José Ferrer

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José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón[1] (January 8, 1912 – January 26, 1992), best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director. He was the first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award.

Contents

Early life

Ferrer was born in the Santurce district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the son of Maria Providencia Cintron and Rafael Ferrer, an attorney and writer. He studied in the Swiss boarding school Institut Le Rosey.[2] In 1933, he graduated from Princeton University, where he wrote a senior thesis, French Naturalism and Pardo Bazán; he was also a member of the Princeton Triangle Club.

Career

Theater

Ferrer made his Broadway debut in 1935. In 1940, he played his first starring role on Broadway, the title role in Charley's Aunt, partly in drag. He played Iago in Margaret Webster's 1943 Broadway production of Othello, starring Paul Robeson in the title role, Webster as Emilia, and Ferrer's wife at the time, Uta Hagen, as Desdemona. It became the longest-running production of a Shakespeare play staged in the U.S., a record it still holds. His Broadway directing credits include The Shrike, Stalag 17, The Fourposter, Twentieth Century, Carmelina, My Three Angels, and The Andersonville Trial.

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