Jose Ferrer was a commanding and versatile stage actor whose bravura style sometimes seemed ill-suited to films. The Puerto Rican-born actor and director established his Broadway credentials when he was 23 and 15 years later captured an Oscar for his searing and sensitive portrayal of "Cyrano de Bergerac."
Ferrer, one of 12 winners of the first National Medal of Arts in 1985, was recognized as a performer who stretched his talent from the classics of Shakespeare to the comedies of Woody Allen.
In films he directed "I Accuse," also taking the role of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish officer wrongly accused of treason, and "The High Cost of Loving" in 1958 and "Return to Peyton Place" in 1961.
But Ferrer's directing never proved as successful as his acting, and in the 1960s he gave it up.
Besides his portrayal of the gallant, disfigured warrior-poet Cyrano on both stage and screen, in movies he was the imperious Dauphin in "Joan of Arc," the dwarfish artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in "Moulin Rouge" and the incisive defense counsel Lt. Barney Greenwald in "The Caine Mutiny."
Those were the highlights that paled in comparison to his stage triumphs.
Although he made more than 40 feature films and several TV movies, "there is something about my personality on the screen that is not particularly satisfying to an audience," he told The Times in 1982.
"There seems to be some ingredient I don't possess."
|1948||Best Supporting Actor||Joan of Arc||Nomination|
|1950||Best Actor||Cyrano de Bergerac||Win|
|1952||Best Actor||Moulin Rouge||Nomination|