He was born Alfonso Carlos Chicharro on July 7th 1931 in Zarautz, Spain - reportedly the last of 16 sons (another source says 13) of an illustrious family. He was 6’3” (1.91m) tall, weighed 340lbs (154kg), had a 68” chest and 24” arms (these details vary slightly in different reports, but always in the same area). He had a wife named Valeri and three children - Alfonso, Ricardo and Maria.
He began his wrestling career in Spain in 1947, becoming an international star in the 1960’s, holding several World Wrestling Champion titles. He wrestled under the names Pepe Cortés and Claude Dassary, before settling on the name Hércules Cortez (reportedly suggested by his wife). In Spain he reached the level of success that in 1965 he featured in his own weekly television show where he would challenge the public to arm wrestling contests.
He made his first film appearance in a small uncredited role in Agente X77 - Ordine di uccidere in 1966 and over the next 4 years would appear in 7 further films in supporting roles of varying sizes, on all but one occasion where he was credited using the spelling “Cortés“ for his surname. It seems probable that his acting career would have continued were it not for his untimely death.
He died in from injuries sustained in a car accident in St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA on July 24th 1971, aged only 39.
His biographical details have been compiled as best as possible from multiple online sources, often with conflicting information.
- Agente X77 - Ordine di uccidere .... Henchman (uncredited)
- Muori lentamente... te la godi di più .... Cortejo (uncredited)
- Una bruja sin escoba .... Primitive man (credited)
- Ammazzali tutti e torna solo .... Bogard (credited)
- Cuidado con las señoras .... Ceferino Carranza (credited)
- I tre che sconvolsero il West .... Rosario's brother (credited as "Hercules Cortez")
- Mi marido y sus complejos .... Julian (credited)
- Dramma della gelosia (tutti i particolari in cronaca) .... Ambleto di Meo (credited)
- Lucha: Hércules Cortés (2015) Documentary
- There are numerous wrestling matches featuring Hercules to be found on You Tube