Biography of Mel Ferrer (1917-2008)

American actor, born in Elberon (N.j.), on August 25, 1917, and died on June 2, 2008 in Santa Barbara, California, whose full name was Melchior Gaston Ferrer. From the mid-1950s, Mel Ferrer formed with Audrey Hepburn what can be considered a "partner", in an era in which so-called "journals of the heart" did not have the importance nowadays. During those years of marriage, from 1954 until 1968, Mel Ferrer enjoyed the highest popularity and began an international career that gave him a considerable reputation.

Cuban origins--his father was a surgeon of that nationality, although in an interview for the agency EFE, in 1989, Ferrer said being the son of a Spanish father, and two years later reaffirmed it by saying that his father was born in Catalonia, and its name, Melchor, "was born parental desire to call him as his best friend and one of the Magi". Mel Ferrer had a very active youth: after finishing elementary studies, which alternated with diverse works from fifteen, agreed to Princeton University. After the college experience, he/she started working as an editor in a modest newspaper of Vermont and wrote a book for children: Tito completo Hats. He/She took his first steps in the world of the show as a dancer, in an ensemble that appeared in two musicals from 1938, on Broadway. Two years later he/she made his debut as an actor, also in the New York stage. He/She had to leave for a time these activities affected a polio which, finally, got beat, but since then his work became more sedentary. It is involved in the world of radio, first as a disc jockey in Texas and Arkansas radio stations and, later, taking a step forward in his career, as director and producer of some shows for NBC in New York. The radio experience in such different purposes - and their previous theatrical experiences - you encouraged to try his luck in another artistic field: cinema. And it tried as director, in 1945, with a low-budget film for Columbia, The Girl of the Limberlost; as an actor he/she returned to Broadway to star in the work of Lillian Smith Strange Fruit. In 1947 was one of the assistants of John Ford in the fugitive, and even played a very minor role.

His real film debut came two years later in Lost Boundaries (1949), a racial melodrama, but soon stood out as cynical and elusive, Galán with an attractive elegance, in two very estimable films: cover-up (1952), of Fritz Lang, and Scaramouche (1952), by George Sidney. Then, he/she added a new feature to its personality, with a touch of melancholy romanticism, in his epitome of lame puppeteer in the famous Lili (1953), Charles Walters.

Settled his career in that line of somewhat glassy sonota, he/she earned his best roles throughout the 1950s and part of the sixties; period in which, also enjoyed the added publicity of being married to Audrey Hepburn. The delicious Sabrina interpreter was his third wife: before he/she was partner of Barbara C. Tripp and Frances Pilchard; After her divorce from Hepburn, he/she married Elizabeth Soukutine.

From this period include several significant characters: the Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (war and peace, 1956), in which managed the miracle that any fan of the film could imagine another face to the Prince Andréi; the tortuososo Viscount Henri of Chevincourt (Elena and men, 1956); the tormented Stephen Orlac (the hands of Orlac, 1963); the painter spiritual (El Greco, 1966) and the sinister conspirator Cleander (the fall of the Roman Empire, 1964).

Pioneer of television interventions, where he/she worked since the 1950s, half developed an incessant activity as actor, producer and director. Tempted by the filmmaking, he/she returned to do so on other occasions, and had their orders to the stars Claudette Colbert(The Secret Fury, 1950), Faith Domergue (Vendetta, 1950), Audrey Hepburn (green mansions, 1959) or Marisol (caper, 1965). The last occasion in which appeared before the cameras was in the mini-series Catherine the great, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.


As an actor

1947: The fugitive (non-credit). 1949: Lost Boundaries.1950: born for the mal.1951: The brave Bulls.1952: cover-up; Scaramouche.1953: Saadia; The Knights of the King Arturo; Lili.1954: Proibito.1955: Oh...Rosalinda!.1956: War and peace; Elena and the hombres.1957: The vintage; The Sun Also Rises.1958: fraulein.1959: The world, the flesh and the devil.1960: l'homme e femmes; Et mourir de plaisir.1961: the hands of Orlac; Law of guerra.1962: the longest day; Black Lancer; The devil and the ten mandamientos.1963: El Greco (and producer). 1964: El Señor de La Salle; The rogue maiden; Meeting in Paris; The fall of the romano.1971 Empire: A time for loving.1973: the girl from the mill Rojo.1974: L' Antichrist; Alle origine della mafia.1975: Morte sospetta di a minorenne; Brannigan.1976: The polizia accused; Das netz; Eaten alive; The oath of the pirate negro.1977: the girl in yellow pajamas; Hi-riders; L'avvocato della mala.1978: Zwischengleis; Yesterday's tomorrow; The norseman; L'inmoralite; Le gabiani volano basso; Amazing Captain Nemo.1979: more visitors; The island of peces.1980 men: Screamers; Mangiati vivi; Atomic zombie invasion; Guyana, the crime of the century; The fifth floor; Vultures on the ciudad.1981: Mille milliards de dollars; A song... Lili Marleen.1982: Die jager.1983: City of the walking dead.1986: Gangbuster.1989: Eye of the widow.

As a producer

1964: Alone in the oscuridad.1970: the nocturno.1971 visitor: Time for loving.1972: the Kompaktservis case.

As a director

1945: The girl of the Limberlost.1950: Vendetta; The secret fury.1959: mansions verdes.1965: caper (and screenwriter).

Works for television

As an actor

1950: Lux Video Theatre.1956: Zane Grey Theater.1957: Mayerling.1972: Tenafly.1974: Colombo (in the episode "Requiem for a Falling Star"). 1976: Wonder Woman.1977: Logan.1977 flight: The Fantastic Journey.1978: the return of the Saint (in the episode "Vicious Circle"). 1978: Black Beauty.1978: How the West Was Won.1980: The Top of the Hill.1980: The Memory of Eva Ryker; Fugitive Family.1981: Behind the Screen; Falcon Crest (also directed several episodes). 1982: One Shoe Makes It Murder.1984: Widow, Weep For Me, and Weave a Tangled Web (episodes "Has written a crime"). 1985: Seduced.1986: Outrage!.1986: Peter the Great.1986: Dream West.1989: Christine Cromwell: Things That Go Bump in the Night.1995: Katharina die Grosse.

As a producer

1971: A Tattered Web.1978: The Clone Master.1981: Falcon Crest (several episodes, as executive producer). 1982: One Shoe Makes It Murder.1986: The Thanksgiving Promise.


HADLEY-GARCIA, G. Hispanic Hollywood. The Latins in Motion Pictures. New York: A Citadel Press Book / Carol Publishing Group Edition, 1993.