Thursday, July 13, 2017

Louis Serrano, a Brazilian journalist in Hollywood

Louis Serrano with Sarita Montiel in Hollywood in 1955.
'20 years in Hollywood' written by Zenaide Andrea for Cinelândia, July 1957.
George Stevens, Elizabeth Maria Meyer & her husband Louis Serrano at the première of 'Giant' in Los Angeles - October 1956.

Louis Serrano was sent by his father Jonathas to study in Montreal, Canada in preparation for him to become a teacher like himself had been all his life. That was in the early 1940s. Louis didn't like the severity of the Canadian winter and somehow managed to transfer his course to a university in San Francisco where he graduated and even taught Brazilian literature for some time. 

Soon, Serrano moved down to Southern California though. Poet journalist Raul Bopp (born in Vila Pinhal-RS - 1898-1984) who was a Serrano's twice removed cousin was the Brazilian consul in Los Angeles since 1942 and advised him to stick around there. 

When the USA entered World War II, foreign students were mobilized by the Coordinator Office and Serrano was offered a role in the production of a series of radio shows originating in the West Coast called 'Hollywood fala para o Brasil' to be broadcast by the Voice of America.  

Later on, Serrano met Elizabeth Maria Meyer, a Brazilian actress who was in Hollywood trying for a part in a Melvin Le Roy movie. Louis says he knew she was a special person when he first laid eyes on her. She was doing a routine with another Brazilian girl in which they tried to imitate a malandro's gait - a roughneck's swing. Louis dissuaded her to let go of a career in the movie industry and soon they were married. 

Louis & Elizabeth got married in 1946, and had 2 boys, Frederich aka Rick and Louis, born on his father's birthday plus a girl called Patricia, born in 1954. Elizabeth Maria works as a journalist too but in the fashion section. 

Bing Crosby & Louis Serrano. 
with Frank Sinatra at the Capitol studios in Hollywood, California. 
dressed to kill with Jayne Mansfield; Miyoshi Umeki when she won her Academy Award for 'Sayonara' in 1955.
with Karl Malden... don't leave home without it...
having a cuppa with John Wayne... 
George Nader, Martha Hyer & Serrano at the Ambassador Hotel's Coconut Grove.
recording an interview with James Dean...
with Robert Wagner & Natalie Wood the hottest couple in Hollywood in 1956; Tab Hunter.
James Dean still wearing his red wind-breaker & Tab Hunter in 1955. 
Louis Serrano kept abreast with the new-trends in Hollywood too, as heart-throb Tab Hunter.
Louis did his best to explain Elvis Presley & rock'n'roll but he couldn't grasp the whole thing.
Louis Serrano followed the US Hit Parade and reported at Cinelândia; he saw the introduction of rock'n'roll in the American mainstream.
everything happened in California then... here's the 1958 Miss Universe Pageant.
Miss Universe 1959 in Long Beach, California. 
1959 Miss Universe Pageant with Vera Ribeiro Miss Brazil 1959.
Louis Serrano spent some time in Rio de Janeiro as of May 1957, when he started a daily show at 6:55 PM on Radio Globo where he talked about ...'Show Business' of course. 
Serrano was a technical adviser at MGM in 'Latin lovers' (Meu amor brasileiro) in 1953;  with Bing Crosby at the set of 'White Christmas' in 1954.
Louis was right there on 24 July 1954, when Martha Rocha was the runner up for Miss Universe 1954.
Louis followed it up with Martha Rocha after the most embarrassing injustice done ever at a beauty contest. 
Serrano interviewed James Dean just a few weeks before he smashed his car on 30 September 1955; pays a visit to up-and-coming John Gavin.
never missed a beat... the Golden Globe always came before the Oscars... 
never missed an Academy Award gala... 'Gigi' won 8 Oscars in 1958; Susan Hayward & David Niven were the best actress & actor for 'I want to live' & 'Separate tables'.
RKO Pantages on its glory night on 6 April 1959.
Hollywood wasn't sure what to do with Sara Montiel; they didn't know how to handle Suzy Parker either. 
Zenaide Andrea wrote this article for Cinelândia about Louis Serrano's life - May 1957.
Serrano had a huge portable recording-machine; right with Shelley Winters who seemed really engrossed with the conversation. 
with great Olivia De Havilland. 
Serrano talks with Rhonda Fleming. 
Serrano with Ricardo Montalban on set of 'Latin Lovers'. 
Serrano flies back to Hollywood in 1957, being feted by Adalgisa Colombo who would become Miss Brazil 1958 and the runner-up to Miss Universe 1958. 
at one time Louis Serrano had his post address at Hollywood Radio & TV Institute.
then Louis moved to 15,468 El Cajon Street in San Fernando Valley. 
this is the only photo I've got in which Louis Serrano is on the side of Carmen Miranda... besides Kim Novak. 
this tops it all off... gorgeous Martha Rocha & Louis Serrano in California, June 1954. 

'A Noite', 9 January 1957.

Ribeiro Fernandes was given a position as Hollywood correspondent to Rio de Janeiro's daily 'A Noite'. He flew to Los Angeles and was welcomed by 'O Globo's counterpart Louis Serrano who showed him the ropes about the new place. Serrano introduced Ribeiro to Ely Levy, Columbia Pictures' advertising man  who conversed with him in Portuguese as Mr Fernandes was not yet fluent in English yet. 

Fernandes sent his first report from Hollywood to 'A Noite' and here are some of the things he noticed about living in a new country, especially when that country is the U.S.A. 

After a splendid flight from Rio we arrived in Los Angeles, the land of movie stars, myself, my wife and 3 children. We found Louis Serrano, O Globo's correspondent in Hollywood waiting for us. He received us with open arms and the warmth he dispenses to Brazilians who land here. 

Serrano went to the extent of getting myself an interview with Glenn Ford that will appear at the pages of  'A Noite' soon. 

Following directions from Louis Serrano I rented a flat in a motel with a garage attached to it next to one of those highways that criss-cross Los Angeles. The flat is made up of a carpeted bedroom doubling as a sitting room; a kitchen provided with cupboards for dish & silverware; a stove with an oven and a refrigerator; way over on the other side a toilet and a boxed-shower. Everything for $4 dollars a week

After being settled in the flat with the missus and 3 kids we went out to a Ford dealer and I bought myself a convertible automobile for $3,300; a $400-dollar down-payment and the rest paid at the rate of $80 dollars monthly. Now I had the means of transportation essential for those who live in the L.A. area where one cannot depend of public transport.

Getting fed in the US is as easy as the ABC. There are supermarkets everywhere. There is even a small business next to the motel where we live.  Every kind of food one fancies can be found in cans. Bread comes in many shapes & forms and it is already sliced. Cheese can also be bought sliced already. There are 6 different brands of milk, skim-milk, butter-milk etc. The dairy outlet that sells us milk also provides bottled orange juice and chocolate with labels stating its provenance and quality. Everything is organized as to serve best the consummer according to the laws of the country. 

'A Noite', 9 January 1957.

'A Noite', 10 January 1957. 

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