Entertainment

Pioneer, Feminist, Proud Mexican: Katy Jurado Changed Hollywood In The 1950s

Whether you know Katy Jurado from your Mexican mami calling every one of her friend’s daughter’s “the next Katy Jurado” or from her actual 1940’s Golden Age of Mexican cinema films, Katy Jurado is a Latino household name.

She was stunning and often played the archetype of a villainous “femme fatale” that every Feminism 101 class studies. Above all, she was a pioneer for Latinas everywhere.

Her full name is María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García.

CREDIT: @cinemexicanotv / Instagram

Born in Guadalajara, to Luis Jurado Ochoa and Vicenta Estela García de la Garza. Luis was an lawyer and Vicenta was a singer. Vicenta’s brother, Katy’s uncle, was famous musician Belisario de Jesús García (think “Las Cuatro Milpas”).

Jurado was a Capricorn.

CREDIT: @VLo_CA / Twitter

She was born on January 16, 1924, and like a true Capricorn, she had major career ambitions. While she went to a school run by Guadalupe nuns, by the time she was a teenager, producers were inviting her to work as an actress.

She signed her first contract without permission from her parents, making her first film when she was 16.

CREDIT: @JoseACastillo21 / Twitter

When her parents found out, they threatened to send her to a boarding school in Monterrey. However, that did not deter her for chasing her dreams.

Her family was so wealthy, they owned most of Texas until the Revolution.

CREDIT: @kimloubat / Instagram

Her parents’ holdings were confiscated during the Mexican Revolution, and the parental power mostly laid in Jurado’s abuelita.

Think of her as the Silver Screen Veronica Lodge. She was so set on pursuing her career, that she ended up working as a movie columnist and bullfight critic to support herself.

Jurado’s love for bullfighting won over John Wayne himself.

CREDIT: @JoseACastillo21 / Twitter

Her work as a movie columnist and bullfight critic landed her within sight of John Wayne at a bullfight. He immediately cast her in his film Bullfighter and the Lady (1951).

They also briefly dated, va va voom.

After that film, Hollywood wanted her to play alongside Grace Kelly in “High Noon.”

CREDIT: @coophem / Instagram

High Noon is as classic of a Western as you can get. These days, we think of them as an archaic past, but it was filmed in real time. A sheriff retires, but the plot thickens when some outlaws escape jail and come to get him.

She spoke no English and literally just memorized the sounds of the English lines.

CREDIT: @dcdulce / Twitter

She took English classes two hours a day for two months to begin to understand English for the role.

Caption: “I know the feeling Katy, I know the feeling. #BeingMexicanInTheUSAintEasy”

With that performance, she became the first Latina to win a Golden Globe.

CREDIT: @OldCinema4EVER / Instagram

In the film, she played a saloon owner, Helen Ramírez, an old love interest of star Gary Cooper. Katy Jurado is seen here consoling Cooper’s character’s wife (Grace Kelly), who is abandoning her husband. Ramirez convinces her to stay and fight.

Jurado is best known for breaking stereotypes.

CREDIT: @moonchildmag / Instagram

The New York Times quotes Katy Jurado as being proud of her role on High Noon:

“I am very proud to make this picture because I look and act like a Mexican – not imitation. Some Mexicans go to Hollywood and lose a career in Mexico because they play imitation. I don’t want this to happen to me.”

Instead of being highly sexualized like other Mexican roles, Jurado took on villainous roles.

CREDIT: @kimloubat / Instagram

The LA Times quotes her as saying, “I didn’t take all the films that were offered, just those with dignity.” Once, she played a Jewish woman in “Barabbas” alongside Anthony Quinn. She told the Associated Press that she wouldn’t play shallow American stereotypes of Mexicans.

She got married when she was 15 years old.

CREDIT: @kimloubat / Instagram

She was with aspiring actor Victor Velázquez for four years before they divorced. They got married just three months after she signed that secret contract.

In 1959, she married actor Ernest Borgnine.

