1940s. Publicity portrait. Fortunio Bonanova was a familiar face in many films of Hollywood’s golden age. His most memorable performance is that of the harried vocal coach of the second Mrs. Kane (Dorothy Commigore) in “Citizen Kane.”
In 1936, with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he returned to the United States from Spain where his career had flourished, to play the role of Captain Bill in a film called Capitán Tormenta, directed by Jules Bernhardt. A sequence of increasingly larger acting and singing roles mostly in English-language films followed, especially after 1940. Among his roles were Signor Matiste, Susan Alexander Kane’s opera coach in Citizen Kane (1941); General Sebastiano in Five Graves to Cairo (1943); Don Miguel in The Black Swan (1942); Fernando in For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943); Sam Garlopis in Double Indemnity (1944); and a singing Christopher Columbus in Where Do We Go From Here?. In the 1950s, he appeared in an episode of I Love Lucy as a fake psychic who uses his stage apparatus to make it appear as though Lucy is able to speak Spanish to her mother-in-law.
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