Roberto Fontanarrosa, 62, writer

Argentinian's stories widely adapted for theater

Argentine cartoonist and writer Roberto Fontanarrosa, whose stories were widely adapted for theater, died July 19 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. He was 62.

Known affectionately as “El Negro,” Fontanarrosa began writing comic strips and later expanded into short stories and novels, with popular tales related to soccer — he was a passionate supporter of Rosario Central, a professional club.

Influenced by the likes of Jack London, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Jose Luis Borges, he wrote novels including “Best Seller” and “La Gansada” and collections of short stories about culture, sex and politics. His best known characters were the hired-killer Boogie and Inodoro Pereyra, a macho gaucho.

He collaborated with Les Luthiers, a humorous musical group that started in the 1960s and played homemade instruments.

Fontanarrosa has become among the country’s most adapted writers for theater, with “Aryentians,” “Uno nunca sabe” and “Boogie el aceitoso” enjoying long runs in Buenos Aires.

Pubcaster Canal 7 this year launched a weekly series based on his stories.

In film, he wrote four short- and medium-length films and co-penned the script of “Fierro,” a feature based an epic poem by Jose Hernandez about a gaucho drafted to fight for Argentina during its 1850s desert conquest against native Indians. It is set for release November 8 in Argentina.

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