CREDIT: @SegundoPlatoCin / Twitter

The two met on the set of Vera Cruz, which was filmed in Mexico. The two divorced four years later.

He famously described her as “beautiful, but a tiger.”

CREDIT: @SegundoPlatoCin / Twitter

According to Laura Arnáiz’ biography of Katy Jurado’s life, Jurado said, “Borgnine and I met by accident when we collided in a dark room when leaving a restaurant. He chased me for two years. What did I do for that this man loves me this way? Our courtship was one of the best periods of my life. We were married soon after, but his jealousy and insecurities turned the marriage into hell.”

Jurado also had an affair with Marlon Brando, who was simultaneously dating Rita Moreno.

CREDIT: @CitizenScreen / Twitter

He was also married to Movita Castaneda. After Brando saw her in High Noon, he was smitten and asked her out on a date, which became a years-long affair.

According to Darwin Porter’s biography of Marlon Brando, Brando Unzipped, years later Jurado recalled in an interview, “Marlon called me one night for a date, and I accepted. I knew all about Movita. I knew he had a thing for Rita Moreno. Hell, it was just a date. I didn’t plan to marry him.”

Jurado claims that the love of her life was novelist Louis L’Amour.

CREDIT: @WriterEZertuche / Instagram

According to El Periodico, Jurado said, “I have letters of love that he wrote to me until the last day of his life, but because of our jobs we could never coincide, he was the man of my life, and I, the woman of his life, should have married that man .. . ”

After her son, Victor Hugo, tragically died in a car accident, she pulled out of acting.

CREDIT: @Sergiofordy / Twitter

She went to the funeral one day and the next went back to set. She said she hated the camera during that time as a symbol of what took her away from spending time with her kids while she had them.

Director John Huston invited her to act in Under the Volcano years later, to help pull her out of her depression.

That same year, she played alongside Héctor Elizondo in an ABC family sitcom.

CREDIT: @SilverAgeTV / Twitter

The most shocking element of this photo is realizing that Elizondo (famous for Princess Diaries) was ever young. The series only lasted six episodes.

In 1954, she became the first Mexican woman to be awarded los claves a NYC.

CREDIT: @juangabrieleldivo_sv / Twitter

She spent most of her life in her home in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, and said that she felt she’d have been more successful in Hollywood if she wasn’t so ready to leave Los Angeles between filming.

Jurado won three Silver Ariel awards and was nominated for an Oscar.

CREDIT: @oscar_moviestar / Instagram

The Ariels are the Mexican Oscars. She was nomiated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Broken Lance.

This year, Google recognized Katy Jurado with a doodle on her birthday, January 16.

CREDIT: @juanmapregunta / Twitter

While today, we might find her villainous seduction problematic, Jurado truly paved the way for more Latin American actresses to make a stake as something more than a sex object. She played women who had more than one side to them, who had motives, a brain, and a willingness to bend social norms to meet their needs.

Jurado died in 2002 at age 78.

CREDIT: @cinemexicanotv / Instagram

You can find her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and marvel in her incredible performance on High Noon–remembering that she acted out a foreign language phonetically.


READ: 24 Latino Actors Who Didn’t Make It To The Oscars Because They Lived In The Pre-Social Media Age

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The Coronavirus Is Starting To Hit Mexico’s Poorest Communities And The Results Could Be Devastating

Things That Matter

The Coronavirus Is Starting To Hit Mexico’s Poorest Communities And The Results Could Be Devastating

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Mexico has been ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic. That’s a fact. It now ranks fourth globally in terms of deaths related to the virus, with nearly 50,000 dead. However, many of those cases and deaths have largely been centered on the country’s large cities – including Ciudad de México, Guadalajara and Tijuana.

That appears to be changing as many of Mexico’s most remote and poorest pueblos – most inhabited by Indigenous communities – have started to see the virus appear on their doorsteps. With many rural pueblitos lacking access to healthcare and many having extreme rates of poverty, this could spell disaster for Mexico’s most vulnerable communities.

Mexico’s poorest village has its first case of Coronavirus and this could be devastating for locals.

