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Actors & Actresses: Articles


Roy Rogers & 'Under Western Stars': Remembering Singing Cowboy's 'Socialist' Western

Roy Rogers, Singing Cowboy of 1940s and 1950s Hollywood. Known for his affable characterizations and, both on and off screen, “traditional values” stance, the King of the Cowboys – step aside, John Wayne & Gene Autry – toplined the “subversive” 1938 musical Western Under Western Stars. Sound bites: Remembering Roy Rogers & 'subversive' singing cowboy movie 'Under Western Stars' It is a typically hot day in Palm Springs on May 5, 2001, as I sit outside the Palm Springs Museum at the invitation of Roy Rogers' oldest daughter, Cheryl, while a star in his remembrance is placed on the sidewalk in front of the building. I am seated next to Ruth Terry, a lady with whom I am totally unfamiliar, […]


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Roy Rogers & 'Under Western Stars': Remembering Singing Cowboy's 'Socialist' Western



Antihero Ricardo Cortez: Best Showcases + Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Brother

Antihero Ricardo Cortez in Symphony of Six Million, with Irene Dunne. Directed by Gregory La Cava, this 1932 family/romantic melodrama may have been one of Cortez's favorite among his own movies (see further below). Based on a morality tale by Back Street, Imitation of Life, and Humoresque author Fannie Hurst, Symphony of Six Million follows a young New Yorker (Cortez) who, after becoming a renowned – albeit more than a little untrustworthy – doctor, loses touch with his own family, including wife and foremost supporter Irene Dunne. During the talkie era, Cortez was usually seen as an antihero, such as the murder-solving gangster in The Phantom of Crestwood and the crooked gambler who partners up with justice system victim Kay […]


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Antihero Ricardo Cortez: Best Showcases + Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Brother



How to Be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez & Leading Ladies + Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Hollywood Star

How to be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez, formerly known as Jacob Krantz from a working-class family of Austrian/Hungarian immigrants that had settled in New York City, succeeded in restyling himself as the next – even if, according to some, “second rank” – Rudolph Valentino. It's unclear whether or not the Italian-born Valentino, who died at age 31 in 1926, would have survived the coming of sound. Cortez, of course, did – but at a price. No longer getting the star buildup at Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount, in the early 1930s he became a contract player at the recently formed and relatively minor RKO, which featured him in series of mostly undistinguished programmers. A move to Warner Bros. in 1933 should have […]


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How to Be a Latin Lover: Ricardo Cortez & Leading Ladies + Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Hollywood Star