Classic Entertainment Autographs


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Highly scarce vintage blue ballpoint pen signature on a 1.25 x 5.5-inch portion of an orange-yellow autograph album page, acquired in-person in the early 1950s and affixed to a slightly larger gray sheet, decorated with a small Players Directory image. In fine condition, with some gentle surface creases. Handsome, fiery Spanish-born operatic baritone Fortunio Bonanova was a pupil of the great Feodor Chaliapin and enjoyed a promising musical career, until the outbreak of his country's Civil War in 1936. Fleeing to America, he found new work as a character actor in Hollywood films, uniformly cast as excitable, pompous aristocrats, musicians, store managers, or police chiefs of varying Hispanic, Spanish or Italian descent. He was unforgettable as the exasperated opera coach Signor Matiste, desperately trying not to lose patience with his talentless pupil, Dorothy Comingore, in Citizen Kane (1941); down-on-his-luck Sam Galopis, clumsily attempting insurance fraud in Double Indemnity (1944); and Carmen Trivago, a sad aspiring opera star, who sees his priceless collection of Caruso recordings smashed to pieces by a brutish Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Bonanova also popped up in small roles in Bulldog Drummond in Africa (1938), The Mark of Zorro (1940), Blood and Sand (1941), Four Jacks and a Jill (1942), Girl Trouble (1942), The Black Swan (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), The Song of Bernadette (1943), Five Graves to Cairo (1943), The Sultan's Daughter (1944), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944), Going My Way (1944), Mrs. Parkington (1944), Where Do We Go from Here? (1945), A Bell for Adano (1945), Charlie Chan in The Red Dragon (1945), The Adventures of Don Juan (1948), The Moon Is Blue (1953), and An Affair to Remember (1957).