in the movie Tizoc, he was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival.
He was the third of fifteen children, of which nine survived. Although the Infante Cruz family stayed for some time at Mazatlán, in the early 1919 they moved to Guamuchil. Later in 1920, they moved to Rosario, Sinaloa.
As a teen, Infante showed talent and affection for music. He managed to learn strings, wind, and percussion instruments in a short time. He was a guitar student of Carlos R. Hubbard.
Pedro Infante wife María Luisa León (1918 – 27 October 1978, cardiac arrest), who was somewhat well-off economically and according to her memoir Pedro Infante: en la intimidad conmigo (1961) (Pedro Infante: with me in intimacy), convinced him of the need to move to Mexico City where they would find opportunities for this talented young man.
His first musical recording El Soldado Raso (The Soldier) was made on 19 November 1943, for the Peerless Records Company. Infante first appeared as an extra in the movie En un Burro Tres Baturros (Three Men from Aragon on a Donkey), literally translated as “On a Donkey, Three Baturros'”‘.
His career as an actor in leading roles started with La Feria de Las Flores (The Fair of Flowers), literally translated as “The Flower Carnival” in 1943.
Infante was a fanatic of aviation, a hobby that would lead to his death. According to Wilbert Alonzo-Cabrera, his biographer, the actor was piloting a Consolidated Aircraft X B-24-D (a variant of the B-24 Liberator), which had been converted from heavy bomber war airplane to air cargo in San Diego, California. The plane crashed 5 minutes after taking off from Mérida, Yucatán, in southeast Mexico.
The death of Pedro Infante on the morning of 15 April 1957, was announced by radio personality Húmberto Sánchez-Rodríguez, of radio station XEMH of Mérida, after one of the firefighters discovered the bracelet engraved with the name “Pedro Infante”, plus the winged insignia that symbolized his aviator license.
This was around 8:15 am; at 11:12 am, Manuel Bernal, of Mexico City radio station XEW, gave the news saying: “this Monday, 15 April 1957, Pedro, our beloved Pedro…this has been confirmed, has died in a tragic accident in Mérida, Yucatán”.
Pedro Infante appears in a movie screen of Sade’s 1988 music video Paradise.