Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0010622: RICARDO CORTEZ

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Rather uncommon and just perfect vintage black fountain pen signature on a 4x6-inch pale blue autograph album page, acquired in-person in the 1930s or 1940s. In good condition and ideal for matting with a favorite photograph. Although his acting name was suggestive of a Latin Lover type and it was claimed he was Spanish-born, leading man Ricardo Cortez was actually an Austrian Jew, born Jacob Krantz. He arrived in Hollywood in 1922, at the height of the Rudolph Valentino craze, and was-- much to his chagrin-- initially called upon for his good looks more than his abilities.  Cortez demanded more meaningful roles and showed talent in films like D.W. Griffith's The Sorrows of Satan (1926) and The Torrent (1926) with Greta Garbo. By the early talkie era, he had completely 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 1930s, he decided to give directing a try, acquitting himself nicely with 1939's Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence.