Belonging to a family of artists can make things easier. Verónica Forqué was the daughter of José María Forqué, All-terrain director of Spanish cinema with a cult title such as ‘Atraco a las tres’ (1962). He made his daughter debut and continue to work with her in some productions at the end of her career, such as ‘El canto de la cigarra’ (1980) and the television series ‘Ramón y Cajal’ (1982), in which she gave life to the scientist’s wife, Silveria Fañanás García.

Verónica’s mother was Carmen Vázquez-Vigo, a writer, translator and scriptwriter for Spanish-Argentine radio that she also acted in her husband’s films such as ‘The Devil Plays the Flute’ (1953). Verónica’s brother, Álvaro Forqué, followed in his father’s footsteps behind the camera and directed her in ‘El Orden Cómico’ (1986), a comedy about political corruption. Álvaro’s death in 2014 was one of the most painful moments in the actress’s life.

That he took up acting seemed natural. After studying drama, he made his film debut before his 20th birthday in ‘Una Pareja & mldr; different ‘(1974), in which Forqué father narrated in a comic key the relationship between the bearded woman in a circus and a man who acts as a transvestite, Lina Morgan and José Luis López Vázquez. He would have supporting roles in other films of his father, such as ‘The Second Power’ and ‘Madrid, Costa Fleming’, both from 1976, and he would timidly climb positions with his assignments in more ambitious films such as ‘Daddy’s war’ (1977) , in the role of the maid of the parents of the boy who has just been ‘dethroned’ after the birth of his sister, and ‘Las truchas’ (1978), a black comedy by José Luis García Sánchez that won the Golden Bear in the Berlin festival.

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Ridiculous and cuddly

The turning point came from the hand of Pedro Almodóvar, that made him form a compact female cast with Carmen Maura, Kitty Mánver, Cecilia Roth and Chus Lampreave in ‘What have I done to deserve this?’. Forqué played Maura’s prostitute neighbor, and his talent for characters between ridiculous and tender, stunned and passionate, was established. But there was a curious event before in the actress’s career.

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By decision of Stanley Kubrick, Carlos Saura was in charge of directing the Spanish dubbing of ‘El resplandor’ (1980). Saura did voice tests on different actresses, including Forqué. Then he sent the evidence to Kubrick, who, without knowing any of them, chose Forqué. Saura told him that it still didn’t work, since she was an actress with a peculiar voice and played a very popular type of characters. Kubrick said he didn’t care, that was his choice. Since then rivers of ink have flowed against that choice, ensuring that the dubbing destroyed the film, but nothing could be further from reality. Kubrick exercised extraordinary control over his products, and if he chose Forqué it was because his voice and register were the most similar to those of Shelley Duvall, the actress who plays the wife of the insane Jack Nicholson.

From then on, movies of substance would follow one another with more nourishing comedies. He worked on more than one occasion with Fernando Trueba, who understood well Forqué’s capacity for a specific type of comedy in the vaudeville ‘Be unfaithful and don’t look with whom’ (1985). It was directed by Basilio Martín Patino, Luis G. Berlanga and Manuel Iborra, her husband between 1981 and 2014. She returned to the Almodovarian universe with ‘Matador’ (1986) and ‘Kika’ (1993). He also stood out in the cinema of Fernando Colomo, especially in ‘Get off the Moor’ (1988), with a character designed for her. Manuel Gómez Pereira made her his particular comedy heroine in ‘Salsa rosa’ (1991), ‘Why do they call it love when they mean sex?’ (1993) and ‘Reinas’ (2005). Her last film was ‘Salir del closetro’ (2019), in which she and Rosa Maria Sardà play a mature lesbian couple.

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