Legendary masked wrestler/actor who achieved icon status via his highly colorful wrestling career and starring appearances in nearly 60 motion pictures. Born Rodolfo Guzman Huerta on September 23rd, 1917 in Hidalgo, Mexico, he was the fifth of seven children. Wrestling took off in the early 1930s in Mexico after several promoters had witnessed events in Texas, and in Mexico the sport eventually became known as "Luche Libre". Rodolfo's first wrestling appearance was alleged to have been at Arena Peralvillo Cozumel on June 28th, 1934, and he soon became an active figure on the Mexican wrestling circuit under various names including "El Hombre Rojo", "Rudy Guzman", "El Demonio Negro" and "El Murcielago II". After initially competing as a "rudo" (bad or "heel" wrestler), Rodolfo became a "techno" (good or "babyface" wrestler) and that's the way he remained for the next fifty years.
Santo's final film appearance was in La Furia de los karatekas (1982) filmed in Florida. He officially retired from wrestling/acting on July 26th, 1982 (at the age of 65!). After nearly fifty years of never being seen without his trademark mask, Santo appeared on the Mexican TV talk show "Contrapunto" on January 26th 1984, and without warning, unmasked and revealed his face. Santo passed away from a heart attack less than a week later on February 5th, 1984. The Mexican people were shattered by the death of their idol, and his funeral was attended by tens of thousands of fans, plus many wrestling figures. Santo was laid to rest at a mausoleum in Mexico City wearing his beloved silver mask.