MARIA MONTEZ BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Maria Montez was born June 6th, 1912 in Barahona, Dominican Republic with the birth name, Maria Africa Antonia Gracia Vidal de Santo Silas. She was The second daughter of ten children and her father was a textile exporter and the Honorary Vice Consul of Spain. Her family traveled a lot for her dad's work and she was educated in the Canary islands.
Montez tried to establish herself as a stage actress in Europe, but was not successful. So, in 1940 she moved to New York City in pursuit of a career in modeling. While working as a model, she was discovered by Universal who was struck by her exotic beauty and accent. In 1941 Montez moved to Hollywood and was cast in a variety of films playing very small roles. Her first film was as Marie in, "The Invisible Woman" (1941).
She was cast in six films working with actor Jon Hall, "Arabian Nights" (1942), "White Savage" (1943), "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (1944), "Cobra Woman" (1944), "Gypsy Wildcat" (1944) and "Sudan" (1945).
Even though, she was not a very good actress and did not have any talent in singing or dancing, she had a certain persona about her that attracted audiences. It was a thrill for the public to see a beautiful and exotic lady in distress. The majority of films she was cast in were Technicolor films and adventure films, Montez became known by her nickname, 'The Queen of Technicolor'.
When she was working in Hollywood, she met a French actor, Jean-Pierre Sumont and the couple married and after World War II had one daughter together, Maria Christina born in 1946. The couple moved to France and she appeared in a number of films there plus a play her husband wrote. Montez also was a writer, writing three books, two that were published. Maria chose her last name 'Montez' as her stage name in honor of dancer Lola Montes, whom was someone her father always idolized.
In total throughout her career, Montez was in a total of twenty six films with 1 being made in North America and five filmed in Europe. Her final film was a German film called, "Schatten Uber Neapal" (1951).
Unfortunately, on September 7th, 1951 at the tender age of thirty nine, Maria Montez was discovered in her bathtub dead in Suresnes, France. She had drowned and the possible cause was from a heart attack. She was buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse.
In her honor, the city of Barahona opened the Aeropuerto Internacional Maria Montez.
1951 Revenge of the Pirates
1951 City of Violence
1951 The Thief of Venice
1949 Siren of Atlantis
1949 Wicked City
1949 Portrait of an Assassin
1947 The Exile
1947 Pirates of Monterey
1944 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
1944 Follow the Boys
1944 Cobra Woman
1944 Gypsy Wildcat
1944 Bowery to Broadway
1943 White Savage
1942 Bombay Clipper
1942 The Mystery of Marie Roget
1942 Arabian Nights
1941 Lucky Devils
1941 That Night in Rio
1941 Raiders of the Desert
1941 Moonlight in Hawaii
1941 South of Tahiti
1940 Boss of Bullion City
1940 The Invisible Woman