Entertainment & Arts

Spanish director Luis Garcia Berlanga dies aged 89

The coffin of Spanish film director Luis Garcia Berlanga
Image caption Berlanga will be buried in Pozuelo, the Madrid suburb where he lived

The Spanish director, Luis Garcia Berlanga, has died at the age of 89, Spain's film academy has announced.

Berlanga, who had Alzheimer's disease, passed away on Saturday at his home on the outskirts of the capital, Madrid.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero paid tribute to Berlanga on Sunday, calling him "one of the great film-makers of Spanish culture".

He was best known for the 1952 satirical comedy Bienvenido, Mr Marshall! (Welcome, Mr Marshall!).

His film, Placido, was nominated in 1961 for the Academy Award for best foreign language film, while El Verdugo (The Executioner) was also critically acclaimed.

The director was also nominated three times for the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious Palme d'Or award.

"Along with [Luis] Bunuel, he was one of the most important film-makers of all time," said Alex de la Iglesia, the president of Spain's film academy, of which Berlanga was an honorary president and co-founder.

"His films Placido and El Verdugo are two of Spain's best movies, and Berlanga is one of the most important directors in the world."

Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde told the RNE radio station that his death was "an enormous loss for Spanish cinema and for all of Spanish culture".

Berlanga will be buried in Pozuelo, the Madrid suburb where he lived.