José Ferrer Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (38)  | Personal Quotes (7)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico
Died in Coral Gables, Florida, USA  (colon cancer)
Birth NameJosé Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón
Nickname Joe
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

José Ferrer was born on January 8, 1912 in Santurce, Puerto Rico as José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón. He was an actor, known for Dune (1984), Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) and Moulin Rouge (1952). He was married to Stella Daphne Magee, Rosemary Clooney, Phyllis Hill and Uta Hagen. He died on January 26, 1992 in Coral Gables, Florida, USA.

Spouse (4)

Stella Daphne Magee (1977 - 26 January 1992) ( his death)
Rosemary Clooney (13 July 1953 - 12 September 1967) ( divorced) ( 5 children)
Phyllis Hill (19 June 1948 - 7 July 1953) ( divorced)
Uta Hagen (8 December 1938 - 14 June 1948) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (4)

The role of "Cyrano de Bergerac"
Distinctive, articulate enunciation
Rich smooth voice
Pierced left ear

Trivia (38)

Uncle of George Clooney
His most famous performance was as "Cyrano de Bergerac". He played the role on the stage in 1946 and 1953, on film in 1950 (Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), winning the Oscar for that performance, and on live television in 1949 and 1955. He played Cyrano again in the French film Cyrano et d'Artagnan (1964). He won the Tony for his stage portrayal of the role in 1947, and is one of only nine actors to win the Tony and the Oscar for their performance the same role on Broadway and on film. To many people he is the greatest Cyrano within memory, and he eclipsed all other American actors who played the role, even Walter Hampden, who made it his specialty between 1923 and 1936, and Richard Chamberlain, who played the role in 1973.
Graduated from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. [1934]
1985: The first actor to receive the [U.S.] National Medal of Arts.
Father-in-law of singer Debby Boone.
Had five children with Rosemary Clooney. Their first son, Miguel Ferrer, was born in 1955. He was followed by Maria, 1956; Gabriel Ferrer, 1957; Monsita Ferrer, 1958; Rafael Ferrer, 1960.
Former brother-in-law of Nick Clooney.
Spoke both English and Spanish fluently; also had a good knowledge of French.
Had played Cyrano de Bergerac on television a fourth and final time in the animated ABC Afterschool Special "Cyrano" (1974), for which he supplied Cyrano's voice only.
Attended Princeton University. There he performed with the Princeton University Triangle Club, whose alumni also include James Stewart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Brooke Shields and David E. Kelley.
Won three Tony Awards, two for Best Actor (Dramatic): in 1947 for "Cyrano de Bergerac", a role he recreated in several following productions, including his Oscar-winning performance in the film version of Cyrano de Bergerac (1950). He won again in 1952 for the original Broadway production of "The Shrike". Also in 1952, he won the Best Director Award for three plays: "The Shrike", "The Fourposter" and "Stalag 17". Later, he both recreated his role in and directed the film version of The Shrike (1955). He also was nominated in 1958 for co-authoring the book of the nominated Best Musical, "Oh, Captain!". In 1947, Fredric March shared the Tony nomination with him. March was nominated for the play "Years Ago".
One of only nine actors to have won both the Tony and the Oscar for the same role on stage and film. The others are Yul Brynner (The King and I (1956)), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady (1964)), Viola Davis (Fences (2016),, Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker (1962)), Joel Grey (Cabaret (1972)), Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons (1966)), Shirley Booth (Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)) and Jack Albertson (The Subject Was Roses (1968)).
Shares the distinction with actors Fredric March, Helen Hayes Ingrid Bergman, David Wayne and Patricia Neal of being the first winners of acting Tony Awards when the annual event was established in 1947.
Was writer-director Billy Wilder's first choice to play the lead in The Lost Weekend (1945). The studio wanted Cary Grant or a comparable matinée idol in the lead. When it became apparent Paramount would not greenlight the film with Ferrer in the part, Wilder gave in and looked for a star, but the role was considered too unsympathetic and was rejected by most of the male stars of the day. Wilder finally cast Ray Milland in the part. A reluctant Milland, who was ambivalent about taking the part lest it hurt his career, won an Oscar. An actor's actor, Ferrer got his revenge five years later by copping his own Oscar for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950).
Had played Iago opposite the Othello of Paul Robeson in the 1943 Broadway production of "Othello", the longest-running Shakespearean production in the history of Broadway. The record remains unbroken to this day.
Cousin of professional Puerto Rican tennis player Beatriz "Gigi" Fernández.
He did not enter films until eight years after he had become an established Broadway star.
In the early 1950s, while he was being seen in some of his best-remembered films, he was also starring in and/or directing four Broadway productions at almost the same time - the original stage productions of "Stalag 17", "The Fourposter" and "The Shrike", and the 1951 revival of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's "Twentieth Century".
The producers of the television series Batman (1966) originally wanted him to play The Joker. His nephew, George Clooney, went on to play Batman himself decades later.
Former father-in-law of actress Leilani Sarelle.
Was considered for the part of Addison DeWitt in All About Eve (1950), but George Sanders, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance, was cast instead.
His family has been involved in four popular science fiction series. Jose played Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV in Dune (1984). His son, Miguel Ferrer appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and RoboCop (1987). His younger son, Rafael Ferrer did voice-over work for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003) and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (2004).
