Raquel Torres had a very brief sexy reign in Hollywood come the advent of sound, but late at night viewers can still get a sampling of this spitfire’s charms in one zany Marx Brothers piece of slapstick. Born Paula Osterman in Hermosillo, Mexico on November 11, 1908, she arrived in films at the age of 19 and garnered instant attention and a flurry of wolf whistles in W.S. Van Dyke’s White Shadows in the South Seas (1928), which remains best known as MGM’s first film to synchronize music, dialogue, and sound effects. This exquisite beauty appeared in the predominantly silent film as the lead femme opposite stoic Monte Blue. A bi-racial love story and morality play set in the South Pacific islands, this was supposedly the first film in which the MGM lion roared before the opening credits of the picture. The beautifully shot film went on to win the “Best Cinematography” Oscar.
The next year Raquel was third billed behind Lili Damita and Ernest Torrence in the first film version… read more