Mexico’s rural pueblitos, largely home to Indigenous communities, had mostly escaped the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic. For months, as the virus raged across the country, Mexico’s Indigenous communities enacted their own checkpoints and lockdowns and roadblocks that helped contain the virus’ spread. However, that strategy seems to have reached a dead end as new reports of Covid-19 emerge from Mexico’s poorest and most rural communities.

In Oaxaca, the village of Santos Reyes Yucuná – which is Mexico’s poorest, reported its first case of the virus on July 17, four months after the pandemic reached Mexico. The virus took longer to find its way to this remote, Mixtec community located 140 miles from the state’s capital due to its lack of infrastructure, especially roads.

Santos Reyes Yucuná is especially vulnerable to virus. The government’s social development agency (CONEVAL) estimates that 99.9% of the 1,380 residents live in extreme poverty. The region has no hospital and most residents do not have health insurance or the means to travel to a hospital in another area. Another town in Oaxaca’s Mixteca region, Coicoyán de las Flores, is in a similar situation with similar levels of poverty. One case of the Coronavirus was reported last month and the patient, a 25-year-old woman, died. 

Last weekend, 23 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Mixteca region, for a total of 482 positive cases and at least 48 reported deaths. The area’s municipal seat, Huajuapan, has the highest number of cases at 30, with three people hospitalized. 

Many rural communities had been labeled ‘Communities of Hope’ and were allowed to reopen early to avoid severe economic costs.

As the Coronavirus first arrived to Mexico, many leaders of rural pueblitos were quick to enact strict preventive measures, closing food markets and installing health checkpoints and roadblocks. But as the economic effects began to be felt, the government launched a program known as the “Municipalities of Hope.”

The program included 324 towns that the government decided were eligible to reopen early. The plan allowed places with no Covid-19 cases – and with no cases in surrounding areas – to start lifting restrictions, in an attempt to mitigate the shutdown’s devastating economic impact.

But just a couple of months later, that list has dwindled to just a few dozen villages. One town – Ometepec, Guerrero, lasted less than 14 days on the list. “In just a few weeks, we went from zero to 47 confirmed cases and six dead,” said Ulises Moreno Tabarez, a postdoctoral researcher who lives in the town.

According to Dr Carlos Magis Rodríguez, a professor of medicine and a public health researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a lack of serious lockdown measures doomed the strategy from the beginning. “If there were strict control of entrances and exits, a quarantine upon arrival, it could have worked,” Magis Rodríguez told Reforma. “The places this has worked are practically islands.”

But less than two months later, Mexico has become one of the worst-affected countries in the world.

Credit: Toya Sarno Jordan / Getty Images

As of July 29, Mexico has more than 400,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 44,876 people have died from the virus. Mexico now ranks 6th globally in number of cases and 4th in number of deaths. And these numbers are widely seen as under reporting the severity of the crisis. Mexico has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, at approximately 2.5 tests per confirmed case, compared with the U.S. rate of 12.52, the UK’s 22.57 – and New Zealand’s rate of 359.2.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s weak healthcare system is underfunded; hospitals attribute a large number of coronavirus deaths to faulty equipment and a lack of resources rather than the virus itself. The country is in no way equipped to provide unemployment benefits or stimulus checks to almost half of the population that lives in poverty. Furthermore, many informal workers lack health insurance. The country has very little in the way of a safety net, so many are forced to decide risking their health or risk going hungry.

Mexicans are not alone as countries across Latin America have failed to support their citizens.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Across Latin America, poor families have faced an impossible choice – between obeying quarantine measures and starving, or venturing out to work despite the danger of infection.

But unlike other leaders, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has not introduced stimulus measures to help the most vulnerable communities, instead his government has pushed through a string of severe austerity measures – even as he emphasized the need for the economy to stay open.

The president has also downplayed the pandemic – claiming in April that Mexico had “tamed” the virus – and repeatedly emphasized the need for the economy to stay open, striking a notably more relaxed tone than warnings from the country’s Covid-19 tsar, Hugo López-Gatell.

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food