Friday, 19 July 2013

I can't believe they liked me

Another largely forgotten Hollywood starlet, Miss Patricia Medina - the exotic half-Spanish beauty who starred alongside such box-office favourites (among others) as Alan Ladd, Gene Kelly, Glenn Ford, Lana Turner, Donald O’Connor, Abbot & Costello, James Mason, Karl Malden, Claudette Colbert and Walter Pidgeon, and married two of them (Richard Greene, and later Joseph Cotten) - was actually born in Liverpool, of all places.

Her father's family were wealthy banana-growers and she was brought up in high social circles among the Spanish community in London, before being "discovered", almost by accident, by Hollywood.

Facts about Miss Medina:
  • Her birth name was "Paz", which she later Anglicised to "Patricia".
  • She won a screen test for Warner Brothers in a competion entered (secretly) by her mother.
  • Despite starring in numerous films, Miss Medina's greatest success was not on the big screen, but on American TV - in series such as Zorro, and the panel show What's My Line?.
  • Her husband Joseph Cotten called her “the most beautiful woman in the world”.
  • She played the friendly prostitute Betty in The Killing Of Sister George.
  • She only died last year, aged 92.
"The fact is I couldn't act. I can't believe they liked me. But one producer said it was because I was beautiful."

"I was nearly always cast as someone of mysterious origin, not too clearly designated but probably from some Southern European country."

Patricia Medina (19th July 1919 – 28th April 2012)

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