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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Jennifer Lopez And Matthew McConaughey Honor The 20th Anniversary Of ‘The Wedding Planner’

Entertainment

Jennifer Lopez And Matthew McConaughey Honor The 20th Anniversary Of ‘The Wedding Planner’

Sony Pictures Releasing

2001. A year of quite a lot of big events and don’t fans of The Wedding Planner know it!

Twenty years ago the beloved romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez as a cynical but ambitious wedding planner and Matthew McConaughey the engaged doctor with who she falls in love with.

Twenty years later and of course we needed a reunion to celebrate.

Fortunately, the leading stars reunited for a virtual screening of the 20th anniversary of the hit film. 

During an Instagram Live event, the two actors reunited to wax nostalgia about their iconic romantic comedy from their respective homes. During the sweet gathering, Lopez and McConaughey talked about all things related to that time including their kissing scenes. Recalling one kissing moment in particular, Lopez said to McConaughey “You said, ‘Miss Lopez, I’m going to kiss you now.’ And I said, ‘OK, let’s do it. Let’s hit it.'”

Speaking about the movie’s impact on their career they both admitted that they’ve been lucky.

“When you do these movies… we’ve been lucky enough to continue doing what we love,” Lopez explained. “There are certain moments that always stick out in your head.”

“I so enjoyed working with you,” Lopez added. “We had such a nice rapport and chemistry. We were somewhat at the beginning of our careers at that time. It was exciting to be working on any movie. I still feel that way. It was a magical time. I’m such a romantic too that working on those types of movies have a real feel for me.”

Sweetly, McConaughey praised Lopez for her talent and ambition.

“You prepare so well for everything you do. I love your intentionality, I love how deliberate you are. You would have it down, you love the choreography. I love your deliberation, and the preparation you have,” he added before lamenting the fall of romcoms. “In a way, [The Wedding Planner] was the last of the rom-coms,” McConaughey said. “The rom-com doesn’t get made anymore.”

Lopez was quick to point out that she’s worked hard to ensure that rom-coms don’t die altogether. “I wanna know there’s a happily ever after, I wanna know that. Even though we know we’ve lived through a tough year, miracles still happen, love prevails, things can go right, for sure.”

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Another International Brand Has Been Accused Of Copying Indigenous Mexican Designs

Entertainment

Another International Brand Has Been Accused Of Copying Indigenous Mexican Designs

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Although it comes as no surprise, it’s still as frustrating as ever that an international fashion brand has ripped off traditional designs of Indigenous cultures. This time, it’s an Australian label that appears to have copied the designs of Mexico’s Mazatec community.

Although the company has already pulled the allegedly copied dress, the damage appears to have been done as many are rightfully outraged at their blatant plagiarism.

Australia’s Zimmermann brand has been accused of copying designs from Mexico’s Indigenous community.

Mazatec people from the Mexican state of Oaxaca have expressed their outrage over yet another attack on their traditions. They claim that an Australian company – Zimmermann – has copied a Mazatec huipil design to make its own tunic dress. The dress, which was part of the company’s 2021 Resort collection and retailed for USD $850, has since been pulled from the company’s website due to the criticism.

Zimmermann is an Australian fashion house that has stores across the U.S., England, France, and Italy. While the huipil is a loose-fitting tunic commonly worn by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous women across Mexico.

It’s hard to argue that the brand didn’t deliberately copy the Oaxacan design.

Credit: Francoise CAVAZZANA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

When you look at the Zimmermann tunic dress alongside a traditional huipil, it’s hard not to see the resemblance. The cut of the Zimmermann dress, the birds and flowers embroidered on it and its colors all resemble a traditional Mazatec huipil. 

Changes made to the original design – the Zimmermann dress sits above the knees and unlike a huipil is not intended to be worn with pants or a skirt – are disrespectful of the Mazatac culture and world view.

The Oaxaca Institute of Crafts also condemned Zimmermann and called on the brand to clarify the origin of its design.

For their part, Zimmermann has pulled the dress and issued an apology.

Zimmermann subsequently issued a statement on social media, acknowledging that the tunic dress was inspired by huipiles from Oaxaca

“Zimmermann acknowledges that the paneled tunic dress from our current Swim collection was inspired by what we now understand to be a traditional garment from the Oaxaca region in Mexico,” it said.

“We apologize for the usage without appropriate credit to the cultural owners of this form of dress and for the offense this has caused. Although the error was unintentional, when it was brought to our attention today, the item was immediately withdrawn from all Zimmermann stores and our website. We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again in future.”

However, it’s far from the first time that an international brand has profited off of Indigenous designs.

Unfortunately, international fashion companies ripping off traditional garments and designs – especially those of Indigenous cultures – is far too common. Several major companies have been accused of plagiarism within the last year.

In fact, the problem has become so widespread that Mexico created a government task force to help find and denounce similar plagiarism in the future. Among the other designers/brands that have been denounced for the practice are Isabel Marant, Carolina Herrera, Mango and Pippa Holt.

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