Federico Luppi, a dignified Argentine actor well known for his complex performances in the dark fantasy films of Guillermo del Toro, died on Friday in Buenos Aires. He was 83.
The cause was complications of a subdural hematoma, said his wife, the actress Susana Hornos.
Mr. Luppi’s career, which began in the mid-1960s, included dozens of film and television roles, often in Argentine productions. Slim and stately with a shock of white hair, he endowed his characters with a sense of gravity.
One of those characters was Jesus Gris, the protagonist of the Mexican horror film “Cronos” (1993), Mr. del Toro’s directorial debut. In that film, which also starred Ron Perlman, Gris, an antiques dealer, finds a clockwork device that turns him into a vampire.
Mr. Luppi played the monstrous Gris with touches of weakness — at one point in the film he sinks to a bathroom floor to lap up a spot of blood.
Reviewing “Cronos” in The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote that Mr. del Toro had “a considerable asset in Mr. Luppi, who remains soigné and reasonably calm no matter what happens to him, in a role that would also have been perfect for Vincent Price.”
Mr. Luppi appeared in two more of Mr. del Toro’s films, both set in Franco’s Spain. He was a leftist sympathizer who ran a haunted orphanage in “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001), and the monarch of a fairy kingdom in “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006), which won three Academy Awards in 2007.