The First Hispanic To Ever Win An Oscar Had His Award Stolen And The Academy Could Care Less
Miguel Ferrer, the son of the first Latino to win an Oscar Jose Ferrer, joins the growing army of distressed Hollywood stars who are fed up with the culturally insensitive actions of the Academy. In 1951, Ferrer Sr. made history when he accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for his work in the 1950 film Cyrano de Bergerac. The achieved thespian and director later donated his Oscar to the University of Puerto Rico.
In 2000, eight years after he passed away of colon cancer, Ferrer’s groundbreaking award was stolen from the university’s theatre during renovations. The shocking story made headlines around the world yet, to this day, Miguel has never seen or touched his father’s prestigious award.
“I never saw the thing, never laid eyes on it. It was not in the house [growing up],” Miguel told The Hollywood Reporter. “I have no idea why he had it there outside of the fact that he had great affection for the island and the people who live there.”
With the help of Benicio del Toro, the NCIS: Los Angeles star was able to speak to local newspapers and offered a cash award for the missing trophy. Ferrer received zero responses and was left to believe that he would have better luck finding it “at the bottom of the ocean.” When he contacted the Academy about replacing the Oscar, they nonchalantly told him “it’s too bad.”
“Their position was, ‘If it’s lost or stolen and the guy’s alive, we replace it,” said Ferrer. “If the guy’s dead, it’s too bad.'”
The Puerto Rican actor didn’t take the news lightly. Ferrer recently denounced the Academy for their dismissive response to his noble plight. During a controversial period when the Oscars have been accused of being whitewashed, Ferrer thinks it’s ironic that his unfortunate situation was not handled with genuine care.
“My dad won an Oscar in 1951 with an un-Anglicized name, the first Hispanic to ever win an Oscar, and the Academy is so intractable to this day,” said Ferrer.
The Academy has yet to respond to Ferrer’s outcry.