~Ricardo Cortez~

Born: September 19, 1899 in Vienna, Austria
Died: April 28, 1977 in New York City, New York, USA
~Biography~
Though his professional name was suggestive of a Latin Lover type, actor Ricardo Cortez was actually
an Austrian Jew, born Jacob Krantz. He arrived in Hollywood in 1922, at a time when the Rudolph
Valentino craze was at its height. Producers liked the darkly handsome Jacob Krantz but felt that
neither his name nor his heritage would do for publicity purposes: thus he became Ricardo Cortez,
and his birthplace shifted to Spain. Despite the fact that his roles called upon his looks more than his
talent, Cortez wanted to learn to act, and to that end signed on for the 1926 film The Sorrows of
Satan, directed by the legendary D. W. Griffith. But Griffith was going through a career downer, and
the disappointed Cortez left the film knowing little more about acting than he had when shooting
started. Nonetheless, Cortez was a popular star, so much so that he was billed above up-and-coming
Greta Garbo in The Torrent, her first American picture. When sound pictures came in, Cortez' studio
dragged its feet with indecision as to whether or not the actor's voice would record adequately.
Cortez took matters in his own hands by starring in a cheap independent melodrama titled Phantom
in the House (1929). The picture was terrible, but at least Cortez proved he could talk. On top again
in the early '30s, Cortez shed his "second string Valentino" image to play wisecracking urban types,
including Sam Spade in the 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon. Relegated to second leads and
villains by the late '30s, Cortez decided to give directing a try, acquitting himself nicely with 1939's
Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence. Eventually Cortez lost interest in Hollywood (and vice versa),
choosing instead to dabble in the stock market. Though he still took the occasional film part, by the
'50s Cortez was better known for his activities as a member of one of Wall Street's top brokerage
firms. Not the only showbiz professional in the Krantz family, Ricardo Cortez was the older brother of
cinematographer Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons [1942]).

Biography by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
~Silent Filmography~
The Lost Zeppelin (1929) ... Tom Armstrong - Movie Still Code: TS54-X
Midstream (1929) .... James Stanwood
New Orleans (1929) .... Jim Morley
The Younger Generation (1929) .... Morris Goldfish
The Gun Runner (1928) .... Julio
Excess Baggage (1928) .... Val D'Errico
The Grain of Dust (1928) .... Fred Norman
Prowlers of the Sea (1928) .... Carlos De Neve
... aka Sea Prowlers
Ladies of the Night Club (1928) .... George Merrill
La danseuse Orchidée (1928) .... Yoanes Etchegarry dit Jean Barliave
... aka The Orchid Dancer (UK)
... aka Woman of Destiny (USA)
The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927) .... Paris  
... aka Helen of Troy (USA)
By Whose Hand? (1927) .... Agent X-9
Mockery (1927) .... Captain Dimitri
New York (1927) .... Michael Angelo Cassidy
The Eagle of the Sea (1926) .... Captain Sazarac
The Sorrows of Satan (1926) .... Geoffrey Tempest
The Cat's Pajamas (1926) .... Don Cesare Gracco
Volcano (1926) .... Stéphane Séquineau
Torrent (1926) .... Don Rafael Brull  ... Movie Still Code: 254-X
... aka Ibáñez' Torrent (USA: alternative title)
The Pony Express (1925) .... Jack Weston
In the Name of Love (1925) .... Raoul Melnotte
Not So Long Ago (1925) .... Billy Ballard
The Spaniard (1925) .... Don Pedro de Barrego
... aka Spanish Love (UK)
The Swan (1925) .... Dr. Walter, the Tutor
Argentine Love (1924) .... Juan Martin
This Woman (1924) .... Whitney Duane
The City That Never Sleeps (1924) .... Mark Roth
Feet of Clay (1924) .... Tony Channing
The Bedroom Window (1924) .... Robert Delano
A Society Scandal (1924) .... Harrison Peters
The Next Corner (1924) .... Don Arturo
Hollywood (1923) .... Himself, Cameo appearance
... aka Joligud
The Call of the Canyon (1923) .... Larry Morrison
Children of Jazz (1923) .... Ted Carter
Sixty Cents an Hour (1923) .... William Davis, Jimmy's rival
The Gentleman from America (1923) (uncredited) .... Bit Role

The Imp (1919) (uncredited)
The Fringe of Society (1917) (scenes deleted)
.
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