In the digital age, it’s no surprise that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. And without a doubt, the most popular search engine is the almighty Google. Chances are that if you conducted an internet search on January 16, you spotted the drawing of a groundbreaking Mexican actress who, against all odds, broke through barriers and paved the way for Latinx actresses in Hollywood.
Google has made it their mission to educate the public on historical figures both well-known and obscure with their popular “Google Doodle,” which features an artistic rendering of those individuals on their homepage. Their choice for Tuesday’s doodle was Katy Jurado, a true trailblazer and Oscar-nominated actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Born on January 16, 1924 as Maria Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado Garcia, Jurado began her career in Mexican cinema. She then managed to make the transition into the mainstream. During this time, Latinx actresses — when they were cast in Hollywood films — were depicted as overly sexualized stereotypes. But Jurado transcended the trope and portrayed complex characters on screen. Her skills earned her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 1952 for her role in High Noon, which starred Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper. She also was honored with an Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in 1954’s Broken Lance, starring Spencer Tracy.
While Jurado died of health complications in 2002 at the age of 58, Google celebrated both her birthday and career with art created by Ana Ramirez. The rendering’s backdrop is inspired by High Noon, while the roses depicted represent Jurado’s birthplace of Guadalajara, Mexico.
A corresponding explanation post from Google reads: “Her talent at depicting a range of characters helped to expand the parts available to Mexican and other Latinx actresses in Hollywood today.”
Another trailblazer was honored with a Google Doodle this week. A drawing paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared on the Google homepage on January 15. Interestingly, the drawing — which depicts a young girl on her father’s shoulders, listening to Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream speech” — was created by a Rochester, NY native. Illustrator Cannaday Chapman, a Fairport High School graduate, was chosen in a collaboration with the Black Googlers Network to create the rendering.
Of his choice to showcase the crowd of listeners, Chapman said, “I was inspired by people. It may appear that this movement or any civil rights movement was brought about by one person, but it’s the people that have the power to bring change,” he explained to the Democrat and Chronicle. “I wanted to make an image about those people.”
These drawings show just how big an impact one person can have on a cultural landscape, and how dedicated the company seems to be to showcasing people of color in a highly accessible way.