Jurado in the film San Antone (1953)
|Born||María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García
January 16, 1924
|Died||July 5, 2002
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
|Spouse(s)||Víctor Velázquez (1939-1943)(divorced) 2 children
Ernest Borgnine (1959–63) (divorced)
|Children||Victor Hugo Velázquez (d. 1981)
María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García better known as Katy Jurado (Guadalajara, Mexico January 16, 1924 – Cuernavaca, Mexico July 5, 2002), was a Mexican film, stage and television actress. She had a successful film career both in Mexico and in Hollywood.
Jurado had already established herself as an actress in Mexico in the 1940s when she came to Hollywood, becoming a regular in Western films of the 1950s and 1960s. She worked with many Hollywood legends, including Gary Cooper in High Noon, Spencer Tracy in Broken Lance, and Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks, and such respected directors as Fred Zinnemann (High Noon), Sam Peckinpah (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) and John Huston (Under the Volcano).
Jurado made seventy-one films during her career. She became the first Latin American actress nominated for an Academy Award, as Best Supporting Actress for her work in 1954's Broken Lance, and was the first to win a Golden Globe Award in 1952. Like many Latin actors, she was typecast to play ethnic roles in American films. By contrast, she had a greater variety of roles in Mexican films; sometimes she also sang and danced.
Katy Jurado was born María Christina Jurado García on January 16, 1924, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Her parents were Luis Jurado Ochoa and Vicenta Estela García de la Garza. One of three children (her brothers were Luis Raul and Oscar Sergio), Jurado had a privileged childhood. Both her maternal and paternal families were wealthy; six generations earlier, they had owned much of the land that became the state of Texas. Both families lost much of their wealth during the Mexican revolution. Family's lands were confiscated by the federal government for redistribution to the landless peasantry. However, Jurado still lived well. Her father was a cattle baron and orange farmer, and her mother was a well-known opera singer who gave up the stage to marry and raise a family. Jurado's cousin, Emilio Portes Gil, was president of Mexico beginning in 1928. Despite the loss of property, the matriarch of the family, her grandmother, continued to live by her aristocratic ideals.
She studied journalism. Discovered by Director Emilio Fernández when she was sixteen, Jurado went against family wishes and began pursuing a career in acting. Emilio Fernández wanted to cast her in one of his films (La isla de la pasión), but Jurado's grandmother objected to her wish to become a movie actress. To get around the ban, Katy slipped from the grasp of her family's control by marrying the Mexican actor and writer Víctor Velázquez against her parents' wishes. Together, they had a son and a daughter, Víctor Hugo and Sandra. The marriage ended in divorce in 1943, and the children remained with Jurado's family in Mexico when she traveled to the United States to work.
Jurado began acting in Mexican films from 1943. She debuted in the movie No matarás, directed by Chano Urueta, with Emilio Tuero and Carmen Montejo. She went on to appear in sixteen more films over the next seven years in the early years of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. Her very particular features were the key to her success. Gifted with a breathtaking beauty and an assertive personality, Jurado specialized in playing wicked and seductive women in a wide variety of films. Her second film was Internado para señoritas (1943), with Mapy Cortés and Emilio Tuero. In the same year, she had her first success with her third film, La vida inútil de Pito Pérez along the comedian Manuel Medel, considered by many as the best Mexican picaresque novel. The film was directed by Miguel Contreras Torres. With Contreras Torres and Medel, Jurado also filmed the film Bartolo toca la flauta (1944). Other highlights of her early films were Balajú (1944), with David Silva and the Cuban rumbera María Antonieta Pons; Rosa del Caribe (1945), with Maria Elena Marqués; Soltera y con gemelos and La viuda celosa (1945), films created as a vehicle for showcasing for the singer Amanda Ledesma: Guadalajara pues and El último chinaco (1946), both with Luis aguilar, and Prisión de sueños (1946), along Esther Fernandez. In 1947 Jurado acts on the film Hay lugar para ... dos sequel to the hit film ¡Esquina bajan! (1946), starring David Silva. In 1948, her performance in Nosotros los pobres, directed by Ismael Rodríguez, with Pedro Infante, brought her great popularity. She worked with Infante once again in El seminarista (1949). Before passing to Hollywood, Katy made films like Mujer de medianoche (1951), with Gloria Marin and Silvia Pinal and Cárcel de mujeres (1951), with Sara Montiel and Miroslava, among others.
