Rod La Rocque
(11/29/1896 - 10/15/1969)

He was born Rodrique la Rocque de la Rour in Chicago, Illinois of French and Irish descent.

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. He eventually ended up at the Essanay Studios in Chicago where he found steady work until the studios closed. He then moved to New York City and worked on the stage until he was noticed by Samuel Goldwyn who took him to Hollywood.

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).

Over the next two decades, he appeared in films and made the transition to sound films with ease.

In 1927, he married Hungarian actress Vilma Bánky in a lavish and highly publicized wedding. They were married until his death in 1969, and seemed to have a loving compatible relationship.

La Rocque retired from movies in 1941 and became a real estate broker.

He and his wife created an educational foundation for children called The Banky La Rocque Foundation.

For his contribution to the film industry, La Rocque was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Available Films

Code of the Sea (1924)

Braveheart (1925)

The Cruise of the Jasper B (1926)

The Fighting Eagle (1927)

Stand and Deliver (1928)

The Drag Net (1936)