Meet José Balmaceda Riera-Controversial Doctor And Father Of The Last of Us Star Pedro Pascal
Pedro Pascal, as of now, is taking the world by storm following his outstanding performance as Joel in the HBO drama series The Last of Us, based on the video game.
He is also known for his roles as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones, Javier Pea in Narcos, and the title role in The Mandalorian, which he reprised in the spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett.
We are all aware of his successful acting career, but what about his personal life? His family life was certainly not easy, as evidenced by his mother's suicide and his father's several scandals over the years.
His father, José Balmaceda Riera, was a fertility doctor. What was the reason for his political exile from his own country? What was his biggest scandal? Where is he now? What is his relationship with his son and other children? Details here.
Who Is José Balmaceda Riera?
José Balmaceda Riera was born in Santiago, Chile, on August 22, 1948. As of now, he is 75 years old.
His father, José, was a successful owner of timber mills, and his mother, Juanita, owned a women’s boutique. He has five sisters who have lived in Santiago all their lives.
As for his education, he attended the college preparatory school, San Ignatius. Later, he joined Catholic University Medical School, graduated in 1974, and became a resident at the University of Chile Hospital, where he worked in obstetrics and gynecology.
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Marriage With Veronica Pascal
José Balmaceda Riera was married to Veronica Pascal, a child psychologist. According to Wikipedia, she was the cousin of Andrés Pascal Allende, the nephew of Chilean President Salvador Allende (through his sister Laura).
Andrés was an early leader of the Movement of Revolutionary Left. The Riera family was also involved in political matters, which would later cause them to flee their native country.
There are not many details on Veronica and her marriage to José. The duo was together until the end, and they became parents to four children: Lux Pascal, Javiera Balmaceda Pascal, Nicolás Balmaceda Pascal, and Pedro Pascal.
Sadly, Veronica committed suicide in 1999. The media has not been given any additional information about her death.
After her death, all her kids, including Pedro, took her surname as their professional moniker to honor her memory.
In his 2020 interview, the Game of Thrones actor credited his success to his late mother.
"She was always incredibly supportive, never a stage mom. "I always felt like she knew something that I didn't."
"None of [my success] would be real if it weren't for her."
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What Led José Balmaceda Riera To Flee From His Country With Wife And Kids?
As to Pedro Pascal's interviews, his parents were "devout followers of Allende and active in resistance groups against the Pinochet dictatorship."
In 1975, Balmaceda and his wife, Veronica, were accused of hiding political dissidents in their home. They were forced to leave the country with their two children (Pedro was nine months old at the time) to go into political exile from the totalitarian rule of General Augusto Pinochet.
The family escaped to Denmark and settled down there for the time being. A year later, José got the opportunity to work at the medical facility at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the family then moved to the USA.
At the university, he completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency in 1980, and in the following years, he received a Rockefeller Foundation award for his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology.
Later, in 1994, the father of four began working with fellow doctor Ricardo Asch on a new assisted reproduction technique called gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).
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Pedro Pascal's Father Was Almost Imprisoned-Why??
In 1986, José Balmaceda Riera moved to California to work at the University of California Irvine Medical Center (UCIMC).
He and his friend and fellow doctor, Asch, formed a private partnership, the Center for Reproductive Health. The duo also worked at the Garden Grove clinic until Riera took over the Saddleback clinic in 1989.
Everything changed in February 1995, when all research at the clinics halted after some serious malpractice allegations unfolded.
The doctors at the clinics had allegedly performed egg and embryo transfers without consent. The investigation started with Asch, Balmaceda, and Stone.
Following the scandal, José "distributed a letter to the UCI College of Medicine condemning the administration for accusing all three doctors of having equal responsibility for the wrongdoing."
He mentioned that the misappropriation of eggs was largely Asch’s doing, facilitated by laissez-faire management by the university.
In September 1995, Balmaceda visited his mother in Santiago, Chile, but never returned to the United States to receive his indictments.
Because of that, the US government labeled him a fugitive and indicted him in absentia on twenty counts of mail fraud for insurance billing.
Balmaceda then started his new journey in Chile and began working at one of the country’s most prestigious private practices, the Clinica Las Condes in Santiago.
Sadly, he lost his wife by suicide in 1999, leaving Balmaceda with four children, which was his biggest loss.
In 2001, Balmaceda was arrested at the Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in relation to his extradition to the United States on charges of mail fraud and tax evasion.
He was released on bail with orders not to leave Argentina, but he returned to Chile, claiming that it would be impossible to find justice under Argentinean law.
Where Is José Balmaceda Riera Now?
Since 2003, José Balmaceda Riera has been the director of the Latin American Assisted Reproduction Network.
