Ricardo Cortez

Ricardo Cortez


Also Known As
Jacob Krantz, Jacob Kranze, Richard Cortez
Birth Place
September 19, 1899
April 28, 1977


This 'Latin lover' of the 1920s was actually Austrian-born and Brooklyn-raised. After working as a runner on Wall Street, Cortez broke into films, signing with Paramount and debuting with "The Call of the Canyon" (1923). He went on to appear in dozens of silent films, including "Children of Jazz" (1923), with Gloria Swanson in "A Society Scandal" (1924), D.W. Griffith's superb "The Sorro...

Photos & Videos

Ten Cents a Dance - Lobby Cards
Ten Cents a Dance - Movie Posters
Wonder Bar - Scenes Stills

Family & Companions

Alma Rubens
Actor. Married from 1926 until her death in 1931.


This 'Latin lover' of the 1920s was actually Austrian-born and Brooklyn-raised. After working as a runner on Wall Street, Cortez broke into films, signing with Paramount and debuting with "The Call of the Canyon" (1923). He went on to appear in dozens of silent films, including "Children of Jazz" (1923), with Gloria Swanson in "A Society Scandal" (1924), D.W. Griffith's superb "The Sorrows of Satan" (1926), alongside Greta Garbo in her American debut, "The Torrent" (1926), and with Lon Chaney in "Mockery" (1927).

Talkies held no terrors for Cortez, whose all-American voice recorded well. Out of necessity his image shifted somewhat to that of a fast-talking, streetwise New Yorker, sometimes likable, sometimes caddish, but he went on to make scores of films in the 1930s and 40s, first as a romantic lead and later as a character actor. Among his later credits were "Montana Moon" (1930), opposite Joan Crawford, the remarkably good first screen version of "The Maltese Falcon" (1931), the bizarre melodrama "Thirteen Women" (1932), the all-star musical "Wonder Bar" (1934), "Charlie Chan in Reno" (1939), and "The Last Hurrah" (1958). After retiring, Cortez took up his long-abandoned Wall Street career, joining the firm of David Greene & Company.



Director (Feature Film)

Free, Blonde and 21 (1940)
City of Chance (1940)
Girl in 313 (1940)
Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939)
Inside Story (1939)
The Escape (1939)
Chasing Danger (1939)

Cast (Feature Film)

The Last Hurrah (1958)
Sam Weinberg
Bunco Squad (1950)
Anthony Wells
Mystery in Mexico (1948)
Joe Norcross
Blackmail (1947)
Ziggy Cranston
The Locket (1946)
Mr. [Andrew] Bonner
The Inner Circle (1946)
Duke York
Make Your Own Bed (1944)
Fritz Alten
Tomorrow We Live (1942)
The Ghost
Rubber Racketeers (1942)
Who Is Hope Schuyler? (1942)
Anthony Pearce
I Killed That Man (1941)
Roger Phillips
A Shot in the Dark (1941)
Phil Richards
Romance of the Rio Grande (1941)
World Premiere (1941)
Mark Saunders
Murder over New York (1940)
George Kirby
Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939)
Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)
Dr. Ainsley
City Girl (1938)
Charles Blake
Her Husband Lies (1937)
Spade Martin [also known as J. Wardrobe Thomas]
The Californian (1937)
Ramon Escobar
West of Shanghai (1937)
Gordon Creed
The Walking Dead (1936)
Postal Inspector (1936)
William Davis
The Murder of Dr. Harrigan (1936)
George Lambert
The Case of the Black Cat (1936)
Perry Mason
Man Hunt (1936)
Frank Kingman
Talk of the Devil (1936)
The White Cockatoo (1935)
Jim Sundean
Manhattan Moon (1935)
Dan Moore
Shadow of Doubt (1935)
Sim [Sturdevant]
The Frisco Kid (1935)
Paul Morra
Special Agent (1935)
[Alexander] Carston
The Firebird (1934)
Herman Brandt
Mandalay (1934)
Tony Evans
I Am a Thief (1934)
Pierre [Londais]
Hat, Coat, and Glove (1934)
Robert Mitchell
The Big Shakedown (1934)
[Dutch] Barnes
The Man with Two Faces (1934)
[Ben] Weston
A Lost Lady (1934)
Frank Ellinger
Wonder Bar (1934)
Torch Singer (1933)
Tony Cummings
Midnight Mary (1933)
Leo [Darcy]
Broadway Bad (1933)
Craig Cutting
The House on 56th Street (1933)
[Bill] Blaine
Big Executive (1933)
Victor Conway
Is My Face Red? (1932)
[William "Bill"] Poster
No One Man (1932)
Bill Hanaway
Thirteen Women (1932)
Sergeant Clive
Symphony of Six Million (1932)
[Dr.] Felix [Klauber]
The Phantom of Crestwood (1932)
Gary Curtis, also known as Farnsbarns
Men of Chance (1932)
"Diamond Johnny" Silk
Flesh (1932)
Nicky [Grant]
Illicit (1931)
Price Baines
The Maltese Falcon (1931)
Sam Spade
Bad Company (1931)
Goldie Gorio
Ten Cents a Dance (1931)
Bradley Carlton
Reckless Living (1931)
Transgression (1931)
Don Arturo [de Borgus]
Big Business Girl (1931)
Robert J. Clayton
Behind Office Doors (1931)
Ronnie Wales
White Shoulders (1931)
Tommy Pierce, also known as Lawrence Marchmont
Her Man (1930)
Montana Moon (1930)
New Orleans (1929)
Jim Morley
The Phantom in the House (1929)
Paul Wallis
Midstream (1929)
James Stanwood
The Younger Generation (1929)
Morris Goldfish
The Lost Zeppelin (1929)
Tom Armstrong
Excess Baggage (1928)
Val D'Errico
Prowlers of the Sea (1928)
Carlos De Neve
Ladies of the Night Club (1928)
George Merrill
The Gun Runner (1928)
The Grain of Dust (1928)
Fred Norman
The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1928)
The Sorrows of Satan (1927)
Geoffrey Tempest
Mockery (1927)
By Whose Hand? (1927)
Van Suydam Smith
New York (1927)
Michael Angelo Cassidy
The Eagle of the Sea (1926)
Captain Sazarac
The Cat's Pajamas (1926)
Don Cesare Gracco
Volcano (1926)
Stéphane Séquineau
The Torrent (1926)
Don Rafael Brull
The Pony Express (1925)
Jack Weston
In the Name of Love (1925)
Raoul Melnotte
The Spaniard (1925)
Don Pedro de Barrego
Not So Long Ago (1925)
Billy Ballard
The Swan (1925)
Dr. Walter, the tutor
Argentine Love (1924)
Juan Martin
This Woman (1924)
Whitney Duane
The City That Never Sleeps (1924)
Mark Roth
The Bedroom Window (1924)
Robert Delano
Feet of Clay (1924)
Tony Channing
A Society Scandal (1924)
Harrison Peters
The Next Corner (1924)
Don Arturo
The Call of the Canyon (1923)
Larry Morrison
Children of Jazz (1923)
Ted Carter
Sixty Cents an Hour (1923)
William Davis, Jimmy's rival
Hollywood (1923)

