Veteran performers talk about their classic roles in old-time westerns.
“THE MEXICAN SPITFIRE”
“I made fifty-two westerns. Not once did I ever get ‘The Good Guy.’”
“It’s crazy! I was better looking than ‘The Rancher’s Daughter.’ My figure – there was no comparison. But no matter how ‘The Good Guy’ felt about me – and standing beside him you knew he was interested – he always wound up with that skinny little ‘Blondie.’ Sometimes, if there was a Mexican sidekick, maybe I end up with him. But it wasn’t the same. He wasn’t the hero. And his horse was much smaller."
“To get the job as ‘Mexican Spitfire’, or like they make me say, ‘Mexican Speetfire’, you had to look very pretty and be able to go ‘ch’ – it comes from the back of your throat – so you could say, ‘Chwhy?’ You’d say, ‘Chwhy you come back?’ Like an idiot. Not ‘Why did you come back?’ Oh, no. That’s not ‘Mexican Speetfire.’ Nobody talks like they want me talk. I go home to my family, they say, “Why do you say ‘Chwhy’?”
“Sometimes, I’d get mad – ooy, do you see how I am identifying? I mean, sometimes my character gets mad because ‘The Good Guy’ prefers that skinny little nothing and not me – I mean, my character – and I’d run quick to the saloon and tell ‘The Bad Guy’ where ‘The Good Guy’ is going to be later so they can kill him. I know that was wrong, but a woman has feelings, you know?
“Anyway, later, I feel bad about that, and at the last second I find ‘The Good Guy’ and I tell you to look out. What happens after that, and I mean every frickin’ time?
“I get shot!”
“I mean, my character, but still. You do the right thing and you get shot? What kind of a lesson is that?”
“I understand why they do that. To get rid of the ‘competition.’ Because, in the end, I know ‘The Good Guy’ would have finally chosen me – I mean, who wouldn’t? – but now he can’t do that because I’m dead.”
“I know the script says it was ‘The Bad Guy’ who got me killed. But in my mind, it was always ‘The Good Girl.’”
“Chwhy did she have to do that?
“And I am joking about the ‘Chwhy.’”