Jose Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintron
Jose Ferrer was born on January 8, 1912. As a child, Jose Ferrer lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mr.Ferrer’s mother, Maria Providencia was a simple house wife.
His father, Rafael Ferrer was an Attorney and a writer from the capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. While he was still young, his family decided to move to the United States of America for a better life. At a young age Jose Ferrer attended many public and private schools in New York City. When he was fourteen, Jose Ferrer passed the entrance examination for Princeton University, New York. He then chose to take an extra year to prepare himself at a school in Switzerland, to get ready for Princeton.
While he was at Princeton studying Architecture, he became involved with the campus production. Jose Ferrer had many supporters, and because of that, he was noticed by James Stewart and Joshua Logan. It was during that period that he formed his own band, The Pied Piper. Jose made his first broad way debut in 1935. He played his first starring role in charley’s Aunt.
Mr. Ferrer married his first wife in 1938. Jose had married five times in his life. He had one child with his first wife, Uta Hagen and had five children with his third wife Rosemary Clooney, who happened to be the aunt of George Clooney, which made Jose Ferrer his uncle. Jose began to star in award winning movies and shows. Mr.
Ferrer then became the first Hispanic to win an Oscar award for his most famous performance as “Cyrano de Bergerac”. To add on to that, He became one of only nine actors to be awarded an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony nomination for playing in the same performance as “Cyrano de Bergerac”. On his long list of credits, he also added pianist to his list. He was a very talented musician as well, he became the first actor to be nominated a single Academy Award. Mr. Ferrer donated his Oscar Award to the University of Puerto Rico.
Mr.Ferrer’s contributions to the American theater were acknowledged in 1981 and were inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 1985 a huge honor came in and he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Sadly on January 26, 1992 Jose Ferrer died of cancer at the age of eighty at a hospital in Coral Gables, Florida. Jose Ferrer was the greatest actor that ever lived, and because of that in 2005, the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) renamed its Tespis Award to the HOLA Jose Ferrer Tespis Award.