Cast (Short)

Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs (1936)
Hollywood Newsreel (1934)

Life Events


Made film debut in "The Call of the Canyon"


Film directing debut


Retired from films

Photo Collections

Ten Cents a Dance - Lobby Cards
Ten Cents a Dance - Lobby Cards
Ten Cents a Dance - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters for Columbia Pictures' Ten Cents a Dance (1931), starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Wonder Bar - Scenes Stills
Here are a few scene stills from Wonder Bar (1934), starring Al Jolson and Kay Francis.


Movie Clip

Thirteen Women (1932) -- (Movie Clip) She Seemed Very Charming We’ve just met Ricardo Cortez as L-A detective Clive, investigating a suicide on a just-arrived train, questioning spooky Ursula (Myrna Loy), who somehow psychically caused it, and who gives a false name, whereupon we join her worried former boarding school classmates Laura, Jo and Grace (Irene Dunne, Jill Esmond, Florence Eldridge) in Thirteen Women, 1932.
Thirteen Women (1932) -- (Movie Clip) One Chain Of Destiny With extensive exposition in the opening scene we learned that boarding-school grad trapeze artist June (the brunette, Mary Duncan) is nervous because a swami predicted the death of her sister (Harriet Hagman), after which we meet him (C. Henry Gordon) and Myrna Loy as Ursula, whose role is not explained as yet, in RKO’s Thirteen Women, 1932.
Thirteen Women (1932) -- (Movie Clip) Those Fool Horoscopes We learn here that somehow super-psychic powered Ursula (Myrna Loy) has been forging letters from her evidently credible lover the Swami, instigating the deaths of boarding school roommates, adding Hazel (Peg Entwistle) to her tally, whereupon we meet Laura (Irene Dunne) who reaches out to Helen (Kay Johnson), in RKO’s Thirteen Women, 1932.
Special Agent (1935) -- (Movie Clip) She's Dynamite After an opening with a federal officer lecturing agents about busting gangsters for unpaid taxes, we meet one noted target, Ricardo Cortez as Carston, with his unexpected companion bookkeeper Julie (Bette Davis), with a nifty shot at the arcade, William Keighley directing, in Warner Bros.’ Special Agent, 1935.
Special Agent (1935) -- (Movie Clip) I'm Just A Big Strong Girl Paul Guilfoyle is a mole from the DA’s office, granted admittance by increasingly uncomfortable bookkeeper and girl-Friday Julie (Bette Davis) to see her boss, gangster Carston (Ricardo Cortez), her friend Bill (George Brent, posing as a reporter, though we know he’s really a cop) close behind, in Special Agent, 1935.
Midnight Mary (1933) -- (Movie Clip) A Girl's Gotta Live Loretta Young (title character), awaiting her sentence in a murder trial, is recalling years past via the spines of court record books, including meeting her pal Bunny (Una Merkel) and her future employer-boyfriend, hoodlum Leo (Ricardo Cortez), in Midnight Mary, directed by William A. Wellman.
Midnight Mary (1933) -- (Movie Clip) Who Might That Lovely Lady Be? We know that knockout lady gambler Mary (Loretta Young) and coat check babe Bunny (Una Merkel) both work for gangsters, so we know something’s up at the casino, as we meet sophisticate Tom (Franchot Tone) and dyspeptic buddy Sam (Andy Devine), in MGM’s Midnight Mary, 1933.
Illicit (1931) -- (Movie Clip) Dubious Connecticut Resorts Worth noting terrific dialogue from the underlying un-produced play by Edith Fitzgerald and Robert Riskin, boozy Georgie (Charles Butterworth) drops in on Dick (James Rennie) and his unabashed intimate girlfriend Anne (Barbara Stanwyck), in the pre-Code drama Illicit, 1932.
