Nelson Villagra is a Chilean actor, author and director. He is considered to be the most masterful actors in Chilean cinema. He is widely known for his exceptional portrayal of the assassin in El Chacal de Nahueltoro by the director Miguel Littin. He has also collaborated with fellow Chilean director Raúl Ruiz in Tres Tristes Tigres and La Colonia Penal.
In 1973 he was exiled from Chile because of the military coup leading to the Pinochet dictatorship. After a period in Europe he went on to Cuba to work with some of the most important South American directors of his time, such as Humberto Solás and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, winning the Best Actor award for his role as 'El Conde' in Gutiérrez Alea's The Last Supper at the 1978 Festival Internacional de Cine de Biarritz. In 1979 he played the role of military torturer in the film Prisioneros Desaparecidos by Sergio Castilla, a role for which he was awarded the Best Actor award at the Festival de Cine de San Sebastián.