Latina Movita (1916 or 1921-2015)

It’s been a hard week losing nonagenarians I’d have loved to have met. First there was Lizabeth Scott.  Then Louis Jourdan on Valentine’s Day. His death has devastated me. I need more time before I post about him. Now today I read the passing of Movita Castaneda.


Movita, Franchot Tone, Clark Gable

Movita was featured in my video Hollywood Latina’s Before Rita Moreno. Movita’s most famous role was Tehanni in Mutiny on the Bounty starring Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone. Some of her other films include Rose of the Rio Grande and Fort Apache. My much too young mother wouldn’t recognize Movita’s name but mom was an avid Knots Landing fan so she may remember her as Ana, Abby’s (Donna Mills) maid.

Two months ago, I went to Nogales, Arizona for the first time before crossing the border to Nogales, Mexico where my family members get dental cleanings. Turns out Movita was born in Nogales, Arizona. If she had really been born in 1916, it means she would have had her first child, Miko Brando, at 44 and had her daughter, Rebecca Brando, at age 49. Considering they were born in the 1960s, they’d have been conceived naturally. There is hope for women.


The relationship between her and ex-husband Marlon Brando looks very complicated as it overlaps his marriages with Anna Kashfi and Tarita not to mention overlapping affairs with Rita Moreno, France Nuyen and who knows who else? While I’m not a Brando fan as many others are, I can at least acknowledge he had excellent taste in beauty.

Lastly I love that Movita is survived by her 102 year old sister Petra. That is somewhat a significant age gap between the two.