Starred in 'Mr. Arkadin,' adventure films
Patricia Medina, an actress best known for lead roles in Orson Welles’ “Mr. Arkadin” and a variety of adventure films of the 1950s and for her marriage to actor Joseph Cotten, died Saturday, April 28, in Los Angeles of natural causes. She was 92.
Medina played Kitty in the 1948 version of “The Three Musketeers” that starred Gene Kelly and Lana Turner, starred opposite Donald O’Connor in 1950’s “Francis,” the first in the talking mule comedy film series, starred with Karl Malden in the Edgar Allan Poe-based mystery horror film “Phantom of the Rue Morgue” (1954) and was the female lead in Welles’ 1955 “Mr. Arkadin” (aka “Confidential Report”).
The beautiful actress with the dark, exotic looks was very busy in the early 1950s, starring in swashbuckling adventures “Fortunes of Captain Blood” (1950), “The Lady and the Bandit” (1951), “Lady in the Iron Mask” (1952) and “Captain Pirate” (1952), all opposite actor Louis Hayward. She also starred in “Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion,” “Aladdin and His Lamp” and “Siren of Bagdad,” among others.
The British-born Medina began her movie career with small roles in English film in the late 1930s. She worked steadily during the 1940s and had her first lead role in British comedy “Don’t Take It to Heart” opposite Richard Greene, the British actor whom she had married in 1941. Medina’s first American film was the 1946 Claudette Colbert-Walter Pidgeon starrer “The Secret Heart.” She had a supporting role in “The Foxes of Harrow,” starring Rex Harrison, the following year. Her first lead role in a Hollywood film was in “Francis.”
By the mid-’50s Medina was transitioning into roles on American television, appearing on “The Ford Television Theatre,” “G.E. True Theater,” “Perry Mason” and the TV series adaptation of “The Third Man.” She also recurred on “Zorro.”
Medina had divorced Richard Greene in 1951, and she married actor Joseph Cotten in 1960 at a ceremony held at the Beverly Hills home of David O. Selznick and Jennifer Jones. The Cottens subsequently toured in several plays together; Medina made her Broadway debut in 1962 in the mystery play “Calculated Risk,” starring Cotten.
Returning to the bigscreen, the actress had an interesting supporting role as a dominatrix in Robert Aldrich’s controversial 1968 lesbian melodrama “The Killing of Sister George.”
Also during the 1960s she guested on TV series including “Rawhide,” “Have Gun — Will Travel,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
Patricia Paz Maria Medina was born in Liverpool to an English mother and Spanish father. She remained married to Cotten until his death in 1994.
Her memoir “Laid Back in Hollywood” was published in 1998.
There are no immediate survivors.