She became a film star in her native Mexico, then crossed the border to great success in Hollywood.
She was the first actress of Mexican heritage to be nominated for an Academy award. Her exotic looks and fiery talent propelled Katy Jurado to stardom in the early 1950s.
Born in 1924 to an affluent family (her full name at birth was Maria Christina Jurado Garcia), Katy Jurado was discovered at 16 by the famous Mexican actor Emilio Fernandez, and after making several Mexican movies, was rediscovered by John Wayne and director Budd Boetticher.
Despite her troubles learning English, she was cast in 1951’s Bullfighter and the Lady, which Wayne produced for Republic Pictures and Boetticher directed. (It was a romantic drama set in bullfight territory; Jurado’s costar was a young Robert Stack.)
The next year she hit paydirt with Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon, playing Helen Ramirez, a strong-willed Mexican woman who provides backbone and support to Gary Cooper’s less-than-steely wife played by Grace Kelly.
Jurado went on to make a ton of westerns –she appeared in more than 80 movie and tv titles throughout her career. She died in 2002, at the age of 78, in Cuernavaca, an idyllic spot south of Mexico City.
Ok, let’s see how much you recall about this fiery actress. As usual, questions today ad answers tomorrow. Here we go:
2) Question: As mentioned, Jurado was nominated for an Academy Award. For which one of the following films? a) High Noon; b) The Bullfighter and The Lady; c) Broken Lance; or d) One-Eyed Jacks.
3) Question: Jurado was a bit unusual for a foreign-born actress in that she loved working in Hollywood, and rarely returned to her native Mexico? a) True; or b) False.
4) Question: The 1981 death in a car accident of her son plunged Jurado into a deep depression. She left acting for a while but was lured back to moviemaking by a longstanding friend, a powerful director. Can you name him? (HINT: He directed Jurado in 1984’s Under The Volcano.)
5) Question: Which one of the following was NOT among of Jurado’s many leading men?a) Anthony Quinn; b) Marlon Brando; c) Charlton Heston; or d) Burt Lancaster.