Ricardo Cortez (1900-1977) was a handsome and talented leading man whose image, in the silent era, was that of a hot-blooded Latin lover.
In truth, his name was Jacob Krantz, the son of a kosher butcher, born and raised in the mean streets of New York’s Lower East Side.
Many persons who have followed my career on the screen and stage mistake me for a Jewess. This belief perhaps was strengthened when I married Ricardo Cortez, my third husband, the only one I ever really loved, and whom I am now trying to divorce.
Although I didn’t find it out until almost a year after our marriage, Ric, instead of being a gallant Spanish caballero which I believed him, was the son of a kosher butcher, with a shop on First Avenue, New York City. His real name is Jacob Kranz.
Alma Rubens, silent film star turned hopeless drug addict, penned a fascinating, lurid confessional, This Bright World Again, that was serialized in newspapers in 1931.
Her insistence of her non-Jewish roots comes early in Chapter One. She wanted to get the Jewish thing out of the way—fast. She assured her readers that she was of French and Irish ancestry, reared as a strict Catholic. Alma was educated at the Sacred Heart Convent in San Francisco.
This week Seraphic Secret has been preoccupied with, um, stuff. Hence, no time to post about the latest ObamaCare outrage, our government of the pen and by the phone, and of course, John Kerry’s startling and touching discovery of his Jewish ancestry.
It is Friday. Time to take a vacation from the weight of history.