Image of Ricardo Cortez

Ricardo Cortez

Ricardo Cortez (September 19, 1900 – April 28, 1977) was an American film actor who began his career during the silent film era. Born Jacob Krantz in New York City into a Jewish family, he worked on Wall Street in a broker's office and as a boxer before his looks got him into the film business. Hollywood executives changed his name to Cortez to appeal to film-goers as a "Latin lover" to compete with such highly popular actors of the era as Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro and Antonio Moreno. When rumour began to circulate that Cortez was not actually Spanish, the studios tried to pass him off as a different type of Latin, French, before they finally admitted his (supposedly) Viennese origin. Cortez appeared in over 100 films. He played opposite Joan Crawford in Montana Moon in 1930, played Sam Spade in the original The Maltese Falcon in 1931, co-starred with Charles Farrell and Bette Davis in The Big Shakedown and Wonder Bar (with Al Jolson and Dolores del Río) in 1934. He also played Perry Mason in the 1936 film The Case of the Black Cat. Although he began his career playing romantic leads with actresses like Greta Garbo, when sound cinema arrived, his powerful delivery and New York accent made him an ideal villain and conman, and he switched from sex symbol to character actor. Cortez was married to silent film actress Alma Rubens until her death of pneumonia in 1931. When he retired from the film business, Cortez went to work as a stockbroker for Solomon Brothers on New York's Wall Street. He died in New York City in 1977 and was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx. He was the older brother of noted cinematographer Stanley Cortez (born Stanislaus Krantz).

Read bio at tmdb | Read bio at Wikipedia
Sep 19, 1900 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Call of the Canyon 1923-12-16
Latest Project:
Movie Complicated Women 2003-05-06
Known For
Poster of The Lost Zeppelin
Poster of Excess Baggage
Poster of Woman of Destiny
Poster of The Cat's Pajamas
Movie Complicated Women Himself (archive footage) 2003-05-06
Movie Greta Garbo: The Temptress and the Clown Himself 1986-01-01
Movie The Last Hurrah Sam Weinberg 1958-10-23
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie Bunco Squad Tony Weldon / Anthony Wells 1950-09-01
Movie Mystery in Mexico John Norcross 1948-08-21
Movie Blackmail Ziggy Cranston 1947-07-24
Movie The Locket Andrew 'Drew' Bonner 1946-12-20
Movie The Inner Circle Duke York 1946-08-07
Movie Make Your Own Bed Wilson / Fritz Alden 1944-06-10
Movie Who Is Hope Schuyler? Anthony Pearce 1942-04-17
Movie Tomorrow We Live The Ghost, Alexander Caesar Martin 1942-09-23
Movie Rubber Racketeers Gilin 1942-06-26
Movie I Killed That Man Roger Phillips 1941-11-28
Movie World Premiere Mark Saunders 1941-08-21
Movie A Shot in the Dark Philip Richards 1941-04-05
Movie Romance of the Rio Grande Ricardo de Vega 1941-01-17
Movie Murder Over New York George Kirby 1940-12-13
Movie Charlie Chan in Reno Dr. Ainsley 1939-06-16
Movie Mr. Moto's Last Warning Fabian the Great 1939-01-20
Movie City Girl Charles Blake 1938-01-07
Movie West Of Shanghai Gordon Creed 1937-10-30
Movie Her Husband Lies J. Ward Thomas 1937-03-13
Movie The Californian Ramon Escobar 1937-07-18
Movie Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs 1936-08-05
Movie The Murder of Dr. Harrigan George Lambert 1936-01-11
Movie The Walking Dead Nolan 1936-03-01
Movie Man Hunt Frank Kingman 1936-01-29
Movie Postal Inspector Inspector Bill Davis 1936-08-16
Movie The Case of the Black Cat Perry Mason 1936-10-31
Movie Talk of the Devil Ray Allen 1936-12-09
Movie Breakdowns of 1936 Himself 1936-12-30
Movie Frisco Kid Paul Morra 1935-11-29
Movie Special Agent Alexander Carston 1935-09-14
Movie Manhattan Moon Dan Moore 1935-07-01
Movie Shadow of Doubt Sim 1935-02-15
Movie The White Cockatoo Jim Sundean 1935-01-29
Movie The Big Shakedown Dutch Barnes 1934-01-06
Movie Mandalay Tony Evans 1934-02-10
Movie Hollywood Newsreel Himself 1934-03-24
Movie Wonder Bar Harry 1934-03-31
Movie Hat, Coat and Glove Robert Mitchell 1934-07-26
Movie A Lost Lady Ellinger 1934-09-29
Movie The Firebird Herman Brandt 1934-11-03
Movie I Am a Thief Pierre Londais 1934-11-24
Movie The Man with Two Faces Ben Weston 1934-08-04
Movie The House on 56th Street Bill Blaine 1933-12-23
Movie Torch Singer Tony Cummings 1933-09-08
Movie Midnight Mary Leo Darcy 1933-06-30
Movie Broadway Bad Craig Cutting 1933-02-24
Movie Symphony of Six Million Felix 1932-04-29
Movie No One Man Bill Hanaway 1932-01-22
Movie Flesh Nicky 1932-12-08
Movie Is My Face Red? William Poster 1932-06-17
Movie Thirteen Women Police Sergeant Barry Clive 1932-09-16
Movie The Phantom of Crestwood Gary Curtis 1932-10-14
Movie Illicit Price Baines 1931-02-14
Movie The Maltese Falcon Sam Spade 1931-05-28
Movie Behind Office Doors Ronnie Wales 1931-03-15
Movie Ten Cents a Dance Bradley Carlton 1931-03-06
Movie Screen Snapshots (Series 10, No. 8) Himself 1931-06-01
Movie Transgression Don Arturo de Borgus 1931-06-27
Movie Bad Company Goldie Gorio 1931-11-08
Movie Men of Chance Johnny Silk 1931-12-27
Movie Big Business Girl Robert J. Clayton 1931-06-12
Movie Montana Moon Jeff 1930-03-20
Movie Her Man Johnnie 1930-01-01
Movie The Lost Zeppelin Tom Armstrong 1929-12-19
Movie The Phantom in the House Paul Wallis 1929-10-20
Movie The Younger Generation Morris Goldfish 1929-03-04
Movie Excess Baggage Val D'Errico 1928-09-28
Movie Woman of Destiny Yoanes Etchegarry 1928-04-29
Movie New York 1927-01-30
Movie The Private Life of Helen of Troy Paris 1927-12-09
Movie Mockery Dimitri 1927-08-13
Movie The Eagle of the Sea Captain Sazarac 1926-10-17
Movie The Sorrows of Satan Geoffrey Tempest 1926-10-12
Movie The Cat's Pajamas 1926-08-29
Movie Torrent Don Rafael Brull 1926-02-21
Movie The Pony Express Jack Weston 1925-09-03
Movie The Swan Dr. Walter, the Tutor 1925-02-16
Movie This Woman 1924-11-02
Movie Feet of Clay 1924-09-27
Movie The Next Corner Don Arturo 1924-02-18
Movie The Call of the Canyon 1923-12-16