Day 85, No. 85. Ruben Blades

Rubén Blades HAIRCUT 100: Day 85, No. 85. Rubén Blades (Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna): Panamanian national treasure; singer, songwriter, musician, actor and politician. Blades is a Latin music icon and innovator, his work combining Afro-Cuban, salsa and jazz with politically charged lyrics. As an actor, you’ll probably recognise him from Predator 2 (1990), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), and Cradle Will Rock (1999), in which he played the Marxist artist Diego Rivera, husband of Frida Kahlo. He studied law at the University of Panama and also holds a Masters in Law from Harvard, not practising because, as he later said, ‘It doesn’t make sense for me to be a lawyer in a place where there is no law.’

Blades, 68, can currently be seen portraying the morally ambivalent and emotionally complex Daniel Salazar in AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, a superstitious Salvadorian refugee with a dark past who will do anything to protect his family. Blades ran for president in Panama in 1994, gaining 18% of the popular vote but losing to Ernesto Pérez Balladares of the Democratic Revolutionary Party. In September 2004, he was appointed Panamanian Minister of Tourism. ‘We had something to say. Whenever we played, people didn’t dance, they listened.’

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