'Jamon, Jamon' director Luna dies at 67

April 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM

TARRAGONA, Spain, April 7 (UPI) -- "Jamon, Jamon" director Juan Jose Bigas Luna, known for featuring sexual excess in his films, died near Tarragona, Spain, Variety reported. He was 67.

The Spanish director died Friday after a long battle with cancer, the magazine reported.

Despite briefly dabbling in the English-language market, Luna is perhaps best known for his so-called Iberian Trilogy, featuring 1992's "Jamon, Jamon," 1993's "Golden Balls" and 1994's "The Tit and the Moon."

The trilogy was a celebration of earthly Spanish pleasures, including the country's roadside brothels, hams and omelets, and machismo, Variety reported.

He launched the careers of Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, who are now married with a child.

" 'Jamon, Jamon' changed my life," Cruz said Saturday in a written statement. "Bigas [Luna] was one of the wisest persons I've known, living the present and enjoying the small things in life."

"I owe Bigas the woman I love, two soulmates and a career I never dreamed I'd have," Bardem added. "When confronted with any conflict, rather than drama and anguish, he preferred a smile, love and a good slice of ham."

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