2012 45¢ José Ferrer
Issue Date: April 26, 2012
City: New York, NY
Quantity: 20 million
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Perforations: Die cut 10 ¾ X 11
It seemed that actor José Ferrer (1912-1992) thrived most when playing characters with odd physical conditions. As solider/poet Cyrano de Bergerac, he wore a fake nose several inches long, but played the role with devastating wit. His portrayal on both stage and screen earned him a Tony Award (1947) and an Academy Award (1950) for best actor.
Playing Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge provided a different kind of challenge. Ferrer was nearly a foot taller than the famous painter, whose leg growth had been stunted by a childhood accident. To compensate, Ferrer bent his legs back and strapped them to his body, playing the artist while “walking” on his knees. His dedication gained him another Oscar nomination in 1952.
Another memorable role had Ferrer playing drunken but passionate defense lawyer Lt. Barney Greenwald in the classic film The Caine Mutiny. He also won two more Tony Awards as both actor and director. In 1985, he became the first actor to receive the National Medal of Arts.
Famed for his leading roles, a brief appearance in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia stands out. Although reluctant to play the part at first, Ferrer later called the five-minute role as a cruel Turkish bey (noble) his favorite performance.