If you are into old western movies, there is one lady you won’t forget in a hurry; she is the queen of Femme Fatale – Katy Jurado. She was said to be one of the foremost actresses who brought the ‘Latino feel’ into Hollywood movies. The outstanding actress was famous for mind-blowing portrayal of seductive lady villains in Mexican movies and also supporting roles in western films.
Katy Jurado earned an Academy Award in 1951, thus, became the first Latino actress to be nominated as Best Supporting Actress for an Academy Award and she was the first to also win a Golden Globe Award for her role in the 1952 American Western movie High Noon. Jurado is regarded as a pioneer to today’s Latino Hollywood actresses like Salma Hayek who have made their mark in the American movie industry.
Katy Jurado’s Bio
Katy Jurado was born as Maria Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado Garcia on the 16th of January 1924 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, to Luis Jurado Ochua (father) and Vincenta Estela Garcia de la Garza (mother). She had two brothers named Luis Raul and Oscar Sergio and came from a family of great personalities; her godfather was the famous actor Petro Armendariz and she was the first cousin of former Mexican president, Emilio Portes Gil.
Jurado acquired her education in a Roman Catholic school in the Guadalupe neighborhood and later did bilingual secretarial studies. From her early teens, she attracted the attention of film producers (perhaps due to her rare beauty) who wanted her to work as an actress. Filmmakers like Emilio Fernandez even offered her a role in 1941 which she could not accept becuase her parents refused to let her into the world of show business. She went behind her parents and signed a contract to appear in the movie No Matarás in 1943 and was threatened by her parents to be shipped away to a boarding school when they discovered what she did.
To escape the clutch of her parents, Katy ventured into an early marriage with actor Victor Velazquez. She made her first movie appearance in the film No Matarás (Thou Shall Not Kill) where she portrayed a seductive wicked woman. She hit the limelight in her third film appearance Lavidainutil de Pito Perez (The Useless Life of Pito Perez).
Katy Jurado ventured into Hollywood in 1951 when she ran into American film producer Budd Boetticher and actor John Wayne while working as a bullfight critic and radio reporter. She was cast in the 1951 movie Bullfighter and the Lady alongside Gilbert Rollad as the wife of a rusty bullfighter.
Despite her low fluency in the English language, she delivered an impressive performance that earned her another role in Stanley Kramer’s the film High Noon alongside Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.
As Katy Jurado made more progress in her acting career in Hollywood, she took English language classes to enhance her command of the language and after which, she landed herself a role as Helen Ramirez, a saloon owner in High Noon. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress which brought the beautiful Mexican actress to the limelight in Hollywood. She went on to earn another Academy Award nomination for her role in 1954 film Broken Lance where she acted as the Comanche wife of Robert Wagner’s character.
The legendary Katy Jurado was larger than life and she made about 18 appearances in TV shows, with two theater stage presence, and over 70 filmographies where she assumed several interesting characters. She also appeared in five short film feature as herself. This tally was indeed incredible for a Latino woman born in that era and she actively worked in the showbiz industry from 1943 till 2002 when she bowed her head to death.
Katy Jurado came from a family of affluence and means and she also lived a life of wealth and luxury. Over seven decades of impressive screen performance as a leading actress in both the Hollywood and Mexican movies simply added to the financial comfortability of the late actress. Her net worth was reported to have reached the sum of $7 million.
Spouse And Relationships
The late Latino actress has been in more than one marriage. Her first marriage was to Mexican actor, Victor Velazquez and they had two children together named Victor Hugo Velazquez (who unfortunately died in an auto accident in 1981) and Sandra Velazquez.
Though romantically linked with men like filmmaker Budd Boetticher, John Wayne, Tyrone Power, Marlon Brando, and French novelist Luis L’Amour, she later tied the knot for the second time with American actor Ernest Borgnine in December 31st, 1959. The marriage ended in June 1963 and Katy described their courtship as the best time in her life and attributed the divorce to jealousy and insecurity on the part of the American actor.
Sandra Lorena Velazquez is Katy Jurado’s daughter born on 15th of December 1937 from her marriage with her first husband Victor Velazquez. She was runners-up in the 1958 Miss Mexico beauty contest and winner of the 1950 edition. She is also an actress and has featured in Television shows like El Privilegio de Amar (1998), QuePoberes Tan Ricos (2014), as well as numerous Telenovelas (soap operas) and films.
Death: What Happened to Katy Jurado?
Katy Jurado bite the dust on July 5th, 2002 in Cuernavaca, Mexico after battling a lung and heart ailment. She was aged 78 when she passed on and she was laid to rest in Cuernavaca at the Pantheon de la Paz Cemetery.