Panamanian singer-songwriter and actor Ruben Blades told the media he was surprised and honored to learn that his admirers include British-American actress Geraldine Chaplin, who says she cries every time she hears a song of his inspired by the crimes of South America's erstwhile military dictatorships.

"Oh no, please, I wasn't expecting that. That really surprised me. I'm honored ... I appreciate it but it really surprised me," Blades told a group of reporters in the Panamanian capital.

Chaplin, 68, said Thursday at the inauguration of the 2nd Panama International Film Festival that she is a great admirer of Blades's and always cries when she hears "Desapariciones," a song from his 1984 album "Buscando America" about people who were "disappeared" by Southern Cone dictatorships in the second half of the 20th century.

"I can't stop crying. It touches the deepest part of me," the daughter of legendary British comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) said at a press conference outside a Panama City movie complex.

The admiration of the star of films such as David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago," for which she received a Golden Globe nomination, "honors me and honors all of us, because I'm Panamanian and anything good they say about me they also say about our country," the salsa icon said.

Blades recalled that he also was pleasantly surprised to learn that acclaimed actor Denzel Washington was a fan of his music, noting that while the two were working on the 2012 film "Safe House" the American started singing the Spanish-language lyrics to his hit song "El Cantante." EFE