Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Ricardo Cortez (1900-1977) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.
Born Jacob Krantz in New York City, this son of Jewish immigrants grew up in the right city to foster an early love of show business. He was doing odd jobs in theaters by the end of 1914, and the following year began playing a number of non-speaking theatrical roles. In 1917 he worked as a movie extra and later had an unbilled role in The Imp (1919). As Jack Crane he took on various bit parts before signing with Paramount in 1923. As Ricardo Cortez, youthful Valentino alternative, he had his first starring role in The Spaniard (1925), by which time he had met tragic Alma Rubens, who he married in 1926. Cortez became a silent film star in titles such as The Pony Express (1925), Torrent (1926) with Greta Garbo, and D.W. Griffith's The Sorrows of Satan (1926). In addition to transitioning to talkies, Cortez had to struggle with the death of Rubens in 1931, but he eventually found success at RKO, then Warner Bros., alternating between charming leading man and dastardly villain in pre-Code era titles such as Illicit (1931), Ten Cents a Dance (1931), The Maltese Falcon (1931), Bad Company (1931), Symphony of Six Million (1932), The Phantom of Crestwood (1932), Midnight Mary (1933), The House on 56th Street (1933), Mandalay (1934), and Wonder Bar (1934). He was a busy screen actor throughout the decade and even tried his hand at directing over at Twentieth Century Fox in 1939-40. His film work tailed off by the mid-1940s when Cortez became more involved in finance, though he scored a fine supporting role in The Locket (1946). He made a handful of television appearances in the following decade and had his final film appearance in John Ford's The Last Hurrah (1958). He appeared on an episode of Bonanza in 1960, and then filled his time with traveling and investing. Cortez was employed for a time by the financial and investment firm David Greene and Company. He was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s and died at age 77. He was survived by third wife Margaret as well as his younger brother, famed cinematographer Stanley Cortez.
Birthday: September 19