Katy Jurado was an iconic Mexican-born actress credited by many to have “planted the Mexican flag in the U.S. film industry”. Armed with an astonishing beauty and a feisty personality, Jurado had a knack for portraying villainous “femme fatale” characters in Mexican films. After branching into Hollywood, the iconic actress effectively destroyed the stereotype that Latino women could only be cast as sexpots in American films.
Jurado made her Hollywood movie debut with the 1951 film The Bullfighter and the Lady after which she featured in several Western films including High Noon (1952), Arrowhead (1953), Broken Lance (1954), One-Eyed Jacks (1960) and others. A true trailblazer, Katy Jurado was the first Latino actress to receive an Academy Award nomination, for her performance in Broken Lance, and was also the first to clinch a Golden Globe Award for her work in High Noon. In 1992, Jurado was honored with a Golden Boot Award for her outstanding contributions to the genre of Western movies.
Who is Katy Jurado?
María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García better known as Katy Jurado was born on January 16, 1924, to father Luis Jurado Ochoa was a lawyer and her mother Vicenta Estela García de la Garza was a singer. She was raised alongside brothers Luis Raúl and Óscar Sergio. Her godfather Pedro Armendáriz was also an actor, however, Katy Jurado’s parents were initially not supportive of her acting career.
Jurado began receiving movie roles as a teenager, however, her family remained opposed to it. Therefore, in order to slip away from their control, she got married to Víctor Velázquez who was also an aspiring actor. She quickly made her film debut in the 1943 drama film No matarás after which she totally took the Mexican film industry by storm. The talented actress equally worked as a film critic, radio reporter and a bullfight analyst in order to support her family.
In 1951, while on assignment at a bullfighting event, Katy Jurado was discovered by the American filmmaker Budd Boetticher who quickly cast her in the movie Bullfighter and the Lady (1951). Jurado’s poor English impeded her performance in the film, however, her strong on-screen persona earned her the attention of Hollywood. Determined to succeed, Jurado began taking English classes to overcome the impediment. Her next movie was the classic Western High Noon (1952) which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Supporting Actress. She also received a 2nd nomination for New Star of the Year – Actress. While her Hollywood career flourished, Katy Jurado also remained active in the Mexican movie scene.
For her role as Señora Devereaux in the 1954 Western film Broken Lance, the producers were initially skeptical about giving the role to Katy Jurado owing to her relatively young age. However, the iconic actress performed beyond all expectations as she earned herself an Academy Award nomination for the role. Jurado equally performed on Broadway and also starred in a number of TV series. Her Hollywood career remained in top gear for several years until 1968 when she relocated back to her native Mexico. The iconic Mexican actress continued to alternate between Mexico and Hollywood until her last year alive 2002 when she appeared in her last film Un secreto de Esperanza.
Who was her Spouse?
Katy Jurado was involved in 2 marriages during her lifetime. Her first husband was fellow Mexican actor Victor Velázquez. Reportedly, this marriage was mainly contracted by Jurado because she wanted to get away from the control of her parents who were opposed to her acting career. There are varying reports on the exact year in which they tied the knot, however, they are said to have remained married for 4 years. Jurado and Velázquez had 2 children together; son Victor Hugo and daughter Sandra.
Several years after her first marriage, Katy Jurado had a second and final shot at marriage. In 1954, Jurado met American-born actor Ernest Borgnine who was in Mexico for the filming of the movie Vera Cruz. According to the beautiful actress, Ernest Borgnine persistently wooed her for 2 years followed by another 2 years of courtship between the two. The couple eventually tied the knot on New Year’s Eve 1959. However, the marriage fell apart after only 4 years as the couple got divorced in 1963.
Katy Jurado’s Relationship Timeline
Other than her known marriages, the phenomenal Mexican actress was also involved in several other relationships within the industry. Her earlier relationships were with American moviemaker Budd Boetticher from whom she got her first movie role. Jurado is also said to have dated the late American actor Tyrone Power, who was a bonafide Hollywood hunk at that time.
Later on in her career, Katy Jurado also got romantically involved with American actor and filmmaker Marlon Brando. The duo met in 1952, however, it is unclear when they officially became an item as they continued to deny having an affair. Their relationship lasted for several years and culminated in their co-starring in the film One-Eyed Jacks (1961).
Katy Jurado was also linked with several other Hollywood bigwigs including John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Sam Peckinpah, Frank Sinatra, Alan Ladd and Sammy Davis Jr. Ironically, of the numerous men that Katy Jurado was linked with during her lifetime, none of them truly had her heart. According to the iconic Mexican actress, her one true love was the late American novelist and poet Louis L’Amour. It is unclear if the two actually had a relationship, however, the actress claims that L’Amour sent her numerous love letters even from his deathbed.