(September 19, 1900 – April 28, 1977), known professionally as Ricardo Cortez
, was an American film actor who began his career during the silent
, May 4, 1977.
Life and career
Born to a Jewish
family in New York City
Letter of the Departement of Health, City of New York, 8. Oktober 2000. mentioned in: Rudolf Ulrich (Hrsg.): Österreicher in Hollywood.
Neuauflage, Verlag Filmarchiv Austria
, Wien 2004, ISBN 3901932291, p. 597 (Vienna
has been incorrectly cited as his birthplace), Krantz was an amateur boxer and worked on Wall Street
prior to entering the film business. Hollywood
executives changed his name from Krantz to Cortez in order to capitalize on the popularity of the era's "Latin lovers" (notably Rudolph Valentino
, Ramon Novarro
and Antonio Moreno
.) When rumor began to circulate that Cortez was not actually Spanish, the studios attempted to pass him off as French before finally "admitting" to his supposedly Viennese
Cortez appeared in over 100 films. Although he began his career playing romantic leads, when sound cinema arrived, his powerful delivery and New York accent made him an ideal heavy, and he switched from sex symbol to character actor. He played opposite Joan Crawford
in Montana Moon
(1930), played Sam Spade
in the original, pre-code
version of The......