Simply Movita

Day 340 of Colourisation Project – April 12

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

When Movita Castaneda died on February 12, 2015, just three months ago, she was the last surviving cast member of the classic 1935 film, Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable.

Born this day, April 12, 1916, Maria Luisa ‘Movita’ Castaneda was an American actress who unfortunately will forever be defined as the second wife of actor, Marlon Brando. But Castaneda was already a successful actress in her own right when she met Brando, eight years her junior and had made a name for herself so much so that she was known simply by her stage name ‘Movita.’ Unfortunately the chronicles of Hollywood history tend to overlook this fact. As it turns out Brando was also her second husband, and together they had two children.

Publicity Still – Movita Castaneda c 1936 – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

She rose to prominence in the 1933 film, Flying Down to Rio, Fred Astaire’s first film with Ginger Rogers and thereafter landed roles playing sexy exotic women in American and Spanish language films throughout the 1930s. The name, ‘Movita’ was coined for her by MGM executives who thought it sounded Polynesian.

Her films include Paradise Isle (1937), Rose of the Rio Grande (1938) Wolf Call (1939), Girl from Rio (1939) Tower of Terror (1941), Fort Apache (1948) with John Wayne and Henry Fonda, The Mysterious Desperado (1949) and Saddle Legion (1951).  Her most notable role was that of Tehanni in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935).

In 1960 she married Marlon Brando, and as life would have it in a strange twist of fate, he went on to play the role of Fletcher Christian in the 1962 remake of the 1935 film, Mutiny on the Bounty that made Castaneda a star nearly three decades earlier.

Unfortunately for Castaneda, Brando fell in love with and married his costar in the film, Tarita Teriipaia…now that’s another story.

Maria Luisa Castaneda died on February 12, 2015, after being hospitalized for a neck injury. She was 98 years old.


This entry was posted in Colorization, Colourisation, Film, Hollywood, Photography, Uncategorized, USA, Women, Women in Film & TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Simply Movita

  1. Love the colour of her dress,beautifully done.


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