Date of Birth: 11 January 1932, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Short Biography: Alfonso Arau has had a long and fruitful career both in front of and behind the camera and is one of the most prominent filmmakers of the Latino community in Hollywood. He was a drama disciple of Seki Sano--a Japanese teacher, classmate of Lee Strasberg with Konstantin Stanislavski in Russia--and traveled the world from 1964 to 1968 with his one-man show, "Pantomime Happy Madness", after studying with Etienne Decroux and Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
A renowned writer-producer-director-actor in theater and films for more than 20 years, in 1969 he directed his first feature film, El águila descalza (1971), in which he also starred. He has directed many films in Mexico, among them Inspector Calzonzin (1974) and Mojado Power (1981). He has received six Arieles--the Mexican equivalent of the Oscar--and numerous international film awards.
Arau has acted in a number of Mexican and Hollywood films, including The Wild Bunch (1969), El Topo (1970), Mojado Power (1981), Used Cars (1980), Romancing the Stone (1984), ¡Three Amigos! (1986) and Committed (2000). In addition to Like Water for Chocolate (1992), his directing credits include A Walk in the Clouds (1995) with Keanu Reeves and Picking Up the Pieces (2000) with Woody Allen. For television he has done The Magnificent Ambersons (2002), based on the script of Orson Welles' film version (The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)) and the novel by Booth Tarkington.