Maltese Falcon, The (1931) -- (Movie Clip) The Black Figure Of A Bird Otto Matieson plays a customer calling himself “Doctor” Cairo, in a less flamboyant performance that Peter Lorre’s in John Huston’s landmark 1941 re-make, Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade, Una Merkel his excited assistant, in the first movie version of The Maltese Falcon, 1931.
Maltese Falcon, The (1931) -- (Movie Clip) A Guy Named Thursby Still on the evening of the murder of his partner Archer, Sam Spade (Ricardo Cortez) receives two San Francisco cops he clearly knows well (J. Farrell MacDonald and Robert Elliot as Polhaus and Dundy), and learns that their client was also killed, but sharing little, in the 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon.
Maltese Falcon, The (1931) -- (Movie Clip) Her Name's Wonderly Opening Hollywood’s first pass on Dashiell Hammett’s celebrated novel, Ricardo Cortez as a dandier Sam Spade of San Francisco, Una Merkel as his assistant Effie, eager to introduce a new client with an odd name (Bebe Daniels), Roy Del Ruth directing, in Warner Bros.’ The Maltese Falcon, 1931.
Maltese Falcon, The (1931) -- (Movie Clip) Trouble With Your Women Spade (Ricardo Cortez) has new client Ruth (Bebe Daniels) stashed in his pad when his paramour and new widow of his partner Iva Archer (Thelma Todd) arrives in a huff, in Warner Bros.' 1931 version of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon.


Phantom of Crestwood, The - (Original Trailer) Five men have to prove their innocence when a blackmailer is murdered in The Phantom of Crestwood, 1932, from producer David O. Selznick.
Man With Two Faces, The - (Original Trailer) Edward G. Robinson plays a ham actor in the film version of a George S. Kaufman - Alexander Wolcott play.
Frisco Kid, The (1935) - (Original Trailer) A shanghaied sailor (James Cagney) turns himself into the king of San Francisco's rough-and-tumble Barbary Coast in The Frisco Kid (1935).
Firebird, The - (Original Trailer) A young girl's secret romance is exposed when her lover is murdered in The Firebird (1934) starring Ricardo Cortez.
Midnight Mary - (Original Trailer) Loretta Young is an abused orphan who sinks into a life of crime in the pre-code drama Midnight Mary (1933).
Case of the Black Cat, The - (Original Trailer) Perry Mason (Ricardo Cortez) looks into a trio of murders heralded by the shriek of a cat to solve The Case of the Black Cat (1936).
Big Shakedown, The - (Original Trailer) A racketeer (Ricardo Cortez) breaks into black-market medicine. Bette Davis co-stars in The Big Shakedown (1934).
Big Business Girl - (Original Trailer) A college girl (Loretta Young) uses her brains and her legs to conquer the business world in Big Business Girl (1931).
West Of Shanghai - (Original Trailer) Boris Karloff stars as a Chinese warlord who holds three fugitives prisoner in West of Shanghai (1937).
Shot in the Dark, A (1941) - (Original Trailer) A reporter and a police detective sort through the clues in a night-club owner's murder in A Shot in the Dark (1941).
Illicit - (Original Trailer) Young free-thinkers turn conventionally jealous when they marry in the pre-code drama Illicit (1931) starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Special Agent - (Original Trailer) Bette Davis is bookkeeper for the mob in Special Agent (1935) co-starring George Brent and Ricardo Cortez.


Stanley Cortez
Director of photography.


Alma Rubens
Actor. Married from 1926 until her death in 1931.