Germán Valdés

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Valdés and the second or maternal family name is Castillo.
Germán Valdés

Statue of Germán Valdés or Tin Tan on Génova Street in Zona Rosa of Mexico City
Born Germán Genaro Cipriano Gómez Valdés de Castillo
(1915-09-19)19 September 1915
Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico

29 June 1973(1973-06-29) (aged 57)

Mexico City, Mexico
Other names Tin-Tan
Occupation actor
Years active 1944–1973

Germán Genaro Cipriano Gómez Valdés de Castillo (19 September 1915 – 29 June 1973), better known as Tin-Tan, was an actor, singer and comedian who was born in Mexico City but was raised and began his career in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. He often displayed the pachuco dress and employed pachuco slang in many of his movies, some with his brothers Manuel "El Loco" Valdés and Ramón Valdés. He made the language of the Mexican American pachucos famous in Mexico. A "caló" based in Spanglish, it was a mixture of Spanish and English in speech based on that of Mexican immigrants.


He usually acted alongside his "carnal" (blood brother), Marcelo Chávez, who also accompanied Tin-Tan with a guitar. He was a prominent figure during his golden years of movie making, from 1949 onward. His 1948 movie, Calabacitas tiernas, a comedy, was chosen as one of the best in Mexican cinema .

He has the record of having kissed the most actresses in his career , some of them the beauties of their day. Some of his co-stars were Marga López, Rosita Quintana, Silvia Pinal, Amalia Aguilar, Meche Barba, Ana Bertha Lepe, Maria Antonieta Pons, Tongolele and many more. He also collaborated closely with actress and comedian Fannie Kauffman, who was also known as Vitola, during their careers.[1][2]

He was also one of several people who were originally intended to be on the front cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band but denied the invitation. He requested that Ringo swap him for a Mexican Tree known as "El Arbol de la Vida", the Tree of Life, and he did.

He was the voice of Baloo the bear and Thomas O'Malley the cat in the Mexican Spanish dubbing of the Disney films The Jungle Book and The Aristocats; both roles were originally voiced by Phil Harris.

Tin-Tan was the subject of the 2005 documentary, Ni Muy Muy… Ni Tan Tan… Simplemente Tin Tán, by Manuel Márquez and Carlos Valdés, son of the comedian.


Mural of Tin Tan at the Multiforo Cultural Alicia

He became ill with hepatitis, which degenerated into cancer. He then fell into a hepatic coma and died.

When he died he did not leave a fortune, just a testament to his wife Rosalía and his children Rosalía and Carlos.

His career left behind over 100 movies, 11 records, two short films, three Walt Disney dubs (Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)

The only recognition he received was the "Medalla Virginia Fábregas"(Medal Virginia Fábregas) a medal for 25 years of professional service by the "Asociación de Actores de México" (Association of Actors of México).


An illustration of codeswitching word play: Hey Vato, how do you say "window" in English? (window appears verbatim in the original quote in Spanish).



  1. "Vitola fallece a los 84 años". El Universal. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
  2. "´La Vitola´ se retiró a tiempo". El Universal. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2011-03-26.

External links

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