Never the biggest of stars, but still a household name in her era, this Mexican beauty had a tragic end.
You can’t tell any of this from this never before seen snapshot from the Donald Gordon Collection. (Donald and the famed sexpots were great friends in the early 1940s.) Our mystery woman is shown here enjoying her feisty canines.
Recognize her? Some hints:
— She was known as the “Mexican Spitfire.
— Her nickname derived from her performances in “B” films with Leon Errol at RKO in the late 30s and early 40s.
— She had started in silents, and had even co-starred opposite the great Douglas Fairbanks in The Gaucho. Despite what people today think, she spoke perfect English with only a slight accent. She had come from an upper class Mexican family, and had been educated at a convent in San Antonio.
— Her personal life was tumultuous. She, like her contemporary, Clara Bow, lived the life of a liberated flapper. She had affairs with John Gilbert and Gary Cooper.
— She married only once, to Johnny Weissmuller in 1933. They divorced in 1939. She reportedly had affairs with Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin and Erich Maria Remarque.
— Through the years many myths have been spun about her suicide. Fact: she was pregnant. Myth: that the child was Weissmuller’s or Gary Cooper’s. It was in fact by Austrian actor Harald Maresch.
Ok, before we give the store completely away, can you name our mystery actress? (Answer on Monday.)