Fernando Arrabal Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Fernando Arrabal

Birthday :

August 11, 1932

Also Known For :

Journalist, Playwright, Poet

Birth Place :

Melilla, Spain

Zodiac Sign :


Childhood and Early Life

Playwright, filmmaker, poet, and novelist Fernando Arrabal was born on the 11 August 1932 in Melilla, Morocco which at the time was a Spanish Protectorate. His parents were Carmen Teran Gonzalez and Fernando Arrabal Ruiz. His father was a Spanish painter. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Ruiz received the death sentence for mutiny because of his pro-Republic stance (1936).

The sentence was commuted to 30 years jail, but after an escape attempt in 1941, Ruiz vanished and was never seen again. Arrabel ’s mother moved to Ciudad Rodrigo after the arrest her husband, and when the  Spanish Civil War ended, they relocated to Madrid.



Initially, Fernando Arraball did business studies in Tolso which included a course studying the paper industry. After working for a short time, he then continued with his studies in Valencia and Madrid. He studied law at the University of Madrid. In 1955, he won a three-month scholarship to study drama in Paris, France.


Rise to Fame

Fernando Arrabal settled permanently in Paris. His first production was the anti-war satire, Picnic on the Battlefield (1958) and Baal Babylon (1959) was his first novel.



A prolific writer, Fernando Arrabal has published dozens of plays, essays, poetry collections, artists books, and novels. Novels include The Tree of Guernica (1975), Long Live Death (1971) and I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse (1973). He has written and directed feature films including The Emperor of Peru (1982) and Adieu, Babylone! (1992). Short films: Sang et or (1978), Echecs et Mythe (1990) and New York City! (1991)

Moreover, he has also composed the librettos for five operas. A chapter in a book by David Archibald Surrealism and the past: Fernando Arrabal and the Spanish Civil War examines Arrabal’s work about the Spanish Civil War.


Awards and Recognition

Fernando Arrabal is the recipient of many awards including the World Theater Prize and the French Academy’s Grand Prize for Theatre. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. Spain’s National Prize for Literature 2003. National Prize for Literature, Spain 2000. Arrabel received France’s Legion of Honour in 2005.


Personal Life

In February 1958, Fernando Arrabal married Luce Moreau.    

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