09 November, 2011
Franco's Spanish voices: JULIO NÚÑEZ
On the 17th October 2008, heart failure put an end to both the life and the sonorously stylish voice of Julio Núñez Merino, who had been born in Torrelavega, Cantabria on the 30th June 1930. His last onscreen role had been in an Isabel Coixet film, A los que aman, made ten years earlier, but feature films were not common in the career of an actor mainly devoted to the stage and the sound studio, and mostly seen (as opposed to heard) on TV performances of plays. Starting out as a stage and radio performer in Santander, Cantabria, he later settled for a distinguished career in Madrid. His stage work included texts by Sophocles, Shakespeare and Calderón de la Barca, in addition to numerous contemporary Spanish plays. His long career as a voice actor started in the fifties, remaining uninterrupted until his death. Voice work includes several Anthony Quinn and Jack Palance roles, several of Omar Sharif’s recent appearances, Stanley Baker in The Guns of Navarone, Telly Savalas in Birdman of Alcatraz, Franco Citti in Pasolini’s Oedipus Rex, Martin Balsam in Catch-22, Albert Popwell in a couple of Dirty Harry movies, Ernest Borgnine in Hannie Coulder, Adofo Celi in the Peter Collinson version of And Then There Were None films, Christopher Lee in Richard Lester's Musketeers films, Vic Tayback in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and Marlon Brando in the first Spanish dub of Apocalypse Now. He evcen dubbed his fellow dubber (and Cantabrian) Ricardo Palacios in Margheriti’s The Stranger and the Gunfighter. Another fellow dubber he did a voice-over for was Pepe Calvo in Aldo Florio's Euro-western Anda muchacho, spara! (1971). On TV, he was the Spanish voice of Claude Akins in The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, as well as taking over from an ailing Francisco Sánchez for the John Forsythe role in Dynasty. Another voice actor he took over from was regular Franco voice (and occasional onscreen presence) José Martínez Blanco; when Martínez Blanco left the Spanish vocal cast of The Love Boat, Núñez stepped in to dub the voice of Gavin MacLeod’s Captain Stubing. In TV redubs of old films, he was often the voice of Boris Karloff, including the monster’s sepulchral lines in The Bride of Frankenstein.
Also of note are the following vocal roles: Ivan Rassimov in Planet of the Vampires, Charles Bronson in Master of the World, Gian Maria Volontè in A Bullet for the General, Reggie Nalder in Mark of the Devil, Piero Lulli in José Luis Merino’s Comando al infierno, Umberto Raho in Cat o’ Nine Tails, William Berger in My Dear Killer, Harry Baird in Four of the Apocalypse and Michael Berryman in The Hills Have Eyes.
What follows is a list of those Jess Franco roles dubbed into Spanish by Julio Núñez that I’ve been able to trace. A total of three:
Howard Vernon in X312-Flight to Hell (1971)
Claude Boisson in El sádico de Notre Dame (1979)
Antonio de Cabo in Devil Hunter (1980)
Link to a partial list of Núñez’s films as a voice actor:
Link to sample of Julio Núñez’s voice, dubbing Claude Boisson in El sádico de Notre Dame:
Below, a scene from an onscreen performance of Julio Núñez’s, seemingly taken from a videotaped TV performance of a play. Núñez is the man with the pipe. The moustached man is José María Caffarel (seen in the Paul Naschy film Licántropo) and the woman is Lola Herrera (of Eloy de la Iglesia’s Cannibal Man). The seated actor is Estanis González, whose voice can be heard in the Spanish-language version of The Girl from Rio.
Below, a compilation of several TV roles and cartoon voice-overs of Núñez’s. Note the presence (in scenes from the 1989 TV series Juncal) of Paco Rabal and Manuel Zarzo. Núñez, incidentally, dubbed Rabal’s performance as Ben Barka in the Spanish-language version of Giuseppe Ferrara’s Faccia di spia (1975).
Text by Nzoog Wahrlfhehen