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Victor Israel was one of the most prolific and ubiquitous, yet anonymous, often overlooked and hence underrated character actors in Spanish film history. Born on June 13th in 1929 in Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain, Israel attended the Escuela de actores de la Ciudad Condal. He began acting in films in the early 1960s. Short and dumpy, with a plain, round, pudgy face, thinning hair, medium height and build, snaggle teeth, a benign, humble, unassuming demeanor, and wide, moist, dark saucer eyes, Israel frequently portrayed ordinary working class types, timid cowards, men of the cloth, and meek victims. He soon began making frequent appearances in rugged action films and gritty Italian spaghetti Westerns; he has an especially memorable uncredited part as a weary sergeant at a rundown Confederate fort who Lee Van Cleef talks to in Sergio Leone's magnificent Le bon, la brute et le truand (1966) (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, ). In the late 1960s and up until the mid-'80s, Israel acted in an enjoyable slew of spooky horror features and entertainingly trashy exploitation fare. Among his more notable roles are a creepy handyman in La résidence (1970) (The House That Screamed); a slimy, greedy, unctuous cemetery caretaker in Necrophagus (1971) (Graveyard of Horror); a craven coachman in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971); a whistling train baggage handler in the fantastic Terreur dans le Shanghaï-Express (1972); a near deaf, vaguely menacing innkeeper in El monte de las brujas (1975) (The Witches' Mountain); a despicable and untrustworthy sniveling wimp nightclub owner in the splendidly sleazy Ricco (1973) (The Mean Machine); a scruffy, spineless mountain trail guide in the outrageous Dans les griffes du loup-garou (1975) (Night of the Howling Beast); a zombie priest in L'enfer des morts vivants (1980) (Hell of the Living Dead); and a boozy dock night watchman in the laughably lousy Hydra, le monstre des profondeurs (1985) (The Sea Serpent). Israel continued to act in both movies and TV shows alike well into his 70s. He died at age 80 from natural causes on September 19, 2009 in Spain.

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