RICARDO CORTEZ. Black and white 7.5 x 10.7 book-weight chest-up portrait, with printed biography below, removed from the 1924 edition of “Stars of the Photoplay, ” signed in black fountain pen. A signed image of Western actress and one-time Buster Keaton co-star Anne Cornwall appears on the reverse side. Fine condition, with two very mild bends in the right border. A pencil notation along the extreme top left edge indicates that this page was signed in person in November 1964. A nice Jewish boy from Vienna, Jake Krantz was rebranded as Ricardo Cortez by a Hollywood studio and groomed during the second half of the 1920s as a successor to Rudolph Valentino in “Latino lover” roles. As a contract player with Warner Bros., he made a smooth transition to sound, but a succession of mediocre scripts combined with his own limited range as an actor soon led to a decline in his career. By the mid-Thirties he was pretty much relegated to playing shady characters who got bumped off in the first reel. A standout among his many films was the first screen version of The Maltese Falcon, released in 1931, in which he played Sam Spade. John Verzi collection.