FULLER UP
HOME
GRIM REAPER
PAGE
CAUSES OF
DEATH
SEARCH BY
NAME
GET IN
TOUCH
SHAMEFUL DISCLAIMER
 
 Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory 
 
Charles "Buddy" Rogers
Buddy Rogers
 April 21, 1999
Age 94
OBITUARY 
BIOGRAPHY  
LINKS
Item added to site thanks to: Lars Westin
I don't know if this is anything for the [directory], but Rogers was, in fact, a well-known big band leader of the 1930s, recording for Vicor (1932, Buddy Rogers and His California Cavaliers) and Vocalion (1938, Buddy Rogers and His Famous Swing Band), the later recordings featuring star-to-be Joe Mooney on piano and accordeon. ~Lars Westin

 
 
 

OBITUARY 
        
       
  News Unlimited
                                                    America's boyfriend took Wings  

                                                    By Ronald Bergan  
                                                    Friday April 23, 1999  
 

                                                    The exceptionally long screen kiss in My 
                                                    Best Girl (1927) between the young hero 
                                                    and heroine could be attributed to the fact 
                                                    that they were falling for each other in fact 
                                                    as well as fiction. She was Mary Pickford, 
                                                    America's sweetheart and one of the 
                                                    highest paid movie stars in the world; he 
                                                    was the boyish, 22-year-old Charles 
                                                    'Buddy' Rogers, making only his third film. 
                                                    Rogers, who has died aged 94, had a 
                                                    crush on Mary, and she was flattered by 
                                                    the attentions of a man 11 years her 
                                                    junior. The problem was that Pickford was 
                                                    already married to Douglas Fairbanks.  

                                                    The pathologically jealous Fairbanks 
                                                    turned up on the set of My Best Girl one 
                                                    day, but left abruptly, later admitting that, 
                                                    'It's more than jealousy. I suddenly felt 
                                                    afraid.' In this case his fears were justified, 
                                                    although it was 10 years before Mary and 
                                                    Buddy were to marry. 'Buddy was as 
                                                    straight and as square as they come,' 
                                                    said a classmate of his at the University of 
                                                    Kansas. 'Falling in love with a married 
                                                    woman was the only unlikely thing he ever 
                                                    did.' 

                                                    Rogers, the son of a Kansas judge and a 
                                                    Sunday-school teacher, wanted to be a 
                                                    musician and had a five-piece jazz band at 
                                                    college. He was picked to enter 
                                                    Paramount's School for Stars after a friend 
                                                    sent his picture to the studio. Of his 
                                                    screen debut, in Fascinating Youth 
                                                    (1926), one critic wrote: 'He is young and 
                                                    appealingly handsome, has crisp black 
                                                    curly hair, brown eyes, and a soft, kind 
                                                    expression.' 

                                                    Rogers soon became known as 'America's 
                                                    boyfriend', representing youthful high 
                                                    spirits in a string of movies set on fictional 
                                                    college campuses, where he pursued - or 
                                                    was pursued by - student flappers. He and 
                                                    Nancy Carroll co-starred in five features, 
                                                    the first being Abie's Irish Rose (1928), 
                                                    adapted from the long-running ethnic 
                                                    stage comedy. The popular duo moved 
                                                    effortlessly into talkies, as both Carroll 
                                                    and Rogers had pleasing singing voices. 
                                                    For their last pairing they appeared, as a 
                                                    golf pro's daughter and her golf instructor, 
                                                    in Follow Thru (1930), a musical in 
                                                    two-tone technicolor. 

                                                    Rogers's most prestigious film, his 
                                                    favourite, and the best he made, was 
                                                    William Wellman's first world war drama, 
                                                    Wings (1927), the first movie ever to win 
                                                    an Oscar as best picture. All the 
                                                    spectacular aerial sequences were shot 
                                                    without faking. This was done by mounting 
                                                    cameras on the front of the planes, the 
                                                    actors going aloft with a pilot who would 
                                                    duck down as the stars struck the right 
                                                    heroic attitudes. The tale told of the rivalry 
                                                    between two airmen pals - naive Rogers 
                                                    and rugged Richard Arlen - for the 
                                                    affections of Clara Bow. For the scene 
                                                    when the boys are on leave in a Paris 
                                                    cafe, Wellman got Rogers drunk before 
                                                    calling, 'Action'. 

