Rod la Rocque

1898 - 1969

The actor Rod la Rocque was early interested in the theater, he preferred to stay near the stage door than to go to school. During summer holidays he snoop stage air for the first time when he appeared at a stock company - the salary: one dollar per appearance.

The young Rod la Rocque decided in 1914 to earn extra money at the Triangle studio and got a first small role in the movie "The Showman". He was enthusiastic about the work and the salary ($3.25 per day) and Rod la Rocque made a decision to work regularly for the film business.

In the following years he could play many small roles for Essanay, among them "The Alster Case" (15), "Sundaying in Fairview" (17), "The Fable of the Film Fed Family" (17), "The Dream Doll" (17), "The Fable of the Back-Trackers from the Hot Sidewalks" (17) and "Uneasy Money" (18). 

When Essanay shut down the production, Rod la Rocque went to New York where he scoured all film studios in the environs for a job. After an engagement for the movie "Let's Get A Divorce" (18) he could took part in three movies of Samuel Goldwyn - "The Venus Model" (18), "A Perfect 36" (18) and "A Perfect Lady" (18).

In the next years Rod la Rocque worked as a freelancer for the cinema as well as for the theater. Between 1919 and 1922 he appeared in movies like "The Trap" (19), "Easy to Get" (20), "The Stolen Kiss" (20), "Paying the Piper" (21), "What's Wrong With Women?" (22), "Notoriety" (22) and "The Challenge" (22).

Because of his part in "Jazzmania" (23) director Cecil B. DeMille became aware of him. He offered him a role in the movie "The Ten Commandments" (23) and with this movie Rod la Rocque became a star.

Cecil B. DeMille was an important part in Rod la Rocque's live in several respect. Rod acted besides other directors for DeMille time and again. When he was invited for a dinner party by DeMille he met the actress Vilma Banky he got married in 1927. They lived together till his death.

The second half of the 20's offered Rod la Rocque still great and successful parts. He appeared in the movies "Code of the Sea" (24), "A Society Scandal" (24), "Feet of Clay" (24), "Night Life of New York" (25), "Braveheart" (25), "Gigolo" (26), "The Fighting Eagle" (27) and "Hold 'Em Yale" (28).

When DeMille went to M-G-M, their professional way parted.Rod la Rocque worked again as a freelancer for different studios and could continue his career in the 30's, even when not with the same success as in the silent movie era. He appeared among others in "The One Woman Idea" (29), "Our Modern Maidens" (29), "The Man and the Moment" (29), "Let Us Be Gay" (30) and "One Romantic Night" (30).

The couple Rocque/Banky travelled to Germany in 1933. Vilma Banky appeared in the movie "Der Rebell" (33) directed by Luis Trenker and afterwards retired from the film business.
Rod la Rocque used the stay in Germany to play with Leni Riefenstahl in the movie "S.O.S. Eisberg" (33).

Rod la Rocque continued his film career in the USA with few movies, among others you could see him in the movies "Mystery Woman" (35), "Preview Murder Mystery" (36), "Till We Meet Again" (36), "The Shadow Strikes" (37), "The Hunchbak of Notre Dame" (39), "Beyond Tomorrow" (40) and "Meet John Doe" (41). 

Other movies with Rod la Rocque:
Filling His Own Shoes (17) Efficiency Edgar's Courtship (17) The Fable of the Wandering Boy and the Wayward Parents (17) Sadie Goes to Heaven (17) The Fable of the Twelve-Cylinder Speed of the Leisure Class (17) The Fable of What Transpires After the Wind-Up (17) The Fable of the Speedy Sprite (17) The Fable of All That Triangle Stuff As Sized Up by the Meal Ticket (17) The Fable of the Girl Who Took Notes and Got Wise and Then Fell Down (17) The Fable of the Uplifter and His Dandy Little Opus (17) Hidden Fires (18) Ruggles of Red Gap (18) Money Mad (18) Hidden Fires (18) Love and the Woman (19) Miss Crusoe (19) A Philistine in Bohemia (20) Thimble, Thimble (20) Life (20) The Garter Girl (20) The Common Sin (20) Suspicious Wives (21) A Woman's Woman (22) Slim Shoulders (22) The French Doll (23) Don't Call It Love (24) Triumph (24) Phantom Justice (24) Forbidden Paradise (24) The Golden Bed (25) The Coming of Amos (25) Wild, Wild Susan (25) Bachelor Brides (26) Red Dice (26) The Cruise of the Jasper B (26) Resurrection (27) Stand or Deliver (28) Captain Swagger (28) Love Over Night (28) The Delightful Rogue (29) The Locked Door (29) Beau Bandit (30) Frisco Waterfront (35) Taming the Wild (36) Hi Gaucho (36) The Drag-Net (36) Clothes and the Woman (37) International Crime (38) Dr. Christian Meets the Women (40) Beyond Tomorrow (40) Dark Streets of Cairo (41)