24 January 2005

viva Moreno

today he's probably best known as the old adventurer in "Creature of the Black Lagoon." but tonite Turner Classic Movies reminds us that Antonio Moreno was one of the silent screen's hot leading men.

the Spanish-born Moreno came to the US as a teenager with 2 men he met. after appearing on Broadway he enterd movies & was soon appearing opposite Gish & Pickford in films of D.W. Griffith. he was a friend of gay director William Desmond Taylor & found fame as leading man to Gloria Swanson   Pola Negri   Billie Dove   Mary Miles Minter   Clara Bow & Marion Davies. tonite TCM presentd him in the tv premiere of Fred Niblo's "The Temptress." while the advertising stresses leading lady Garbo he more than holds his own. in fact while she slinks & poses he presents a bold natural presence. he was a striking hunk.

with the advent of sound he had a short career as a director -- rememberd primarily for "Santa." then he became a character actor appearing in such classics as Hitchcock's "Notorious" & Ford's "The Searchers." Moreno's private life suggests an in-depth bio wd be some read. he married an heiress whose tragic death has a tinge of mystery. their Silverlake mansion Paramour has become a hip location in the past few years -- hosting concerts & film festivals. it's also used as a set for movies & commercials & now has a recording studio.

let's hope that tonite's screening will usher in a rediscovery of Antonio Moreno.


left handed said...

visual bon bon at raincoat:

Alex Gildzen said...

stunning. thx Jeff.