Nelson Villagra is a Chilean actor, writer and director of stage and screen. He is recognised as one of the most masterful actors in Chilean cinema and is widely known in Chile for his exceptional portrayal of a mentally retarded murderer in Miguel Littín's El Chacal de Nahueltoro (1969). He also collaborated with Raúl Ruiz on Tres tristes tigres (1968), La colonia penal (1970) and Nadie dijo nada (1971). In 1973, Villagra was exiled from Chile as a result of the military coup which led to the Pinochet dictatorship. After a time in Europe, he went on to Cuba and worked with some of the key Latin American directors of the period, such as Humberto Solás (Cantata de Chile) 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 Biarritz Film Festival. In 1979, he played a military torturer in Sergio Castilla's film Prisioneros desaparecidos, a role for which he won the Best Actor award at the San Sebastián Film Festival.