A Snapshot of San Antonio During World War II.
Latino/a Entertainers

Raul and Ramiro Cortez used their personal connections with some of Latin America's brightest stars to continue showcasing these popular performers here in the Alamo City during the latter years of the war. The famed ventriloquist Paco Miller made three different trips to San Antonio in 1944. He brought his dummy, Don Roque, and a cast of 80-120 performers, including his wife, the singer La Panchita. Jorge Negrete, Gloria Marín, Pedro Infante and Pedro Armendariz also came to San Antonio in the mid-forties. In 1945, Pedro Infante, later remembered as one of Mexico's greatest movie actors, visited servicemen at Brooke General Hospital, followed by an appearance at Municipal Auditorium.

About this Image:
1) Paco Miller returned to San Antonio several times during the late 40s. He also starred in a color production of Canto a las Americas, which played at the Nacional in March of 1944. In this signed photograph, he can be seen posing with his ventriloquist's dummy, Don Roque.

2) Pictured left to right: Paco Miller, P.L. Anderson, La Panchita, and Fernando de la Garza. "La Panchita" was the stage name for María de los Ángeles Muñóz Rodríguez, Paco Miller's wife. All the men, except for Miller, sport colorful serapes, while La Panchita wears a dress decorated with embroidered flowers on the bodice and sequined, Aztec-inspired figures on the skirt.

3) The Paco Miller Show Band with an enlarged image of composer Tata Nacho looming over them in the background. Ignacio Fernandez Esperón's stage name of "Tata Nacho" came from the childhood nickname he acquired growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico.

4) Three pachucos from Paco Miller's show, playing instruments and dancing on stage at Municipal Auditorium.

5) The Paco Miller Show Band backing singer La Panchita, standing to the left of the microphone, and Tata Nacho, standing on the far right with outstretched hand. Notice the elaborate costumes and ornate backdrop.

6) Close-up of the Paco Miller Vaudeville Show cast posing outside Municipal Auditorium. P.L. Anderson, wearing a dark suit, stands in the center next to Paco Miller, who holds his dummy, Don Roque.

To Learn More:
Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation.
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