Thursday, February 19, 2015

Movita Castaneda, 1916-2015

Movita in Paradise Isle (1937)

Movita Castaneda, who played Franchot Tone's love interest in the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty and later married Marlon Brando, died last Thursday at the age of 98. Although she died a week ago, most of the obituaries seem to have been published in the last day or so, which is why I never noticed it or posted an obituary here myeelf.

Among her early roles was in Flying Down to Rio, which has her singing the Carioca, a song which is more famous for being the dance number that brought together. She was born with the name Maria Luisa, but some studio executive decided that the name Movita looked more exotic. Being of Mexican descent gave her a look that the studio executives figured could pass for tropical, so she wound up in Mutiny on the Bounty, the pictured Paradise Isle, and John Ford's 1937 film The Hurricane. I have to admit to not remembering her in Red Light or Dream Wife.

She met Brando in the early 1950s, and after a long relationship actually married him for a couple of years in the 1960s, although Brando was apparently not the best man to be married to. They had two children together, both of whom survive her.

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