Antonio Moreno

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Antonio Moreno
Antonio Moreno 1916.jpg
Moreno in 1916
Born
Antonio Garrido Monteagudo

(1887-09-26)September 26, 1887
DiedFebruary 15, 1967(1967-02-15) (aged 79)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, U.S.
Other namesTony Moreno
Occupation
  • Actor
  • Director
Years active1912–1959
Spouse(s)
Daisy Canfield Moreno
(m. 1923; died 1933)

Antonio Garrido Monteagudo (September 26, 1887 – February 15, 1967), better known as Antonio Moreno or Tony Moreno, was a Spanish-born American actor and film director of the silent film era and through the 1950s.

Early life and silent films[edit]

Born in Madrid, Spain, Moreno emigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen and settled in Massachusetts, where he completed his education. Although he claimed to have attended Williston Seminary in Easthampton, Massachusetts] the Archives of the school, now the Williston Northampton School, have no record of his having done so. He became a stage actor in regional theater productions. In 1912, he moved to Hollywood, California, he was signed to Biograph Studios, and began his career in bit parts. His film debut was in Iola's Promise (1912).[1]

Moreno, 1916

In 1914, Moreno began co-starring in a series of highly successful serials at Vitagraph opposite popular silent film actress Norma Talmadge. These appearances increased Moreno's popularity with nascent filmgoers, and by 1915, he was a highly regarded matinee idol, appearing with successful actors such as Tyrone Power, Sr., Gloria Swanson, Blanche Sweet, Pola Negri, and Dorothy Gish. Moreno often was typecast in his early films as the "Latin Lover". These roles predate Rudolph Valentino's breakthrough as a "Latin Lover" in the 1921 film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

By the early 1920s, Moreno joined film mogul Jesse Lasky's Famous Players and became one of the company's highly paid performers. In 1926, Moreno starred opposite Swedish acting legend Greta Garbo in The Temptress, and the following year, he had a starring role in the enormous box-office hit It with Clara Bow.

In 1923, Moreno married American heiress Daisy Emma Canfield, then moved to an estate known as Crestmount, now known as the Canfield-Moreno Estate. The union lasted 10 years and ended shortly before Daisy Moreno was killed in an automobile accident on February 23, 1933.[2]

Sound films[edit]

With the advent of sound films in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Moreno's career began to falter, in part because of his heavy Spanish accent. While still acting in English language films, Moreno began taking parts in Mexican films. During the early 1930s, Moreno directed several well-received Mexican films, including the 1932 drama Santa, which has been hailed by film critics as one of the best Mexican films of the era. By the mid-1930s, he began rebuilding his faltering Hollywood career by taking notable roles as a character actor. By the mid-1940s and throughout the 1950s, Moreno appeared in a number of well-received roles, most notably, his 1954 role in the classic horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon and his 1955 role as Emilio Figueroa in film director John Ford's epic The Searchers.

Death and legacy[edit]

Moreno retired from film in the late 1950s and died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, California in 1967; he was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Glendale, California. His film career spanned more than four decades. In 1994, the Mexican magazine Somos published its list of "The 100 best movies of the cinema of Mexico" in its 100th edition and named the 1931 Moreno directed Santa its 67th choice.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Antonio Moreno was given a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6651 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California.

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ "Film Star's Wife Killed - Death in Motor Car Ride Seals Estrangement of Antonio Moreno and Wife", The Kansas City Star, p. 3, February 23, 1933. https://www.newspapers.com/image/655669553/?terms=Moreno&match=1
Bibliography
  • "Antonio Moreno," The Clearfield Progress, August 26, 1920, page 15.
  • "Antonio Moreno, Silent-Film Star," The New York Times, February 16, 1967.
  • Bodeen, Dewitt. "Antonio Moreno," Films in Review, June–July, 1967.
  • Menefee, David W. The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era. Albany: Bear Manor Media, 2007.
  • "Public Pleased by Vitagraph’s Move to Return Antonio Moreno to Feature Films," The Moving Picture World. New York: Chalmers Publishing Company. December 25, 1920.
  • Virginia, Violet. "Antonio Moreno of the Vitagraph Players," Motion Picture Magazine, December 1914. Pages 103-105.

External links[edit]