Biography

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).

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).

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 90

Birthday 1900-09-19

Day of Death 1977-04-28

Place of Birth New York City, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Jacob Krantz
  • Jack Crane

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2003 Complicated Women as Himself (archive footage)
1986 Greta Garbo: The Temptress and the Clown as Himself
1958 The Last Hurrah as Sam Weinberg
1952 This Is Your Life (1 episode)
1950 Bunco Squad as Tony Weldon / Anthony Wells
1948 Mystery in Mexico as John Norcross
1947 Blackmail as Ziggy Cranston
1946 The Locket as Andrew 'Drew' Bonner
1946 The Inner Circle as Duke York
1944 Make Your Own Bed as Wilson / Fritz Alden
1942 Tomorrow We Live as The Ghost, Alexander Caesar Martin
1942 Rubber Racketeers as Gilin
1942 Who Is Hope Schuyler? as Anthony Pearce
1941 I Killed That Man as Roger Phillips
1941 A Shot in the Dark as Philip Richards
1941 Romance of the Rio Grande as Ricardo de Vega
1940 Charlie Chan in Murder over New York as George Kirby
1939 Charlie Chan in Reno as Dr. Ainsley
1939 Mr. Moto's Last Warning as Fabian the Great
1938 City Girl as Charles Blake
1937 West Of Shanghai as Gordon Creed
1937 The Californian as Ramon Escobar
1937 Her Husband Lies as J. Ward Thomas
1937 Breakdowns of 1937 as Himself
1936 Breakdowns of 1936 as Himself
1936 Talk of the Devil as Ray Allen
1936 The Case of the Black Cat as Perry Mason
1936 Postal Inspector as Inspector Bill Davis
1936 The Walking Dead as Nolan
1936 Man Hunt as Frank Kingman
1936 The Murder of Dr. Harrigan as George Lambert
1935 Frisco Kid as Paul Morra
1935 Special Agent as Alexander Carston
1935 Manhattan Moon as Dan Moore
1935 Shadow of Doubt as Sim
1935 The White Cockatoo as Jim Sundean
1934 I Am A Thief as Pierre
1934 The Firebird as Herman Brandt
1934 A Lost Lady as Ellinger
1934 The Man with Two Faces as Ben Weston
1934 Hat, Coat and Glove as Robert Mitchell
1934 Wonder Bar as Harry, the gigolo
1934 Hollywood Newsreel as Himself
1934 Mandalay as Tony Evans
1934 The Big Shakedown as Dutch Barnes
1933 The House on 56th Street as Bill Blaine
1933 Torch Singer as Tony Cummings
1933 Midnight Mary as Leo Darcy
1933 Broadway Bad as Craig Cutting
1932 Flesh as Nicky
1932 The Phantom of Crestwood as Gary Curtis
1932 Thirteen Women as Police Sergeant Barry Clive
1932 Is My Face Red? as William Poster
1932 Symphony of Six Million as Felix
1932 No One Man as Bill Hanaway
1931 Men Of Chance as Johnny Silk
1931 Bad Company as Goldie Gorio
1931 Transgression as Don Arturo de Borgus
1931 Big Business Girl as Robert J. Clayton
1931 Screen Snapshots (Series 10, No. 8) as Himself
1931 The Maltese Falcon as Sam Spade
1931 Behind Office Doors as Ronnie Wales
1931 Ten Cents a Dance as Bradley Carlton
1931 Illicit as Price Baines
1930 Montana Moon as Jeff
1930 Her Man as Johnnie
1929 The Lost Zeppelin as Tom Armstrong
1929 The Phantom in the House as Paul Wallis
1929 New Orleans as Jim Morley
1929 The Younger Generation as Morris Goldfish
1928 Excess Baggage as Val D'Errico
1928 Woman of Destiny as Yoanes Etchegarry
1927 The Private Life of Helen of Troy as Paris
1927 Mockery as Dimitri
1927 New York
1926 The Eagle of the Sea as Captain Sazarac
1926 The Sorrows of Satan as Geoffrey Tempest
1926 Torrent as Don Rafael Brull
1925 The Pony Express as Jack Weston
1925 The Swan as Dr. Walter, the Tutor
1924 Feet of Clay
1924 The Bedroom Window as Robert Delano
1924 The Next Corner as Don Arturo

Directing

1940 Girl in 313 Director
1940 Free, Blonde and 21 Director
1940 City of Chance Director
1939 Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence Director
1939 The Escape Director
1939 Chasing Danger Director
1939 Inside Story Director

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