Chicho Ibáñez Serrador was an insecure child, «With a terrible inferiority complex». "Narcisin" suffered from a disease that prevented him from playing with the other children. That beginning translated into an irreducible character and a feverish love of reading. Son of actors (the Spanish Narciso Ibáñez Menta and the Argentine Pepita Serrador), the artist's blood finished guiding him along the path of the show, where he triumphed in each piece of land he stepped on. Chicho, in fact, was born almost at the edge of the stage, in Montevideo, during a theatrical tour of his parents, and spent almost more time behind the scenes than in the classrooms. When he was eight years old he made his debut as a doubler of the Tambor rabbit in «Bambi». Yesterday he made his last exit, at 83, after being admitted to Madrid in an emergency due to a urine infection.
Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
Actor in the company of his mother, screenwriter, theatrical author and radio – often under the pseudonym of Luis Pañafiel– Ibáñez Serrador studied in Salamanca, but he met television with his father in Argentina, where he gave free rein to his love of terror and science fiction. He returned to Spain with less than twenty years and found "a very rare TV", which based on tenacity modernized. After adapting classics of literature and creating the program "Tomorrow can be true", at twenty he scored his first big hit, "Stories to not sleep", whose episodes presented Alfred Hitchcock, with introductions full of humor black, as appreciated as the chapters.
First prizes for TVE
One of those episodes, "The asphalt", was the first international prize for TVE in 1967, the Golden Nymph to the best script in Monte Carlo. A year later he wrote and directed with Jaime de Armiñán "History of frivolity", in a dismissal of censorship, which he criticized. There was no reprisal because it gave our only chain a new Golden Nymph.
Indefatigable creator, Ibáñez Serrador he then tried his fortune in the cinema, where he triumphed at the first attempt. «La residencia» (1969) occupied for many years the first place among the highest grossing films of our cinema. It was also the first Spanish film shot in English. In 1976 he proved that his luck was not that of the beginner. "Who can kill a child?" Did not achieve such immense success, but it is a work of cult that has influenced several generations of filmmakers. With several of them (Mateo Gil, Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza, Enrique Urbizu and Álex de la Iglesia) he shot even a new version of the "Stories to not sleep" in 2005. He directed one of the telefilms, but Telecinco doubted their success and spread them earlier on DVD than on the group's channels.
We rewind to 1972, because in that capital year it premiered «One, two, three … answer again», presented by Kiko Ledgard. From the outset, it contained a diabolical novelty, the gift Cicuta to which Valentín Tornos gave life, a character who wished the evil of the participants. The title was not accidental. Chicho argued that there were only three types of contests: questions and answers, physical difficulties and exchanges. Instead of choosing a single formula, he combined all three and gave the "rupertazo". The program, thanks also to the lack of competition, exceeded 20 million spectators. Entire families met in a sacred weekly rite. It also meant a new boost for TVE, which had never before seen adaptations of its spaces in other countries. Chicho, by the way, became director of Programs of the chain, but resigned after three months. No one wonders why
With that overwhelming audience, "One, two, three" became the perfect showcase. Appearing a minute supposed instant fame. The master's clinical eye to detect talent was legendary. Marta del Pino, one of the pioneer hostesses (and daughter of the first editor who had ABC), says that in his debut he said: "I'll put you with one who will be an actress." "One" turned out to be Victoria Abril.
Perfectionist to exhaustion, as the geniuses used to, Chicho could also be cruel. Luisa Martín reveals that "she said things perversely ingenious, humiliating." "Then I would apologize and give you more confidence than before," but it could be devastating. To herself she said: "Since you are not beautiful, cultivate the intellect."
His family suffered another "tare", the inability to disconnect. TVE replaced last night (and repeats tomorrow) the documentary that dedicated "Imprescindibles". His son Alejandro tells that I did not stop messing with the camera on vacation. His requests were less of a father than of a director, of the type: "Alejandro, count to ten and then go out the door."
Chicho Ibáñez Serrador was ahead of his time and did not fail almost never, nor when he created the first program on sex. Countless are the awards and recognitions. The icing was the Goya de Honor in January. It is still possible to say goodbye to him in the ardent chapel installed in the funeral home of the M-30, in Madrid, which will remain open today. Tomorrow he will be buried in the cemetery of San José de Granada, next to his mother.
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