Ernest Hemingway, writer, journalist, and a man who knew good headlines and concepts for posterity, he framed it as the perfect mix between Don Juan and Hamlet. Much later, in recent April, when he reappeared on television in his country with a raspy voice and a stooped appearance, Miguel Bosé himself gave an image carved in pure history: “Franco would drool when he looked at my father”.
Capital legends are sometimes inversely proportional to the definitions that are made of them: gigantic histories are reduced to one or two sentences that synthesize without further decorations or extras a trace that seems to encompass everything. It happened with Luis Miguel Dominguín, one of the most famous bullfighters in the history of Spain, superstar of the discipline and father of another figure without counterweights in the artistic ring, Miguel Bosé, who otherwise in his recent autobiography -with date of arrival for this week in Chile- offers another portrait that serves to enhance the mythology of his father: he paints him as a villain in his artistic and personal development.
“They have told me that you read a lot, don’t you?” Is one of the first questions that the interpreter remembers from his father, at seven years old, when indeed he was more fond of books than any other activity proposed by his environment, especially those that Dominguín tried to impose: hunting. Animals as a trophy of war and masculinity.
“And hunting? … Why don’t you like hunting? … If you don’t like hunting, or fishing, or anything like that … tell me when will I be with my son … You have to like it, Miguelón!… You have to do me the favor that you like him or I’m going to start to think that you are not my son … because of me … for now, that I know … you have not gotten anything … Look, Miguelón … men have to do men’s things between men … like women do theirs between them, do you understand? counting … I’m looking forward to your twelfth birthday so you can smoke your first cigar, damn it! … Next year … if you train with the rifle good but good … I’ll take you on safari for a month Whole, you and me alone, to the jungle of Uganda or Mozambique … Do you like the idea? … You’ll see how much fun we’re going to have shooting and hunting animals! … And bathing in the rivers full of crocodiles and hippos! … There, yes, whether you like it or not … I’m going to make a man out of you, but come on! … as I’m your father ”, describes another paragraph of the text that re-displays the early short circuit – and what e would be frequent- between the two.
Although he never denied the artistic environment, in fact he was a guy fascinated with fame, Hollywood, actresses and beauty pageants, he did wish that his son did not mix in such a deep and habitual way with those characters.
But in that cock, he ended up losing and succumbing. As a response to his father’s iron control, Bosé ended up being one of the top stars on the Spanish-speaking circuit in recent decades. Despite his father. But also under its irrepressible shadow.
Son of the famous matador Domingo González Dominguín, the life of Luis Miguel Dominguín turned at first without many nuances around the bullfighting world: he was the son, brother, uncle and great-uncle of bullfighters of that historical Dominguín dynasty. In fact, he adopted that nickname from his father, due to the notoriety he had on the circuit, since his real name was Luis Miguel González Lucas.
Everything that he achieved from his childhood was due to the relationships that he was weaving within one of the most famous castes of 20th century Spain, connected with rulers, politicians, soldiers, actresses, beauty pageant winners, painters, intellectuals and writers.
Thanks to its roots, Dominguín – and later Bosé- built a world where fantasy faded into reality and vice versa, and where even today the most diverse myths abound.
But the Dominguín dynasty had a very different origin. The patriarch, Domingo González Mateos, was born in the humble Toledo town of Quismodo, approaching the universe of bullfighting as a way to escape poverty and to make relatively easy money: it is the same springboard of social and economic ascent in which later he transformed football.
Little by little he makes his way in a rather limited circuit, triumphing in the bullfights called novilladas, already dazzling in more colossal and demanding cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.
Figures? In 1918 he stabbed 105 steers, a force that he would later try to transfer to his sons. Already with the march of the 20s, he was one of the most sought-after bullfighters in his homeland. “All of course that they were not successes, but he was clear about that axiom of men who make themselves. After a fall, all you have to do is get up. For many, he is the most important bullfighter in history ”, writes El Independiente in a profile about the first Dominguín.
He had three children with Gracia Lucas Lorente -Domingo, Pepe and Luis Miguel-, whom he guided through the same activity. But the results were mixed. Only Luis Miguel, later father of Miguel Bosé, was going to stand out as a consummate celebrity of the field. In fact, during the 1940s and 1950s, he was number one, earning records, earnings, and unusual numbers for those days.
Along with those numbers, his fame as a star capable of rubbing shoulders with the celebrity of the time also rose. He had romances with María Félix, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Marta Alban, Lauren Bacall, Cecilia Albéniz, Rommy Schneider, Ira de Furstenberg or Miroslava Stern.
With the latter – a Czech-Mexican actress – he saves the most tragic story. Both had promised to marry, but the bullfighter met Italian actress Lucía Bosé in parallel during the filming of the film Death of a cyclist, by Juan Antonio Bardem (1955). He fell madly in love and decided to ask his new conquest to marry him, without question, without warning, without further scruples despite having another relationship.
They were married in Las Vegas, while Stern committed suicide eight days after the link. According to the police report, he had in his possession a photo and several letters that he intended to send to his former partner.
The bullfighter and the actress had three children: Miguel —who adopted the stage name Miguel Bosé, April 3, 1956—; Lucía —who would adopt the stage name Lucía Dominguín, August 19, 1957—; and Paola —who adopted the stage name of Paola Dominguín, November 5, 1960—.
But the second most famous Dominguín again had to face the scandal: He separated from Lucía in 1968, after maintaining a relationship with his own cousin, Mariví Dominguín.
Despite the punctuality of his relationship with Lucia, it was also an intense era. It was the time when he rubbed shoulders with the best on the planet. He declared himself a communist and defended the cause – and some relatives and close ones – against Francisco Franco, another of his friends and who came to his residence to hunt.
His leap to the pages of culture and entertainment made him establish links with Ortega y Gasset, Jean Cocteau, Sofía Loren, Salvador Dalí, Claudia Cardinale, Truman Capote and Audrey Hepburn. On a stopover in Madrid, Che Guevara asked to join him to witness a bullfight.
But his most legendary friendship was with Pablo Picasso. It is, in fact, the relationship from his childhood that Bosé himself remembers the most and that many times points out as a small door that was opened to direct his artistic destiny. In many bullfights, Luis Miguel wore several suits of lights with Picassian designs.
Despite all the glitters and lights, the friction between the bullfighter and the future performer – it has already been said – started from a very young age. “We had the same character, that’s why we collided,” recalled the man from Pretty in April. Later, he added that the most dramatic event of his childhood was when his father forced him to hunt: “I shot a doe and killed it,” he said.
“However, when you take her home to gut her, at the time of slitting her, a bambi came out,” Bosé details again, adding that in that minute he went against his father to give him several punches, treating him as a “son of puta ”and wanting to make the decision not to know more about him.
On the night of that same day, his father came to ask for his forgiveness. “He was not a man used to apologizing”he adds. But the fight was already over.
As a radical measure, and with his divorced parents, the interpreter of Bandit Now he would abide by what his mother Lucía had dictated: he wanted his children to carry the Bosé surname and that’s how it was. “An unstructured family”, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo once titled a clan born from the bullfighting world, grown up in the neon of the show but who quickly forgot their DNA Dominguín.
The great patriarch died on May 8, 1996 at the age of 69 in El Arcón, as a result of heart failure that caused a stroke. Until today, Bosé gets emotional when he talks about him and there is a hint of debt and nostalgia for a relationship that grew fractured. Captain Thunder’s son believes that everything could have been less stormy.
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Fame, bulls and tragedies: the tangled world that portrays Miguel Bosé’s father – La Tercera