Full name: Joseph De La Cruz
Last name variations: Delacruz, de la Cruz, Delacruze
|Joe De La Cruz specialized in playing natives, Indians and Mexicans in a movie career that spanned about twenty five years, from about 1916-1942. The earliest trade mention that I found was the August 5, 1916 issue of The Moving Picture World magazine (available at the Internet Archive): "The following changes have been made in the personnel of the Universal companies and general stock: On July 1 ... Joe de la Cruz, to play Mexican parts."
De La Cruz was born in Mexico.
One of his few credited roles is in the William Wyler directed HELL'S HEROES (Universal, 1929) which was re-made several times including John Wayne's THREE GODFATHERS. Joe plays a gang member, and after staging a robbery, baddies Charles Bickford, Fred Kohler Sr., Raymond Hatton and De La Cruz gallop out of town. But Joe is shot off his horse and dies at about 14 minutes into the film.
You can spot him as one of Francis McDonald's henchmen in the Bob Steele HIDDEN VALLEY (Monogram, 1932). And there's good close-ups of a near fifty year old De La Cruz in the saloon gunfight near the end of Chapter 1 of THE ADVENTURES OF RED RYDER (Republic, 1940). De La Cruz, as the "Apache Kid", gets shot by Don Barry.
Suffering from cancer, Joe De La Cruz passed away on December 14, 1961.
The Family Search website (free), ProQuest obituaries, and the death certificate provide more on Joe De La Cruz:
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Joe De La Cruz: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0209200/
(From Old Corral collection)
Above from L-to-R are Joe De La Cruz, Jayne Regan, Jack Perrin, Slim Whitaker and Tom London in a lobby card from CACTUS KID (Reliable, 1935). De La Cruz was credited as Slim Whitaker's henchman 'Cheyenne' and kills Fred Humes who plays Perrin's partner.
(Courtesy of Bruce Hickey)
De La Cruz, Whitaker and Perrin doin' battle in another lobby card from CACTUS KID (Reliable, 1935).
(From Old Corral collection)
Far left background are Kit Guard and Gordon DeMain. Around the table are George Morrell, unidentified player, Perrin, Joe de la Cruz. Behind the table are Fred Humes (blue jacket ) beating up Slim Whitaker.
On the left is Steve with a handful of his throwing knives. Crop/blowup from the TEX TAKES A HOLIDAY (Argosy, 1932) lobby card shown further down on this webpage.
|Steve Clemento / Steve Clemente was born in Mexico, and was cast in silent and sound films as a native, a Mexican or an Indian. There are mentions in trade publications and newspapers that he was Native American, perhaps of Yaqui ancestry. And on his World War II draft registration, he lists his real name as "Steve C. Morro".
His few movie roles were mostly unbilled. Clemento's claim to fame - and main source of income - was his prowess throwing knives, axes, etc. He took his knife throwing act on the road to other countries, toured with circuses, played rodeos, etc. And his his knife throwing skills got him lots of behind the scenes work in A and B grade films at many production companies. A newspaper biography referenced further down this webpage has Clemento as "Champion Knife Thrower of the Motion Picture Lots". Newspaper articles indicate that he invested in Los Angeles area homes which he would build or rehab and rent.
He gets a lot of screen time in the Technicolor short THE SUNDAY ROUND-UP (Warners, 1938) with Dick Foran. Foran plays a preacher who arranges a stage show to collect money for the poor and needy. Clemente is one of the acts and shows off his knife and axe throwing skills - and his target is a very nervous Glenn Strange. And Clemente has credited roles in the serial THE VIGILANTES ARE COMING (Republic, 1936) and playing the no good "Lone Eagle" in the Hopalong Cassidy HILLS OF OLD WYOMING (Paramount, 1937).
He was a patient at Rancho Los Amigos medical facility in Los Angeles for about five months, and passed away there on May 7, 1950 from cerebral hemorrhage, arteriosclerosis and hypertension.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Steve Clemento / Clemente: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0166170/
The Family Search website (free), ProQuest obituaries, and the death certificate provide more about Steve Clemento / Clemente:
(Rancho Los Amigos is a medical care / rehab facility near Hondo and Downey, California. Originally, it was "The County Poor Farm" but in the 1930s, was upgraded to a medical facility. B western baddie Lew Meehan passed away there. Info on Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rancho_Los_Amigos_National_Rehabilitation_Center)
Trade mentions of Clemento:
Lots of articles on Steve Clemento at the Newspaper Archive (subscription) and Ancestry.com (subscription). Highlights below:
(Courtesy of Duane Harlow)
Above from left to right are Steve Clemento/Clemente (seated at table), Dick Cramer and Jack Perrin. Unidentified still from either LARIATS AND SIX-SHOOTERS (Robert J. Horner, 1931) or 45 CALIBRE ECHO (Robert J. Horner, 1932). Both starred Jack Perrin and both films are among the lost and missing.
(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)
TEX TAKES A HOLIDAY (Argosy, 1932) was shot in "Multicolor", an early two-strip color process. The star was Wallace MacDonald (with light blue shirt and moustache above), and he had a brief fling in front of the camera before becoming a B film producer at Columbia Pictures. He also worked for Multicolor. The player with the handful of knives is Steve Clemento / Clemente. On the far right with the brown suit is George Chesebro. TEX TAKES A HOLIDAY (Argosy, 1932) is one of the lost/missing westerns.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above L-to-R: William Boyd, George Hayes and Russell Hayden have Steve Clemento / Clemente (as 'Lone Eagle') under wraps in this crop from a lobby card from the Hopalong Cassidy adventure HILLS OF OLD WYOMING (Paramount, 1937).