José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón (January 8, 1912 – January 26, 1992), best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, theater, and film director. He was the first Puerto Rican actor, as well as the first Hispanic actor, to win an Academy Award (in 1950, for Cyrano de Bergerac).
To honor his roots, he donated his Oscar award to the University of Puerto Rico. The prolific and distinguished thespian also won several Tony Awards. In 1947, he won the Tony Award for his theatrical performance of Cyrano de Bergerac, and then in 1952, he won the Distinguished Dramatic Actor Award for The Shrike, and also the Outstanding Director Award for directing all three of The Shrike, The Fourposter, and Stalag 17.
José Ferrer’s contributions to American theater were recognized in 1981, when he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 1985 he received the National Medal of Arts from Ronald Reagan, becoming the first actor to receive that honor. On April 26, 2012, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp in José Ferrer’s honor in their Distinguished Americans series.