Wednesday, April 4, 2012
From my collection: Bert Hicks
As the Imdb states, Bert Hicks was indeed the father of starlet Dolores Hart who very recently was back in the news as the ”Nun who starred with Elvis.” He was also a brother-in-law of MGM singing sensation Mario Lanza, who had married a sister, Betty. But what about Bert Hicks' own career? Well, the future MGM and 20th Century-Fox contract player was born in 1920 in Chicago, IL, where, according to his mother, Mrs. May Hicks of Evanston, IL, he produced and directed his own plays. Mrs. Hicks, who was a retired drama teacher herself, went on to describe how her son had been discovered by an MGM scout and moved to Los Angeles. One of his first films, according to Mrs. Hicks, was Reunion in France (1942), which starred Joan Crawford. Also according to the old dear, her son then “made some 14 pictures about the adventures of the Cisco Kid.” Well, actually no, unless Bert Hicks had changed his name to Duncan Renaldo.
Bert Hicks married his first wife in 1938 and became the father of future leading lady Dolores Hart. The couple divorced shortly thereafter and Hicks remained single until taking a second wife, Italian-born Liliana, in 1962. He had a son with her and, long retired from the movie business, worked as a salesman. Liliana, however, told reporters that her husband “used to talk quite frequently about his film career and periodically would look through his scrapbooks.” Daughter Dolores famously left Hollywood to take the veil in 1962 and her Bethlehem, CT, order actually prevented her from attending her father's funeral. She did, however, “send a beautiful wooden cross to be placed in her father's hands.” Bert Hicks died of a heart attack in his home in Arleta, CA, January 8, 1965. His was survived by his wife, Liliana, daughter Sister Judith, son Bert, Jr., mother May, father John W. Lynn of Chicago, a brother and three sisters.