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Luis Escobar Kirkpatrick, fourth Marquis of Marismas del Guadalquivir, 78, Spanish actor, writer and legit director, died Feb. 15 in Madrid.

Escobar was acting in a film at the time of his death, “Fuera de Jeugo,” being directed by Fernando Fernan Gomez, and was slated to present the best actor award at the national Goya ceremonies Feb. 16.

From an early age, Escobar became involved in legit, and from 1939 to 1953 was director of the Maria Guerrero national theater in Madrid, where he directed 60 plays. He subsequently rented his own site, the Teatro Eslava (now a disco) and for seven years in the 1960s introduced Spanish audiences to the works of J.B. Priestley, Thornton Wilder and Hans Rothe, as well as local talent.

Spain’s top legit directors, such as Adolfo Marsillach, Jose Luis Alonso and M. Rodero, all acknowledge their indebtedness to Escobar. In 1978, Luis Berlanga cast Escobar as the Marquis of Leguineche in his popular “Escopeta Nacional” (National Shot). Pic was such a hit that Berlanga followed it up with two sequels built around the part of the Marquis. Berlanga is prepping a fourth part in the series, for which Escobar was to have again played the part of the irascible, comic marquis.

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