According to Lluis Fàbregas Cuixart, the pseudonym Fortunio Bonanova referred to his desire to seek fortune, and his love of the Bonanova neighborhood in his native Palma de Mallorca.
As a young man, living under his birthname, he was a professional telegraph operator. He studied music with the Italian Giovachini. In 1921, he debuted as a singer in Tannhaüser, at the Teatre Principal in Palma. That year, along with a group of Mallorcan intellectuals and Jorge Luis Borges (who was briefly living in Mallorca with his parents and sister), he signed the Ultraist Manifesto, using the name Fortunio Bonanova.
Also in 1921, he appeared in a silent film of Don Juan Tenorio by the brothers Baños, which was shown the following year in New York City and Hollywood. He would later direct his own Don Juan in 1924.
In 1927, he acted in Love of Sonya, directed by Albert Parker and starring Gloria Swanson. In 1932 he had small parts in Hollywood productions featuring Joan Bennett and Mary Astor. En the same period, he appeared in New York in several operas and, more notably, in the zarzuelas La Canción del Olvido, La Duquesa del Tabarín, Los Gavilanes, and La Montería. In 1934, her returned to Spain, where he has a major role in the film El Desaparecido (he who disappeared) written and directed by Antonio Graciani. In 1935 he acted and sang in the film Poderoso Caballero (A Big Guy), directed by Màximo Nossik.
In 1936, with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he returned to the United States, where he played the role of Captain Bill in a film called Capitán Tormenta, directed by Jules Bernhardt. A sequence of increasingly larger acting and singing roles mostly in English-language films followed, especially after 1940; among his roles were Susan's opera coach in Citizen Kane (1941), General Sebastiano in Five Graves To Cairo, (1943), Fernando in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) and Sam Garlopis in Double Idemnity (1944). He continued for the next several decades in a miscellany of character roles.
Bonanova was also an uncredited technical consultant for the film Blood and Sand (1941), and produced and appeared in the Spanish-language film La Inmaculada (1939).
Bonanova died in 1969 in Woodland, California of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Fortunio Bonanova Facts
|Birth Name||Josep Lluís Moll|
|Birthday||January 13, 1895|
|Date of death||April 2, 1969 (age 74)|