Had played the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), and Athos in The Fifth Musketeer (1979). Both films were later remade with Gérard Depardieu, who succeeded Ferrer as Cyrano and played Porthos in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998).
For a special benefit performance of "Cyrano de Bergerac", he appeared only in the first four acts. For the final scene, in which Cyrano has aged 15 years, Walter Hampden played the part. Hampden had played the part for several years, so this collaboration represented a passing of the torch to Ferrer, who became the next great Cyrano and would go on to star in the first English-language film version of the play.
Like Kenneth Branagh and Christopher Plummer, he has played both Iago in Othello and Cyrano de Bergerac.
Worked with three other Cyranos in the course of playing the role himself - first with Walter Hampden for a special benefit performance. He later performed the role on live television opposite Christopher Plummer's portrayal of Christian. Plummer not only later played Cyrano, but hired Anthony Burgess to pen what is now regarded as one of the best translations of the play. In Cyrano et d'Artagnan (1964), d'Artagnan is played by Jean-Pierre Cassel, who played Cyrano in The Return of the Musketeers (1989).
A talented pianist in his childhood, he maintained a lifelong passion for music, in later years performing as an opera singer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Beverly Hills Opera.
He and Gérard Depardieu were both nominated for Best Actor for playing Cyrano. Other pairs include Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro for playing Don Vito Corleone, and John Wayne and Jeff Bridges for playing Rooster Cogburn.
His Best Actor award for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) made him the first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award.
Has one child with Uta Hagen, Leticia Thyra Ferrer, born on October 15, 1940 in New York. In Uta Hagen's autobiography "Sources: A Memoir", their daughter's first name "Leticia" stood for happiness, and her second name "Thyra" is from the name of Uta's mother.
Shares a role with both Gérard Depardieu and his son, Guillaume Depardieu. With Gerard, he shares the role of "Cyrano de Bergerac". With Guillaume, he shares the role of the Musketeer, "Athos". Ferrer played the part in The Fifth Musketeer (1979), while Depardieu played the part in Milady (2004).
Even though Jose was Hispanic, many of his film characters were French: The Dauphin, Charles, in Joan of Arc (1948), the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge (1952), Alfred Dreyfus in I Accuse! (1958) and Athos in The Fifth Musketeer (1979).
Pictured on a nondenominated ('forever') USA postage stamp in the Distinguished Americans series, issued 26 April 2012. Price on the day of issue was 45¢.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
In real life, the actor pierced his left ear in 1972 at age 60 at the urging of his girlfriend (later wife). For the rest of his career, he often enjoyed incorporating an earring into a role, even if it was anachronistic in certain productions. Among the roles in which he wears jewelry in his pierced ear: Paco (1976); The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978); Fedora (1978); The Fifth Musketeer (1979); Tales of the Unexpected: The Man from the South (1979); Battle Creek Brawl (1980); Evita Peron (1981); and Dune (1984). In Fedora (1978), a joke about it is even included in the dialog: "Don't let this earring fool you.".
He spoke Italian quite well.
Is one of 13 actors who have received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a real-life king. The others in chronological order are Charles Laughton for The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933), Robert Morley for Marie Antoinette (1938), Basil Rathbone for If I Were King (1938), Laurence Olivier for Henry V (1944) and Richard III (1955), Yul Brynner for The King and I (1956), John Gielgud for Becket (1964), Peter O'Toole for Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968), Robert Shaw for A Man for All Seasons (1966), Richard Burton for Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), Kenneth Branagh for Henry V (1989), Nigel Hawthorne for The Madness of King George (1994), and Colin Firth for The King's Speech (2010).
Appears in three Oscar Best Picture nominees: Moulin Rouge (1952), The Caine Mutiny (1954) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), with the last being the only winner.

Personal Quotes (7)

I am more important than my problems.
The truth is I made a few good movies in the '50s, then went into freefall.
[on George C. Scott] It's a concentrated fury, a sense of inner rage, a kind of controlled madness.
[on getting his left ear pierced in 1972 after a bet with his then-fiancée Stella Daphne Magee] Now, instead of listening to her talk about having her ears pierced, I have to explain why mine is.
[on his pierced left ear] I have a lady friend who kept telling me I had to get my ear pierced. I said to her, 'If you only knew how boring it is to listen to you tell me I should get my ear pierced.' The other day I told her, 'If you only knew how boring it is to listen to people ask me why I got my ear pierced.' [Oakland Tribune, May 23, 1974]
[on his earring] I wear larger ones at home than I am wearing tonight. I'd like to have more, of course, but you can't find that many people who will give you one earring. [The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Oct. 14, 1972]
A lady friend had talked to me so much about getting her ears pierced. I got so bored hearing her talk about it, I agreed to go with her to have mine done, too. But just one -- it's more masculine. Now, she doesn't say a word and everybody talks about my ear. [The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Oct. 14, 1972]

Salary (1)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) $50,000 and a Porsche

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