Actor Anthony Quinn, the two-time Academy Award winning movie star known for his portrayal of earthy characters with a zest for life, died last night in a Boston hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 86.
The spokeswoman at Brigham and Women's hospital told reporters he died at 2.29 p.m. but declined to give the cause of death or any further information.
Quinn lived life as large as the characters he portrayed including perhaps his best known role as the title character in the 1964 film "Zorba the Greek."
He has appeared in more than 100 movies and has fathered 13 children by five women - three of whom he married.
Quinn won two Academy Awards for best supporting actor, one for his 1952 role as a Mexican revolutionary in "Viva Zapata!" and another four years later for his portrayal of the French painter Paul Gauguin in the film "Lust for Life."
Quinn was best known for his memorable portrayal of the title character in "Zorba the Greek". For Quinn, Zorba was more than just a film role.
"I am Zorba," Quinn once said of the hero of the movie, a worldly wise Greek who lived life to the fullest.
Like Zorba, Quinn's life was painted on a broad canvas, ranging from an impoverished childhood in Mexico and Los Angeles to the pampered luxury of a Hollywood star and noted artist.
He was born on April 21st, 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico, where his half-Irish father Francisco (Frank) Quinn had married a Mexican girl of Aztec Indian ancestry, Manuela, while fighting for revolutionary leader Pancho Villa.
The family moved to El Paso, Texas, and three years later to Los Angeles in search of work. Quinn was raised in a poor district of Los Angeles and never forgot his past.
He went on to appear in such movies as "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Guns of Navarone" (1961) and "La Strada" (1954).
More recently he has appeared in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever," the Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Last Action Hero," and opposite Keanu Reeves in "A Walk in the Clouds."
Quinn married Iolanda Addolori, an Italian teacher who was a wardrobe mistress on "La Strada," in 1966 after his first marriage, to Katherine De Mille, daughter of director Cecil B. De Mille, ended in divorce.
Addolori and Quinn finalised a bitter divorce in 1997. He subsequently married Kathy Benvin, then 35.
He is the father of nine sons and four daughters by his three wives and three mistresses.
Along the way he managed to amass an estate valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, including an art collection that boasts an original Picasso. He also became a noted impressionist painter and sculptor.