In addition to acting, Jurado worked as a movie columnist, radio reporter and bullfight critic to support her family. She was on assignment when Director Budd Boetticher and actor John Wayne spotted her at a bullfight. Neither knew at the time that she was an actress. However, Boetticher, who was also a professional bullfighter, cast Jurado in his 1951 film Bullfighter and the Lady, opposite Gilbert Roland as the wife of an aging matador. Jurado stayed close to home, as the film was made on location in Mexico. At that time, Jurado had very limited English language skills. She memorized and delivered her lines phonetically. Despite this handicap, her strong performance brought her to the attention of Hollywood producer Stanley Kramer. Kramer cast her in the classic Western High Noon, starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Jurado quickly learned to speak English for the role, studying and taking classes two hours a day for two months. Jurado delivered a powerful performance as the saloon owner Helen Ramírez, former love of reluctant hero Will Kane, in one of the most memorable films of the era. She earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and gained widespread notice in the American movie industry.
Despite her notable Hollywood success in the early 1950s, Jurado continued with some performances in Mexico. In 1953 she starred in Luis Buñuel's box-office success El Bruto, with Pedro Armendáriz, for which she received an Ariel Award. She also filmed in Mexico some films made in English, like El Corazón y La Espada (1953, opposite Cesar Romero) and Mujeres del Paraíso (1954, opposite Dan O'Herlihy). The same year, she starred in Arrowhead with Charlton Heston and Jack Palance, playing a Comanche woman, the love-interest of Heston's character.
In 1954 Jurado replaced the also Mexican actress Dolores del Río (who was accused of being a communist during McCarthyism) in the film Broken Lance, for which she received an Academy Award nomination, playing Spencer Tracy's Comanche wife and the mother of Robert Wagner's character. At first, there was resistance for her to play the character, because of her youth. The studios wanted her off the film, but Jurado asked for 24 hours to review footage of her scenes. After all, the studios were impressed. Only two other Mexican actresses have been nominated since then: Salma Hayek as Best Actress in 2002 for Frida and Adriana Barraza as Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for Babel.
In 1955 Jurado filmed Trial, directed by Mark Robson, with Glenn Ford and Arthur Kennedy. It was a drama about a Mexican boy accused of raping a white girl. Jurado played the mother of the accused. For this role, she was again nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Jurado debuted in European films in 1954 with the film The Racers with Kirk Douglas and Cesar Romero, and filmed in France, Italy and Spain. The film was directed by Henry Hathaway. In 1955, Katy traveled to Italy for the filming of Trapeze, directed by Carol Reed, with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
In 1956 Jurado debuted on Broadway, playing Filomena Marturano with Raf Vallone, which would later be filmed in Italy as Marriage Italian Style with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Eventually she participated in a series of westerns like Man from Del Rio, with Anthony Quinn, and Dragoon Wells Massacre with Barry Sullivan. She made guest television appearances in a 1957 episode of Playhouse Drama and in a 1959 episode of The Rifleman as gambler Julia Massini (Andueza) in "The Boarding House", written and directed by Sam Peckinpah.
In 1959, she filmed The Badlanders, with Ernest Borgnine, and worked with Marlon Brando in the film One-Eyed Jacks. The project was originally to be directed by Stanley Kubrick, but, due to irreconcilable differences with Brando, he was replaced by Brando himself. In One-Eyed Jacks, Jurado played the role of Karl Malden's wife, and mother of the young Mexican actress Pina Pellicer.
With the support of her second husband, Ernest Borgnine, she starred in Dino de Laurentiis Italian productions like Barabbas with Borgnine, Anthony Quinn, Jack Palance and the Italian actors Silvana Mangano and Vittorio Gassman. Her next film in Italy was I braganti Italiani, directed by Mario Camerini. In 1961, Jurado returned to Mexico. She filmed Y dios la llamó Tierra (1961), with Ignacio López Tarso and La Bandida (1962), with María Félix, Pedro Armendáriz and Emilio Fernández. Jurado returned to Hollywood in 1965, with the film Smoky, directed by George Sherman, with Fess Parker. In 1966, she played the mother of George Maharis in A Covenant with Death. That same year she reprised her "High Noon" role in a TV pilot called "The Clock Strikes Noon Again". As her career in the U.S. began to wind down, she was reduced to appearing in the movie Stay Away, Joe (1968), playing the half-Apache stepmother of Elvis Presley.
In the European cinema Jurado filmed A Man Alone, a co-production between Germany, Spain and United Kingdom, and The Fear maker, an Spanish-Italian production (1968). In 1968, she moved back to Mexico permanently, though she continued to appear in American films as a character actress. In Mexico she starred mainly in a series of Horror movies.
1970's and 1980's
In 1972 she starred in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, directed by Sam Peckinpah, with Kris Kristofferson. Jurado received one of her best dramatic roles in the last episode of the Mexican film Fé, Esperanza y Caridad (1973). Directed by Jorge Fons, Jurado was cast as Eulogia, a lower-class woman who suffers a series of bureaucratic abuse to claim the remains of her dead husband. For this role she won her second Silver Ariel Award of the Mexican Cinema. This role earned her the Silver Ariel. Jurado recognized Caridad as her best performance. In 1973 Jurado starred on Broadway again in the Tennessee Williams stage play The Red Devil Battery Sign, with Anthony Quinn and Claire Bloom.
