Don Alvarado (born José Paige, November 4, 1904 – March 31, 1967) was an American actor, assistant director and film production manager.
Life and career
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Alvarado first studied agriculture on his father’s sheep and cattle ranch but ran away from home and went to Los Angeles in 1922, still a teenager, hoping to find acting work in the fledgling silent film industry. He secured work in a sweet factory before getting into the films via work as an extra, his first appearance being in Mademoiselle Midnight. In Los Angeles, he became close friends with the Mexico-born actor, Luis Antonio Dámaso de Alonso, who would later be known as Gilbert Roland.
The struggling young actors shared a place for a time, but Alvarado soon met and fell in love with sixteen-year-old Ann Boyar (1908–1990), the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. They married in 1924. Later that year they had a daughter, actress Joy Page. Jack L. Warner convinced Ann to file for a quick divorce from Alvarado in Mexico in August 1932. She moved in with Warner perhaps as early as September 1933, and married him in 1936. In 1932, Alvarado was briefly engaged to the musical-comedy star Marilyn Miller, but the marriage did not take place.
Alvarado got his first uncredited silent film part in 1924 and, with the studio capitalizing on his “Latin Lover” looks, he was very shortly cast in secondary then leading roles. The advent of talkies all but ended his starring roles but he managed to work regularly, usually cast in secondary Spanish character roles, such as in the 1929 Thornton Wilder adaptation of The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Alvarado appeared on stage in Dinner At Eight at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles in 1933.
In 1939, using the name “Don Page” for screen credit purposes, he began working as an assistant director for Warner Bros. and a few years later as a production manager. In these capacities he was part of the team that made a number of highly successful films including The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause in 1955, and in 1958 his final film work, The Old Man and the Sea.
Alvarado died of cancer in 1967, aged 62, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
For his contributions to the film industry, Alvarado has a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6504 Hollywood Boulevard.