How much did you know about Katy Jurado, the product of Mexico’s golden age of movies?
When she made it in Hollywood, Jurado was not averse to being typecast. She welcomed playing passionate Mexican women providing she felt the characterizations were genuine. Because of her looks — she had expressive eyes and a full lips — she was often cast as a seductress and/or man-eater not to be messed with. In most of her movies, her characters simultaneously projected earthiness and dignity.
She is remembered for several things, including her second marital partner, Ernest Borgnine (pictured with Katy above and below). In his 2008 autobiography, Ernie, Borgnine recalled meeting Jurado for the first time in 1958, on the set of The Badlanders, an MGM western in which the two were costarred with Alan Ladd.
At the end of a particularly long and grueling day, the very first thing I heard the elegant and beautiful … Katy Jurado say was, ‘Who do I have to fuck to get off this picture?’ I was appalled! To hear a woman say that, then, left you a little bit chilled, you know?
Borgnine thawed out sufficiently to marry Jurado the following year, and the couple moved to Mexico. (Her nickname for him was ‘bullito” or ‘little bull.’) But as time went on — and as Borgnine realized that while being away from Hollywood didn’t affect her career, it really hurt his — relations became increasingly strained.
I don’t think we were quite right for each other — Katy was beautiful, but a tiger, the actor wrote. We separated and reconciled before finally separating for good in 1961. Our divorce became final in 1964 — we took three years to fight over alimony.
Ok, on to the answers to our Katy Jurado Quiz:
1) Question: One of Hollywood’s more unusual pairings had Jurado married to which one of the following? a) Cesar Romero; b) Marlon Brando; c) Victor Velazquez; or d) Ernest Borgnine.
Answer: As indicated, (d).
2) Question: As mentioned, Jurado was nominated for an Academy Award. For which one of the following films? a) High Noon; b) Bullfighter and The Lady; c) Broken Lance; or d) One-Eyed Jacks.
Answer: c) 1954’s Broken Lance in which Jurado was cast as Spencer Tracy’s Indian wife. She was nominated in the best supporting actress category. (She lost out to winner Eva Marie Saint for On The Waterfront.)
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.
Answer: b) False. Although she spent a fair amount of career time in Hollywood, Jurado made many trips back home to Mexico. (Note that Jurado and Borgnine began their marriage by moving to her home country.)
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.)
Answer: John Huston, who lived for a time in Mexico.
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.
Answer: Another of our trick questions. Jurado shared the screen with all four leading men.