People - Manolete

Bullfighter, July 4, 1917 - August 28, 1947 

Manolete was born July 4th, 1917 in Cordoba and died in the bullring at Linares in Jaen on August 28th 1947. What transpired during the years in between was the making of a myth and legend so great, the world of bullfighting in Spain will forever remember the name of Manolete.

This distinguished bullfighter was named after his father, who was also known as Manolete and was also a bullfighter. Thanks to his heritage, it appears he needed only a brief encounter with the Bujalance School of Bullfighting in Córdoba. With natural grace and talent he rose to legendary status with a style of bullfighting that would serve as a model for generations to come.

Hollywood has made a movie about Manolete’s life, but as of March 2008 it still had not been released due to an administrative squabble. Those involved in the movie have told press that bullfighting is merely a backdrop for the passionate love affair with Lupe Sino that consumed the bullfighter during the last years of his life. Top Spanish actress Penelope Cruz plays Lupe while Adrian Brody, whose appearance is strikingly similar to Manolete’s,  played the bullfighter himself.

At the time of his death, Manolete planned to retire from bullfighting. He was caught by the horns of a Miura bull on the 28th of August as he performed in the Linares bullring. As the story goes, his lover, Lupe Sino, was not allowed to see him – one of the tragic outcomes of his life, as those closest to him never approved of his choice of partner. While the official story stated the bullfighter died from his wounds, it is now believed that he could have died from an incompatible blood transfusion that he received on site at the bullring’s clinic.

In Córdoba Manolete has been immortalized in two public monuments. His bust graces the Plaza de la Lagunilla and his statue stands in the Plaza del Conde de Priego.

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