                                                    He played an aviator again for Wellman in 
                                                    Young Eagles (I930), in which he falls for 
                                                    a spy played by Jean Arthur. However, 
                                                    most of Rogers's films of the 1930s were 
                                                    musicals. In Safety In Numbers, he 
                                                    crooned no less than six songs, including 
                                                    the delightful ballad My Future Just 
                                                    Passed. 

                                                    Previously, Rogers had been one of the 
                                                    young bachelors summoned to Pickfair, 
                                                    the famous Hollywood home of Doug and 
                                                    Mary, as extra men. Invitations ceased 
                                                    around 1931 when it became public 
                                                    knowledge that he was in love with his 
                                                    hostess. 

                                                    When the Fairbanks' divorce was final in 
                                                    January 1936, and Douglas married Lady 
                                                    Sylvia Ashley a few months later, Mary 
                                                    and Buddy began to see more of each 
                                                    other. 'The attentions of such an attractive 
                                                    young man were naturally a wonderful help 
                                                    during those years of loneliness that 
                                                    followed the final break with Douglas,' 
                                                    Pickford confided to a friend. 'He gave me 
                                                    back my desire to live.' Some of their 
                                                    circle remarked on the uncanny 
                                                    resemblance between Rogers and 
                                                    Charlotte Pickford, Mary's beloved mother. 

                                                    Mary and Buddy were married in June 
                                                    1937 and settled at Pickfair. While Mary, 
                                                    having retired from acting, was active as 
                                                    vice-president of United Artists (the studio 
                                                    she helped found) and busy running the 
                                                    Mary Pickford Cosmetics Company, he 
                                                    toured with his own dance band, the 
                                                    California Cavaliers, which included singer 
                                                    Mary Martin and drummer Gene Krupa. 
                                                    His wife went with him when he played 
                                                    engagements in major cities, and it was in 
                                                    Chicago in 1939 that Mary heard the news 
                                                    of Fairbanks's death at the age of 56. 'My 
                                                    darling has gone,' she told Buddy, who 
                                                    discreetly left her alone to weep. 

                                                    In 1941 Rogers returned to films, mainly 
                                                    playing the long-suffering husband of 
                                                    tempestuous Lupe Velez in three of the 
                                                    Mexican Spitfire series, before joining the 
                                                    naval air corps as a lieutenant in the 
                                                    second world war. 

                                                    Over the years, the relaxed and genial 
                                                    Rogers was a loving father to their two 
                                                    adopted children, Roxanne and Ronald, 
                                                    and tolerant husband to Pickford, who was 
                                                    increasingly hitting the bottle. In 1981, two 
                                                    years after Mary's death, Rogers married 
                                                    real-estate agent Beverly Ricondo (who 
                                                    survives him), and settled in Palm 
                                                    Springs. As head of the Mary Pickford 
                                                    Foundation, a charitable organisation, he 
                                                    became a leading philanthropist. He got 
                                                    Mary Pickford's films preserved in the 
                                                    Library of Congress, and did everything he 
                                                    could to keep her memory alive 

                                                    Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, screen actor, 
                                                    born August 13, 1904; died April 21, 1999  
 

 
 
 
       
 

OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
 
 
 
 
 

 
BIOGRAPHY
 
 
 
 
  
 
 

OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
 
 
 
 

 LINKS
  
 
All Music Guide 
 
 
 
 

OBITUARY
BIOGRAPHY
LINKS TOP
 
 
 
  
 
FULLER UP
HOME
GRIM REAPER
PAGE
CAUSES OF
DEATH
SEARCH BY
NAME
GET IN
TOUCH
SHAMEFUL DISCLAIMER
 
 
 
TOP