Antonio Moreno was in Thelma Todd's last movie, THE BOHEMIAN GIRL. And years before, he was associated with William Desmond Taylor shortly before Taylor's death.
|Born||Antonio Garrido Monteagudo|
(1887-09-26)September 26, 1887
|Died||February 15, 1967(1967-02-15) (aged 79)|
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Daisy Canfield Danziger (1923-1933)|
BiographyBorn Antonio Garrido Monteagudo in Madrid, Spain, he emigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen and settled in Massachusetts, where he completed his education. After attending the Williston Seminary in Easthampton, Massachusetts, he became a stage actor in regional theater productions. In 1912, he moved to Hollywood, California and he was signed to Vitagraph Studios and began his career in bit parts and as a movie extra.
In 1914, Moreno began co-starring in a series of highly successful serials opposite the enormously publicly popular silent film actress Pearl White. These appearances helped to increase Moreno's popularity with the nation's nascent film-goers. By 1915, Antonio Moreno was a highly regarded matinee idol and appearing opposite such successful actors as Tyrone Power, Sr., Gloria Swanson, Blanche Sweet, Pola Negri and Dorothy Gish. Moreno was often typecast in his earliest films as the "Latin Lover", as were other actors of the era with Latin roots, such as Ramón Novarro and Rudolph Valentino.
By the early 1920s, Antonio Moreno joined film mogul Jesse Lasky's Famous Players and became one of the company's most highly paid performers. In 1926 Moreno starred opposite Swedish acting legend Greta Garbo in The Temptress and the following year followed up with a starring role in the enormous box-office hit Clara Bow vehicle It.
Moreno married American heiress Daisy Canfield Danziger, in 1923, and the couple moved to an estate known as Crestmount, now known as the Canfield-Moreno Estate. The union lasted ten years and ended shortly before Canfield Danziger was killed in an automobile accident on February 23, 1933.
With the advent of talkies in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Moreno's career began to falter, in part because of his heavy Spanish accent. While still acting in English language films, Moreno also began taking parts in Mexican films. During the early 1930s, Moreno directed several well-received Mexican films, among them is the 1932 drama Santa, which has been hailed by film critics as one of the best Mexican films of the era. By the mid-1930s, Antonio Moreno began rebuilding his faltering Hollywood career by taking notable roles as a character actor. By the mid-1940s and throughout the 1950s, Moreno appeared in a number of well received roles, most notably, his 1954 role in the classic horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon and his 1955 role as Emilio Figueroa in film director John Ford's influential western epic The Searchers opposite John Wayne and Natalie Wood.
Moreno retired from film in the late 1950s and died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, California, in 1967, and was laid to rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Glendale, California. His film career spanned more than four decades.
In 1994, the Mexican magazine Somos published their list of "The 100 best movies of the cinema of Mexico" in its 100th edition and named the 1931 Moreno directed Santa its 67th choice.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Antonio Moreno was given a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6651 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California, USA.
Of note is that Moreno was the half-brother of Alfred Moreno Monteagudo, who took over management of the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel in the 1940s. Antonio Moreno is the granduncle of horror/fantasy author Nicholas Grabowsky, to which a related biography is slated for late 2009/early 2010 in conjunction with the release of the Creature From the Black Lagoon remake by Universal Pictures.
- "Antonio Moreno," The Clearfield Progress, August 26, 1920, page 15.
- "Antonio Moreno, Silent-Film Star," The New York Times, February 16, 1967.
- Bodeen, Dewitt. "Antonio Moreno," Films in Review, June–July, 1967.
- Menefee, David W. The First Male Stars: Men of the Silent Era. Albany: Bear Manor Media, 2007.
- "Public Pleased by Vitagraph’s Move to Return Antonio Moreno to Feature Films," The Moving Picture World. New York: Chalmers Publishing Company. December 25, 1920.
- Virginia, Violet. "Antonio Moreno of the Vitagraph Players," Motion Picture Magazine, December 1914. Pages 103-105.
- Antonio Moreno at the Internet Movie Database
- Antonio Moreno at Silents Are Golden
- Some contemporary articles and interviews with Antonio Moreno
- Photographs and literature
- "Antonio Moreno". Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6921745. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
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Although Antonio cooperated with the investigation of Taylor's death and it was said that he provided them with much information, the investigators ultimately failed to solve the case. To this day it remains one of Hollywood's Unsolved Mysteries.
MY AMERICAN WIFE ( 1922 ) with Gloria Swanson
THE BOHEMIAN GIRL
Antonio Moreno's star had faded by the time this movie was made, something that was also true of fellow cast member Mae Busch, who had been a star in the silent era. It has also been said that Thelma Todd's career was not what it had been after the coming of sound, which is less obvious. Certainly her last feature film was a hit, even if little of her part remained when it was finally released.
The Bohemian Girl (film)
|The Bohemian Girl|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James W. Horne|
|Produced by||Stan Laurel|
|Written by||Michael William Balfe|
Alfred Bunn (libretto)
Frank Butler (screenplay)
|Music by||Michael William Balfe (original operetta)|
|Editing by||Bert Jordan|
|Release date(s)||February 14, 1936 (1936-02-14)|
|Running time||70' 52"|
Thelma Todd's role
Casting and production details
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Stan Laurel feared that adverse publicity would hurt the picture and as a result Thelma Todd's scenes were all cut except for a brief scene early in the movie where she sings "The song of the gypsies". The rest of her scenes were all replaced.
During the investigation of the death of Thelma Todd, the grand jury at first looked into the possibilty of murder, but later the focus was more on the suicide theory. However, they were unable to reach a decision and the case ended with a hung jury. The story that they brought in a verdict of suicide is incorrect.
People would say that Hollywood's Unsolved Mysteries went unsolved for a reason, that the people who ran the movie business wanted it that way. They pointed to similarities in the way that the various investigations seemed to rack up failure after failure without really getting anywhere. But nobody ever seems to remark that one of the last people to associate with William Desmond Taylor was one of the last people to work with Thelma Todd in a feature film.
I'm sure that was probably a coincidence, but there it is nonetheless.
Paulette Goddard's part in this movie is not well known, like her association with Thelma Todd. This was to be her last film at the Roach studio, but soon she would star with Chaplin in another feature film that would be considered a classic, MODERN TIMES.
Watch Thelma Todd's remaining scene in THE BOHEMIAN GIRL:
Antonio Moreno at Taylorology:
Antonio Moreno at Golden Silents:
THE BOHEMIAN GIRL:
THE BOHEMIAN GIRL ( Photos );
Hollywood's Unsolved Mysteries:
Laurel and Hardy: