Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gino Corrado - From The Three Musketeers to The Three Stooges

Gino Corrado was one of my favorite character actors, with whom I'd become familiar in The Three Stooges comedy "Micro-Phonies" (1945). From that point on, I'd recognize him in various old movies of the 1930s and 1940s I'd watch on tv.

He usually played the role of a waiter, head waiter, chef, doorman, store sales clerk or some other such position in many movies, including some of Hollywood's biggest.

He entered movies in the 'teens, and at one time used the name Eugene Corey, which he hated because it was not his real name - it was "given" to him by a producer. It was obviously derived from his real name. Actually, Corrado was one of his baptismal names, because his real family name was Liserani.

In one of his only major roles, Gino played one of The Three Musketeers, Aramis, in 1929's "The Iron Mask", which starred Douglas Fairbanks. Many years later, Gino would be subjected to the shenanigans of another trio, The Three Stooges.

I wrote an article about my search for Gino, and subsequently meeting him. It can be read here.

At the time I met him, I brought along an 8x10 photo of him in character in "Micro-Phonies", and he signed it in front of me, writing in a cursive style rarely seen today.

I met him on the day I was moving out of California, May 4, 1976. Here and here you can see photos taken that day. But we kept up a mail correspondence for several years. Most of his letters to me included clipped news items and recipes from local newspapers and magazines, on which he'd jot down a few words commenting about the subject. This continued until he became too ill to write, which was only shortly before his death in 1982.

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