Other notable film projects of Jurado in the 1970s were films like El elegido (1974), Los albañiles (1975), again directed by Jorge Fons and again with Ignacio Lopez Traso as her film partner; Pantaleón y Las Visitadoras (1976) directed by Mario Vargas Llosa (author of the novel), with the Spanish actor Jose Sacristán and the Cuban rumbera Rosa Carmina; Le recours de la méthode (1977), a French-Mexican co-production; The Children of Sanchez (1978), with Anthony Quinn and Dolores del Rio, and La viuda de Montiel (1979), directed by Miguel Littín, with Geraldine Chaplin. Jurado also reappeared on television frequently in the 1970s. She made guest appearances on such shows as Playhouse Theatre and The Rifleman.
In 1980 Jurado filmed La Seducción (1980), directed by Arturo Ripstein. Tragedy struck when her son died in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 35 while she filmed the movie Barrio de campeones. In 1984, she acted in the film Under the Volcano, directed by John Huston. In the same year she co-starred in the short-lived television series a.k.a. Pablo, a situation comedy series for ABC, with Paul Rodriguez.
In the 1990s Katy reappeared in Mexican Telenovelas. In 1992, Jurado was honored with the Golden Boot Award for her notable contribution to the western movies. In 1998, she completed a timely Spanish-language film for director Arturo Ripstein called El Evangelio de las Maravillas about a millennium sect. She won the best supporting Actress silver Ariel for this role. Katy had a cameo in the film The Hi-Lo Country by the filmmaker Stephen Frears, who called for his first Western as his "lucky charm."
In 2002 she made her final film appearance in Un secreto de Esperanza.
Jurado's first husband was the Mexican actor Victor Velázquez (the stepfather of the Mexican actresses Tere and Lorena Velázquez). With Velázquez fathered two Children, Sandra and Victor. Victor died tragically in an accident on a highway near Monterrey, plunging Katy into a deep sadness that she could never overcome, and that led her to abandon her acting career for a few years.
Early in her career in Hollywood, Jurado had affairs with John Wayne, Budd Boetticher and Tyrone Power. Marlon Brando was smitten with Katy Jurado after seeing her in High Noon. He was involved at the time with Movita Castaneda and was having a parallel relationship with Rita Moreno. Brando told Joseph L. Mankiewicz that he was attracted to "her enigmatic eyes, black as hell, pointing at you like fiery arrows". They struck up a close friendship when Brando filmed Viva Zapata! in Mexico. Jurado recalled years later in an interview that "Marlon called me one night for a date, and I accepted. I knew all about Movita. I knew he had a thing for Rita Moreno. Hell, it was just a date. I didn't plan to marry him". However, their first date became the beginning of an extended affair that lasted many years and peaked at the time they worked together on One-Eyed Jacks (1960), a film directed by Brando.
During the filming of the movie Vera Cruz in Cuernavaca, Jurado met the American actor Ernest Borgnine, who became her second husband on December 31, 1959. They filmed together the film The Badlanders in 1959. The couple founded the movie production company SANVIO CORP. The marriage ended in 1964 in the words of Katy, due to the ill and violently jealous Borgnine.
She also maintained a close friendship with stars like Anthony Quinn, Burt Lancaster, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Sinatra, Alan Ladd, Sammy Davis Jr., Dolores del Río, John Wayne, the only other female costar from High Noon that she thought had real talent Eve McVeagh, and many others. Mexican director Arturo Ripstein said about Jurado: "Katy Jurado's face seems formidable, has a tragic dimension exceptional in the Mexican Cinema, and really a splendid actress. She's like Anna Magnani, but flavored tequila and lemon.".
Katy Jurado also claimed to be one of the first people to find the body of Mexican actress Miroslava Stern after her tragic suicide. According to Katy, the picture that Miroslava had between her hands, was Cantinflas, but artistic manager Fanny Schatz exchanged the photo for one of the Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín.
Towards the end of her life, Jurado suffered from heart and lung ailments. She died of kidney failure and pulmonary disease on July 5, 2002, at the age of 78, at her home in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. She was buried in Cuernavaca, Mexico, at the Panteón de la Páz cemetery. She was survived by her daughter.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Katy Jurado.|
- Katy Jurado at the Internet Movie Database
- Katy Jurado at the Internet Broadway Database
- Katy Jurado at AllMovie
- Katy Jurado at Find a Grave
- Katy Jurado at the TCM Movie Database