‘Untameable’ True Story, Explained: Is Angel Cristo Dead? Where Is Barbara Rey Now?

Human life is a collection of dreams. A successful professional life and a satisfying love life can be the common dreams of every person in the world. But how many can fulfill that dream? While some are destined to get everything they want, others are destined to lose it all. Although not a very globally known face, to followers of Spanish pop culture, Angel Cristo is a familiar figure. And this famous circus personality, Angel Cristo, is now the central focus of the Netflix drama Untameable: Cristo y Rey. The Netflix series has just released its first episode titled The Tamer’s Skin, establishing the 1970s backdrop in Spain, where Angel Cristo was a notable circus tamer famous for his daring skills in taming lions and tigers. In the first episode, we also get to know about Cristo’s lady love, Barbara Rey, a famous actor and singer who would later become his life partner. At the beginning of this episode, we see a budding chemistry between Cristo and Rey, which will soon be more prominent in the subsequent episodes.


Spoilers Ahead

Who Was Angel Cristo?

Born in Huelva in 1943, Angel Cristo Dordid rose to prominence through his circus. He was even awarded the title of the best tamer in Spain. Both of his parents were performers and entertainers, so talent and charisma were in Cristo’s blood. From a very tender age, he was an animal lover who had a fascination with big cats. He was even raised in his father’s family circus, where he learned the skills of taming animals and being their closest friends. As a talented snowman, he came up with numerous acts to tame the animals. With his charming appearance and flamboyance, he was able to win the hearts of many. Putting his head inside a lion’s mouth was one of his signature acts that garnered him huge fame. In 1969, he established his circus, naming it “Circo Ruso.”


Angel was an aggressive and brutally honest person who used to speak his mind without hesitation. His love for his circus was undying, so he was willing to go to any lengths to maintain its reputation and keep the shows going. But some mishaps in his circus, resulting in injuries to some of the members, prompted him to face some serious repercussions. His first wife was trapeze artist Renata Tanton, who fell ill and lost her life in 1979. Angel struggled to overcome the grief, but in his heart, he was always committed to his circus. Following Renata’s death, when the circus was failing to gather as much of an audience as it used to have, he enlisted the former Miss Spain singer/actor, Barbara Rey, as a performer in his show. Soon enough, they fell in love with each other and pursued a romantic relationship. They got married and had two children.

Where Is Barbara Rey Now?

Former Miss Spain, Maria Grave, aka Barbara Rey, was a famous TV actress in Spain in the 1970s, when Spain was able to see naked actors for the first time in films. Barbara was famous for her bold portrayal on screen as well as being an amazing theater performer. She was a strong, independent woman who yearned for a true lover who would not only be attracted to her physical beauty but also her heart. As Barbara started performing in Circo Ruso after she married Cristo, she began to get familiar with the acts of taming elephants.


Barbara and Cristo were married for eight years, but it was not at all a blissful married life. The emotional ups and downs were always there, which frustrated both of them, resulting in their divorce in 1988. Reportedly, Barbara even sued her husband following the divorce. After that, Barbara remained a popular figure, acting on television and singing. Barbara Rey is now a musician, living in Marbella, Spain. She is now a well-known celebrity in Spanish media, living her life on her own. Probably, she decided not to marry again, but we are not quite familiar with her love life right now.

How Did Angel Cristo Die?

Angel Cristo, who also got featured in a film, began to lose his image as a media celebrity. There was news regarding Cristo’s deteriorating mental health. Suicide attempts, massive car accidents, and many more incidents in his life indicated his gradual downfall. However, he still tried to revive his career and his circus, but he found himself in a troubling relationship with the authorities, who stopped permitting animal stunts. Several obstacles in his life left his mental health in shambles. He was drowning in the darkness of depression, leading him to make some foolish decisions in his life. Subsequently, he turned to substance abuse, which was slowly pushing him to the edge. Multiple times, he had overdosed on barbiturates and been admitted to hospitals. In 2010, on May 3, he finally took his last breath after suffering from a cardiac arrest.


Final Words

In Untameable, the first episode beautifully portrays the character arc of both Angel Cristo (portrayed by Jaime Lorente) and Barbara Rey (portrayed by Belen Cuesta). Angel’s flamboyance and aggression are masterfully depicted in the show, while at the same time, his back story and his emotional connection with the circus make us feel for this character. Meanwhile, Belen Cuesta’s Barbara Rey is also a stunning portrayal, depicting the pain and her yearning for love, which is attractive and compelling, prompting us to invest our time in the series. As we learn more about the real-life tragic love story of Cristo and Rey, we can anticipate that the upcoming episodes will bring to light a rollercoaster of emotions and compelling events in both of these characters’ love lives. However, the dramatic portrayal of these two most familiar figures in Spain is not entirely based on true events. The makers of the stories have taken some creative liberties for dramatic purposes and to make them look more appealing. So, let’s hope for the Netflix series to bring forth the rest of the narrative, filled with romance, tragedy, and betrayals.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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