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Katie Jurado and the unexpected event that led her to become the first Mexican actress nominated for an Oscar

Katie Jurado and the unexpected event that led her to become the first Mexican actress nominated for an Oscar

Broken Lance, a film in which Katie Jurado was nominated for an Academy Award as supporting actress. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

In 2003, Salma Hayek became the first Mexican to be nominated for an Academy Award Oscar In the Best Actress category. But long before that, Katie Jurado She has already achieved that distinction in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Jurado received the nomination in 1954 for playing Mrs. Devereaux Broken Lance (Edward Dmytryk, 1954), A Western film that tells the story of revenge between brothers who want to kill each other over a dispute over their father's property. The Mexican plays the mother, and the father is none other than the legendary Spencer Tracy.

The Academy at the time admired Jurado's work and reaffirmed that his talent in front of the camera in Hollywood productions was not exceptional. He also confirmed that he made a mistake in excluding her from the nominations in the 25th session, which was held in 1952. For her role as Helen Ramirez in Western Middle back (Fred Zinnemann, 1952), The film for which Gary Cooper was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Grace Kelly, the novel's heroine, was also not nominated for the Best Actress category.

by middle back, Katie Jurado won a Golden Globe in 1952 as a supporting actress. Winning this award was not easy. He had to take extensive English lessons to master the language and be able to speak it fluently in the film, as well as make himself understood by his colleagues and the director on set. He made an effort to polish this aspect because he struggled with it in his grand foray into Hollywood a year earlier The bullfighter and the lady (Bud Boetticher, 1951), Matthew He learned the text phonetically.

With the Golden Globes, more doors opened for him, contracts began to come, and he appeared in Western films such as arrowhead (Charles Marquis Warren, 1953) with Charlton Heston before 20th Century Fox is urgently looking for her to join the cast Broken LanceThe film that brought her an Oscar.

The urgency of the company was due to an unexpected event. Actress Dolores del Rio was to play Mrs. Devereaux and Gabriel Figueroa was the cinematographer chosen to shoot the picture. However, in the midst of the McCarthyite “witch hunt,” del Río and Figueroa were suspected of being communist sympathizers. At the immigration office, they were prevented from entering the United States and from obtaining a work permit to participate in the film.

Faced with the sudden situation, 20th Century Fox had little time to choose a replacement, and Without much thought, they chose Katie Jurado. who at the time was enjoying good press thanks to his Golden Globe Award, his mastery of the English language and his exemplary reading of the Western as a literary genre. Joseph MacDonald took Figueroa's place.

Under these circumstances I accepted. He also agreed to participate for another strong reason: his children. After her divorce from aspiring actor Victor Velázquez in 1946, Jorado cared for her two young children, Victor Hugo and Sandra. Until 1951, she worked as an actress, combining her acting career with jobs as a radio reporter and bullfight reporter to generate additional income.

In 1954, Dolores del Rio was a star who was paid that way in the scheduling created by Hollywood, and given what happened to participating in broken lance, The same was paid to his countryman.

Jurado accepted the film challenge with the burden of honoring Dolores del Rio and keeping her name high, proving to herself that she could move forward with her acting interests, proving to Hollywood that she was a top-tier actress and so on. That your family will not lack for anything.

She competed for the Oscar against Eva Marie Saint, Nina Foch, Jean Sterling and Claire Trevor. The statue went to the saint On the waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1974).

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