The organization has a successful rate at fertility clinics in Chile, Peru, and Bolivia.
He also gained time to give interviews and blamed the California scandal on the university administrators for not taking action sooner. He claims to be innocent and also "laments the prosecution of his ex-associate Sergio Stone, whom Balmaceda claims never participated in any assisted reproduction procedures."
Similarly, Pascal also contends that his father did nothing wrong.
José Balmaceda Riera: Introduction Of His Children Including Actor Pedro Pascal
José Balmaceda Riera is the father of four children.
Javiera Balmaceda Pascal
Javiera Balmaceda Pascal is the firstborn of José Balmaceda Riera and Veronica Pascal. She was born on October 4, 1972, and is currently 50 years old.
She is very private as compared to her other siblings, and little is known about her personal and professional lives.
However, according to her Twitter bio, she lives in Chile and is a mother of two. She also seems to be very proud of her siblings, as she frequently promotes them on social media.
She definitely acts like a mother to her siblings after the death of their mom.
Lux Pascal is the eldest of the Pascal siblings. She was born on June 4, 1992, and is now 30 years old.
She studied at Saint George's College in Chile and then attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile to study theater.
Lux is due to graduate with her MFA in acting from the Juilliard School in 2023.
She was born a boy named Lucas Balmaceda. She revealed herself as a transgender woman in February 2021, changing her name to Lux Pascal.
As for her relationship status, she has been dating José Antonio Raffo since 2011. He is an actor known for his roles in A Fantastic Woman, Perdona Nuestros Pecados, and Pobre Gallo.
As for her professional life, Lux is a theater and movie/TV actress. She made her debut in 2014, starring in the play La noche obstinada.
The same year, she made her television debut in the series Los 80, playing the role of Axel Miller.
Her movie and TV roles over the years are listed below:
|Theatre||La noche obstinada|
Prueba de actitud
No quiero ser tu hermano
Ella es Cristina
|TV Shows||Los 80|
Veinteañero a los 40
12 días que estremecieron Chile
Héroes invisibles, La jauría
Pascal, Nicholas Balmaceda
Nicholas Balmaceda Pascal is the only sibling who chose his father's profession, José Balmaceda Riera. He is a certified pediatric neurologist.
He graduated from the University of Chile with a doctorate in medicine in 2015. He then completed his Ph.D. and now works as a pediatric neurologist.
Similarly, he is proficient in computer languages such as Python and Django as well as mathematics.
Also, Nicholas has done a project in association with the UMCG Experimental Cardiology team.
Pedro Pascal is a popular Chilean and American actor. He was born José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal on April 2, 1975. As of now, he is 47 years old, and his listed height is 5' 10½" (179 cm).
He was involved in competitive swimming during his young years and also took part in the state championships in Texas.
He left swimming for his passion for drama. He later studied at the Orange County School of the Arts, graduating in 1993, before moving on to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Pedro made his television debut in 1999, appearing in small roles in Good vs. Evil, Downtown, Undressed, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
His most popular roles are as Oberyn Martell in the fourth season of HBO's Game of Thrones, Javier Pea in the Netflix crime series Narcos, the title role in the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, and in the spin-off series The Book of Boba Fett.
Similarly, in 2023, he played the role of Joel in the HBO drama series The Last of Us, which became an instant hit, making him a household name.
Some of his other television roles are:
|Touched by an Angel||Ricky|
|Earth vs. the Spider||Goth Guy|
|Law & Order||Tito Cabassa|
|The Good Wife||Nathan Landry|
|Lights Out||Omar Assarian|
|Brothers & Sisters||Zach Wellison|
|Burn Notice||Comandante Veracruz|
|Red Widow||Jay Castillo|
|The Mentalist||Marcus Pike|
|My Dentist’s Murder||Lead Role|
Likewise, Pascal made his film debut in 2005 with Hermanas. He has been part of many projects since then, and some of them are:
|The Adjustment Bureau||Maitre D’ Paul De Santo|
|The Great Wall||Pero Tovar|
|Kingsman: The Golden Circle||Jack Daniels/Agent Whiskey|
|The Equalizer 2||Dave York|
|Wonder Woman 1984||Maxwell Lord|
As for his relationship status, Pascal has not introduced anyone as his girlfriend, so we can assume he is single at the moment.
However, he has been linked with many celebrities over the years, including his Game of Thrones co-star Lena Headey.
He was also linked to another co-star, The Mentalist’s Robin Tunney, and to his American Horror Story co-star Sarah Paulson.
As for his earnings and estimated net worth, Pedro's riches as of 2023 is calculated at $10 million.