Abrázame muy fuerte
Mexican actor Fernando Colunga starred in “María la del Barrio” (1995), “Esmeralda” (1997, with Leticia Calderón), “Usurpadora, La” (1998, with Gabriela Spanic), “Amor Real” (2003, with Adela Noriega) and “Alborada” (2005). He reached the zenith of his fame in 2000-2001 thank to his award winning portrayal of Dr. Carlos Manuel Rivero in “Abrázame muy fuert,” from which he took home the Los Heraldos award and a TV y Novelas award. Before “María la del Barrio,” Colunga had worked with Thalia in “María Mercedes” (1993) and “Marimar” (1994). More recently, fans enjoyed his performances in “Pasión” (2007) and “Mañana es para siempre” (2008). Apart from his flourishing TV work, the CEA graduate has collected a few film credits, including “Esclavos de la pasión” (1995) and “Ladrón que roba a ladrón” (2007).
Childhood and Family:
Fernando Colunga Olivares was born March 3, 1966, in Mexico City, Mexico, to parents Don Fernando Colunga and Dona Margarita Olivares. Although he wanted to become an actor, Fernando studied civil engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. After a suggestion from a friend, he transferred to CEA (Centro de Educación Artística de Televisa) where he majored in drama.
In his spare time, Fernando enjoys riding motorcycles. He practices scuba diving and martial arts. He has dogs named Max and Tiara.
Colunga got his first television role in a 1990 Televisa S.A. de C.V. production called “Cenizas y diamantes,” alongside Sergio Bustamante and Ernesto Laguardia. Two years later, he appeared in “María Mercedes,” the first of the celebrated Maria trilogy that was helmed by Beatriz Sheridan and starred Thalía. His character was originally written for ten episodes but due to its success, the producers expanded it to eighty episodes.
More roles followed, including portraying Adrián Rosales in the second trilogy “Marimar” (1994), a remake of 1977’s “La Venganza,” before Fernando graduated to a lead role in “María la del Barrio” (1995), the last part of the trilogy. Also in 1995, he was seen in the movies “Esclavos de la pasión,” opposite Susana Alexander, Yirah Aparicio and Claudia Castro, and “Bésame en la boca,” helmed by Abraham Cherem.
In 1997, Colunga landed his second leading role in “Esmeralda,” where he played José Armando Peñarreal De Velasco. Starring Leticia Calderón in the title role, the series was also a hit in Mexico and broadcasted in nearly 200 countries. With the success, Fernando cemented his position as a major Spanish language actor.
The following year, Colunga starred as Gabriela Spanic's loving husband, Carlos Daniel Bracho, in “Usurpadora, La,” which also became a hit and premiered in the U.S. on January 4, 1999. He next starred as Luis Gustavo Uribe Del Valle in the based-on-novel “Nunca te olvidaré” and Jaime Rodríguez Coder in the miniseries “Cuento de Navidad” (both 1999).
Colunga gained even more recognition with “Abrázame muy fuerte/Embrace Me Tightly” (2000-2001), a remake of Mexican television novel “Pecado Mortal/Deadly Sin.” Starring as Dr. Carlos Manuel Rivero, he picked up a Los Heraldos award, a Mexican equivalent of the Oscar, and the TV y Novelas award, an honor given by viewers. He followed it up with the role of Pedro in the miniseries “Navidad sin fin” (2001).
After taking a break, Colunga resurfaced in 2003 with the popular “Amor Real/Real Love,” for which he costarred with Adela Noriega, Mauricio Islas and Kelly Sheridan. He then starred as Luis Manrique y Arellano in “Alborada” (2005).
In 2007, Colunga costarred with Miguel Varoni in “Ladrón que roba a ladrón,” an action film directed by Joe Menendez and written by JoJo Henrickson. He returned to television with the Carla Estrada produced “Pasión” (also 2007), as Diego de Luján, and “Mañana es para siempre” (2008), where he starred with Lucero, Sergio Sendel and Silvia Navarro.
Los Heraldos: “Abrázame muy fuerte,” 2000-01
TV y Novelas award: “Abrázame muy fuerte,” 2000-01