Chus Lampreave was Pedro Almodóvar’s most enduring muse, appearing in eight of the Oscar-winning director’s films.
Lampreave, born María Jesús Lampreave Pérez in 1930, died on Monday morning in Torrecárdenas hospital in Almería, where her son lived.
She was one of Spain’s most recognizable character actresses, known for her impeccable comic timing and supporting roles, especially in the films of Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar, who wrote a tribute to her in Spanish daily El País on Tuesday.
“I was fascinated by Chus even before I was a director,” Almodóvar wrote of Lampreave, who often played eccentric mothers, grandmothers or aunties. “From the moment we met I felt like we came from the same family.
“Chus made me feel like I was capable of anything,” wrote the director.
“She was the actress who could best play roles inspired by my mother. She belonged to the lineage of of great supporting actors, those without whom Spanish cinema would not exist.”
Chus featured in eight of Almodóvar´s films, the first, Dark Habits in 1984 followed by seven more including Volver in 2006 and her most recent, Broken Embraces in 2009.
Her first film role was in 1958 and career highs include winning the Best Actress award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival along with her female castmates in Almodóvar´s film, Volver.
Her expressive face often sported a pair of huge glasses and she often displayed an impressive knack for comedy roles.
She was also known for her links to Spanish director Fernando Trueba – she won a Goya award (Spain’s version of the Oscar) for her role in Trueba’s Oscar-winning 1992 film Belle Époque.
Fans of the actress took to social media to offer their condolences.
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas tweeted: “Exceptional, unique, marvellous. Spanish cinema will miss your brilliance. Bon voyage Chus!”
Excepcional, única, maravillosa. La cinematográfica española echará de menos tu brillo. ¡Buen viaje Chus!
— Antonio Banderas (@antoniobanderas) April 4, 2016
Rossy de Palma, who starred alongside Chus in several of Almodóvar´s films, wrote on Instagram: “My lovely Chus, friend, sister, you were always an angel. I love you.”
✨Mi Chus Amada ✨Amiga , Hermana , ✨Siempre fuiste un Angel ✨Te Quiero ✨ que la tierra Te sea… https://t.co/qOUDcfspPX
— rossydepalma (@rossydpalma) April 4, 2016
RIP Chus Lampreave. She was the best Chica Almodovar! pic.twitter.com/4bpPa7wbvd
— Maria J Pérez Cuervo (@mjpcuervo) April 4, 2016
Spanish actress Maria Valverde tweeted that Lampreave was the face of Spanish cinema:
Her face makes me think about Spanish Cinema. Unfortunately, I couldn't meet Chus Lampreave, but we are going to miss her a lot.
— Maria Valverde (@mariavalverde) April 4, 2016
Saddened to hear of the death of Almodóvar regular Chus Lampreave; she created some great cameos and was unforgettable in What Have I Done..
— Maria M Delgado (@mmdelgado1) April 5, 2016