Christine Conniff ~ Ricardo Cortez's Tragic Bride

 Christine Conniff

Christine Conniff was a chorus girl who married actor Ricardo Cortez.

She was born on January 6, 1907 in Danbury, Connecticut. Her father, Andrew Conniff, worked for the Associated Press and her mother was a local politician. Christine was the the third of six children. After graduating from Danbury high school she worked as a bookkeeper. The auburn haired beauty moved to New York City in 1926 and became a model. Then she joined the chorus of the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1931 she married Lester Lee, a wealthy stock broker, and gave up her show business career. Their marriage ended just two years later. She met actor Ricardo Cortez at a 1933 dinner party. They were married on January 6, 1934. The couple purchased a lavish home in Beverly Hills and Christine said she wanted to be a "traditional wife". 

Christine Conniff Ricardo CortezChristine Conniff Ricardo Cortez
With Ricardo Cortez

Unfortunately they had a tumultuous marriage and argued a lot. She filed for divorce in May of 1940 charging Ricardo with "extreme cruelty." In court she testified that he had struck her three times. Christine moved to a small cottage in Laguna Beach. By the Fall of 1941 she had rekindled her relationship with Ricardo and she told friends they were reconciling. On Saturday, September 20, 1941 she fell asleep while smoking a cigarette on her front porch. Her blanket caught on fire and she was badly burned all over her body. Tragically she died on September 21 from her injuries. She was only thirty-four years old. Christine was buried at New Saint Peter Cemetery in Danbury, Connecticut. She left her entire $55,000 estate to her parents.

Christine Conniff Dead