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Ricardo Cortez
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Actor
    (September 19, 1900-April 28, 1977)
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    Birth name was Jacob Krantz
    Appeared in the films 'The City That Never Sleeps' (1924), 'Argentine Love' (1924), 'Volcano!' (1926), 'The Private Life of Helen of Troy' (1927), 'The Lost Zeppelin' (1929), 'Illicit' (1931), 'The Maltese Falcon' (1931), 'Thirteen Women' (1932), 'Torch Singer' (1933), 'The Man With Two Faces' (1934), 'Frisco Kid' (1935), 'The Case of the Black Car' (1936), 'Charlie Chan in Reno' (1939), 'Mr. Moto's Last Warning' (1939), 'Tomorrow We Live' (1942) and 'The Last Hurrah' (1958)
    Directed the films 'Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence' (1939), 'Chasing Danger' (1939), 'Free, Blonde and 21' (1940) and 'City of Chance' (1940)
    Married actress Alma Rubens (1926-31)
    Paramount Pictures changed his name and claimed he came from Spain to enhance his credibility in Valentino-style Latin Lover roles.
    Rubens said they were married over a year before she learned his real background as a Jew from New York City.
    In many of his early films, he is so thrilled to be on screen that he wears a self-satisfied smile in every scene, even if his character is in serious danger.
    His portrayal of Sam Spade in the original film version of 'The Maltese Falcon' was completely overshadowed by Humphrey Bogart's performance in the 1941 remake.
    He had the tall, dark and handsome look for those Latin Lover roles.
    He was the only actor to receive top billing over Greta Garbo, in 'Torrent' (1926).
    After leaving Hollywood, he had a successful career as a Wall Street stockbroker.

Credit: C. Fishel


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