John Wayne and Marlon Brando loved the same extraordinary woman and one proposed
The actress herself was dismissive of her looks but aware of the power she had over men: “I knew that my body was provocative, but also that I was not beautiful, although… my physique was different and very sensual.”
Jurado went into her affair with Brando with eyes wide open, intending it to be a swift and fun encounter but it became something far greater.
She said: Marlon called me one night for a date, and I accepted. I knew all about Movita. I knew he had a thing for Rita Moreno. Hell, it was just a date. I didn’t plan to marry him.”
Marlon Brando and Katy Jurado in One-Eyed Jacks (Image: GETTY)
Rod Steiger Katy Jurado and Marlon Brando at the Academy Awards on March 30 1955 (Image: GETTY)
In the end, they were together, on and off, for nine years, also overlapping with Jurado’s 1953 fling with Charlton Heston on the set of the Western film Arrowhead.
Their relationship peaked when Brando cast her in his directorial debut One-Eyed Jacks in 1960. His notoriously tumultuous marriage to Anna Kashfi had ended in 1959, but he was also still seeing Castaneda, and married her in 1960.
Jurado, meanwhile had met actor Ernest Borgnine on the set of Vera Cruz in 1954 and they had married in 1959. Like all the relationships in that extended circle, it was an explosive union, with later accounts of verbal and sometimes physical violence.
Ernest Borgnine and his wife Katy Jurado (Image: GETTY)
Jurado’s career in the 1950s was split between award-winning roles in Mexico, and Hollywood, where she was cast primarily in Westerns as her looks suited both Mexican and American Indian roles. In 1954, she received an Oscar nomination for playing Spencer Tracy’s Comanche wife in Broken arrow.
She also appeared on Broadway in 1956’s The Best House in Naples.
Her relationship with Brando was over by 1963 and her increasingly unhappy marriage to Borgnine ended in 1963. A distressed and disillusioned Jurado returned to Mexico but was tempted back to Hollywood in 1965. Her 1968 role opposite Elvis was part of a career that continued through the next three decades across stage, TV and movies.
Thirty years later, in 1998 she received her second Ariel Award (The Mexican film awards) for El Evangelio de las Maravillas and also cameoed in Stephen Frears’ Hi-Lo Country.
Jurado died at home in Mexico on July 5, 2002. Her star on the Hollywood walk of Fame confirms the extraordinary trailblazing impact she had on the industry – as well as the many men who loved her along the way.