Alberto Olmedo (1933-1988) was an Argentine comedian and actor.
Olmedo was born in Barrio Pichincha, Rosario. In his teens, he was a gifted gymnast and an aspiring actor, who tried his luck with several amateur theater companies and enjoyed some local success.
Olmedo moved to Buenos Aires in 1954. One year later, while working as a technician in Channel 7, Argentina's first TV station, his improvisation skills caught the attention of the management, who gave him acting jobs in several TV shows.
Even though Olmedo had a string of successul children programs during the 1960s, the peak of his abilities would arrive when given the opportunity to mix slapstick, nonsense, and adult entertainment.
Starting with Gringalet in 1959, Olmedo starred in 49 movies, including: Los Doctores las Prefieren Desnudas (Doctors Like Them Naked), in 1973, Maridos en Vacaciones, (Husbands on Vacation, 1975), Fotógrafo de Señoras (Ladies' Photographer, 1978), Los Fierecillos Indomables (The Indomitable Little Beasts, 1982), Sálvese Quien Pueda (Every Man for Himself, 1984), and Rambito y Rambón, Primera Misión (Little Rambo and Big Rambo, First Mission, 1986). His last movie was Atracción Peculiar, released shortly after his death. Los Fierecillos Indomables had a sequel in 1983.
Many of Olmedo's movies in the 1980s were adult-oriented comedies featuring Jorge Porcel and vedettes Moria Casán and Susana Giménez. Conservative Argentine authorities rated these movies as PM-18 (age 18 and above), save for a few tamer films aimed at family audiences.
The "Olmedo and Porcel" movies are considered to be the pinnacle of Argentina's sexploitation movie genre. Most of these movies were directed by Gerardo Sofovich or his brother Hugo, who also directed Olmedo's TV shows El Chupete (The Pacifier) and No Toca Botón! (Don't Touch That Button!).
Olmedo's Capitán Piluso show was a hit with children in the 1960s, but he preferred working for adult audiences. After acting in the successful Operación Ja Ja weekly show, Olmedo landed his first leading role in El Chupete.
In 1976, shortly after the junta seized power in Argentina, Olmedo had his own death announced on the show. Once the truth was revealed, the actor was punished for his prank and banished from the airwaves for two years.
In the 1980s, No Toca Botón! was the highest-rated show in Argentina. Olmedo would interrupt his sketches, tear down props, dash past the cameras, and abuse his fellow actors. He created popular characters such as General González, Rucucu the Ukrainian magician, and above all el manosanta (the miracle healer), a multi-level parody on charlatans of all stripes and Argentines' reckless pursuit of sex and money.
Those years saw the blooming of a partnership with character actor Javier Portales, who provided a counterweight to Olmedo's wild improvising.
Olmedo, who was nicknamed el negro because of his complexion, would evoke his Rosario background by using Rosario slang and narrating implausible stories about his childhood exploits.
Olmedo died in the vacationing town of Mar del Plata on March 5, 1988. According to police reports, he slipped off his twelfth-floor apartment's balcony. It is believed that he tried, possibly under the influence of cocaine, to perform a high-wire stunt on the balcony, and lost his balance. The only witness to his last moments was girlfriend Nancy Herrera.
Olmedo married -and divorced- twice, and had five children. He is buried in Chacarita cemetery, Buenos Aires.
"Official" home page (Spanish) (http://www.olmedo.com.ar) Olmedo Bio (Spanish) (http://www.olmedo.com.ar/historia.html)