Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0016727322: CHRIS-PIN MARTIN

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Exceptionally scarce vintage handwritten, signed letter to reporter Jimmu Star on a roughly 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of lightweight light grey stationery, dated 1944. In fine condition for its age, with mailing folds and light nicks to the edges in two spots. Born in the Arizona Territory to Mexican parents, roly-poly character actor Chris-Pin Martin played comic ethnic types from the onset of his career. He made his earliest film appearance in 1911, playing a Native American. During his heyday of the 1930s and 1940s, he earned his salary perpetuating a stereotype that nowadays would be the ultimate in political incorrectness: The lazy, dull-witted Hispanic comic foil. A veritable scene-swiper in films like Where East Is East (1929) with Lon Chaney, Billy the Kid (1930), The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) with Boris Karloff, A Star Is Born (1937), The Mark of Zorro (1940), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Robin Good of Monterey (1947), The Fugitive (1947), and the horror flick Mesa of Lost Women (1953), he is probably best remembered for the role of Pancho in the Cisco Kid film series, serving as the trusty sidekick of Warner Baxter, Cesar Romero, Gilbert Roland, and Duncan Renaldo. He died of a heart attack at the age of 59, after having signed very little for fans, and this is just the third example of his autograph we have ever encountered.