~Rod La Rocque~

Born: November 20, 1898 in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: October 15, 1969 in Beverly Hills, California, USA
Though it sounded like a Hollywood fabrication, Rod LaRocque was that particular American actor's
real name. Stagestruck from childhood, LaRocque did his first stage work at age 9 with Willard
Mack's Chicago stock company; the pay was a munificent one dollar per show. During a lull in stock
company activity when he was 16, LaRocque entered vaudeville with a dramatic sketch, then broke
into films as an extra when director E. H. Calvert was filming The Snowman at Chicago's Essanay
Studios. When Essanay folded, LaRocque went to Fort Lee, New Jersey, where in the pre-1920 days
films were still being made. After working briefly for Sam Goldwyn in Fort Lee and spending some
time as a circus performer, LaRocque finally made it to Hollywood, where his prior experience and
matinee-idol looks won him a contract with Cecil B. DeMille. The one silent DeMille picture that gets
the most circulation today is The Ten Commandments (1923), which was divided into Biblical and
modern scenes; LaRocque was in the latter, playing the weak-willed brother of Richard Dix and
ultimately killing himself after contracting leprosy. When DeMille set up his own independent studio
in the mid '20s, LaRocque became a stalwart of the operation, building up his box-office pull in such
popular films as The Coming of Amos (1926) and Strong Heart (1927). In 1927, LaRocque fell in love
with Vilma Banky, the lovely Hungarian star best remembered for her appearances in Rudolph
Valentino's final films. They were married in a private ceremony, which infuriated Banky's boss Sam
Goldwyn, who wanted to throw a big bash for his two favorite actors. To pacify Goldwyn, Rod and
Vilma were married again in a royally lavish ceremony that lacked only one element: it was to have
been a double wedding, but the other bride, Greta Garbo, failed to show up to marry her betrothed
John Gilbert. LaRocque made an acceptable transition to sound, but Vilma Banky's thick Hungarian
accent proved difficult to record; but by this time she was through with films (except for a few
European productions), preferring to be Mrs. Rod LaRocque, period. By the late '30s, Rod
LaRocque's career had waned, though he was seen to good advantage in character roles in such films
as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and Meet John Doe (1940), but by the early '40s both
LaRocque and his wife were too busily socially -- and too rich from real estate investments -- to care
about the transience of fame.

Biography by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
~Silent Filmography~
Our Modern Maidens (1929) .... Glenn Abbott aka 'Dynamite'  
Love Over Night (1928) .... Richard Hill
Captain Swagger (1928) .... Captain Swagger / Hugh Drummond
Hold 'Em Yale (1928) .... Jaime Emmanuel Alvarado Montez
... aka At Yale
Stand and Deliver (1928) .... Roger Norman
The Fighting Eagle (1927) .... Etienne Gerard
Resurrection (1927) .... Prince Dimitry Ivanitch Nekhludov
The Cruise of the Jasper B (1926) .... Jerry Cleggett
Gigolo (1926) .... Gideon Gory
Bachelor Brides (1926) .... Percy Ashfield, Earl of Duncraggan
Red Dice (1926) .... Alan Beckwith
Braveheart (1925) .... Braveheart
The Coming of Amos (1925) .... Amos Burden
Wild, Wild Susan (1925) .... Tod Waterbury
Night Life of New York (1925) .... Ronald Bentley
The Golden Bed (1925) .... Admah Holtz
Forbidden Paradise (1924) .... Capt. Alexei Czerny
Feet of Clay (1924) .... Kerry Harlan
Code of the Sea (1924) .... Bruce McDow
Triumph (1924) .... King Garnet  ... Movie Still Code: 639-X
A Society Scandal (1924) .... Daniel Farr
Phantom Justice (1924) .... Kingsley
Don't Call It Love (1923) .... Patrick Delaney
The Ten Commandments (1923) .... Dan McTavish, her son
The French Doll (1923) .... Pedro Carrova
Jazzmania (1923) .... Jerry Langdon
The Challenge (1922/II) .... Stanley Roberts
Notoriety (1922) .... Arthur Beal
A Woman's Woman (1922) .... Dean Laddbarry
What's Wrong with the Women? (1922) .... Jack Lee
Slim Shoulders (1922) .... Richard Langden
Suspicious Wives (1921) .... Bob Standing
Paying the Piper (1921) .... Larry Grahame
Life (1920/I) .... Tom Burnett
The Common Sin (1920) .... Hugh Stanton
... aka For Your Daughter's Sake (USA: reissue title)
The Garter Girl (1920) .... Arthur Lyle
Thimble, Thimble (1920)
The Stolen Kiss (1920) (as Rodney La Rocque) .... Dudley Hamilt
Easy to Get (1920) (as Rodney LaRocque) .... Dick Elliott
A Philistine in Bohemia (1920)
The Discarded Woman (1920)

Miss Crusoe (1919) .... Harold Vance
The Trap (1919/I) .... Blackmailer
... aka A Woman's Law (UK)
Love and the Woman (1919) .... Walter Pemberton
A Perfect Lady (1918) (as Bob La Rock) .... Bob Griswold
A Perfect 36 (1918) .... O.P. Dildock
Hidden Fires (1918) .... George Landis
Money Mad (1918) .... William Gavin Jr.
The Venus Model (1918) .... Paul Braddock
Let's Get a Divorce (1918) .... Chauffeur
Ruggles of Red Gap (1918) .... Belknap Jackson
Uneasy Money (1918) .... Johnny Gates
Sadie Goes to Heaven (1917) .... Coal Heaver
The Dream Doll (1917) .... Her Sweetheart
The Fable of the Uplifter and His Dandy Little Opus (1917)
The Fable of the Back-Trackers from the Hot Sidewalks (1917)
The Fable of the Girl Who Took Notes and Got Wise and Then Fell Down (1917)
The Fable of the Film Fed Family (1917)
The Fable of All That Triangle Stuff As Sized Up by the Meal Ticket (1917) .... Joe Pilkins
The Fable of the Speedy Sprite (1917) (as Rodney La Rocque)
The Fable of What the Best People Are Not Doing (1917)
The Fable of What Transpires After the Wind-Up (1917) (as Rodney La Rocque)
The Fable of the Twelve-Cylinder Speed of the Leisure Class (1917) (as Rodney La Rocque)
The Fable of the Wandering Boy and the Wayward Parents (1917) (as Rodney La Rocque)
Efficiency Edgar's Courtship (1917) (as Rodney La Rock) .... Wimple
The Long Green Trail (1917) (as Rodney La Rock)
A Corner in Smiths (1917) (as Rodney La Rock)
Would You Believe It? (1917) (as Rodney La Rock)
Mr. Pringle and Success (1917) (as Rodney La Rock)
Much Obliged (1917) (as Rodney La Rocque)
The Rainbow Box (1917) (as Rodney La Rock)
Filling His Own Shoes (1917) (as Roderick La Rock) .... Dick Downing
Sundaying in Fairview (1917) (as Rodney LaRocque)
The Face in the Mirror (1916) (as Roderick La Rocque)
The War Bride of Plumville (1916)
Vernon, the Bountiful (1916) (as Rodney La Rock)
The Lightbearer (1916) (as Roderick La Rocque) .... Reverend John Stiles
The Intruder (1916) (as Richard La Rocque)
Destiny (1916)
The Alster Case (1915) (as Roderick LaRocque) .... Allen Longstreet
The Showman (1914)