José Ferrer: Success and Survival

José Ferrer was certainly a man of many talents. An accomplished actor of the stage and screen as well as a film director, secured many notable achievements. He won a Tony Award for his work in Cyrano de Bergerac and, more impressively, happened to be the first Hispanic actor to win the Academy Award for the film version of Cyrano de Bergerac (1950).

Ferrer was born in Puerto Rico before his family relocated to New York. There, he studied at a boarding school and continued his education in architecture at prestigious Princeton University. He was also heavily involved in Princeton’s Triangle Club, the university theatre troupe.

Before long, Ferrer would make a professional appearance as an actor on Long Island. He worked on stage and behind the scenes throughout New York, eventually making his Broadway debut in 1935. By the 1940s, he made the transition to films, making his screen debut in Joan of Arc (1948) with Ingrid Bergman in the title role. Succeeding on Broadway as well as in films–as an actor and director–propelled Ferrer’s popularity further.

While Ferrer no doubt achieved many high points in his career, few books have focused upon his personal and professional life. Thanks to the University Press of Mississippi and author Mike Peros, a biography about Ferrer is finally available.

José Ferrer: Success and Survival is a well-researched book that illuminates much about Ferrer’s life and legacy. His performances are described and documented in strong detail, particularly in the case of his film career. Moreover, his personal and professional relationships are also given attention, further describing Ferrer’s influence off-screen as well as within the film industry.

Peros succeeds again in examining the life and career of another Hollywood legend who is not discussed as often as some of his Hollywood counterparts.

José Ferrer: Success and Survival is available for purchase on the University Press of Mississippi website.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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1 Response to José Ferrer: Success and Survival

  1. I recently watched “Deep in My Heart” a hokey biopic with Jose Ferrer as Sigmund Romberg. I loved it so much.

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