August 26, 1892|
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Died||September 22, 1937
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lionel T. Kent
(m.1929–1937; her death)
Ruth Roland (August 26, 1892 – September 22, 1937) was an American stage and film actress and film producer.
Early life and career
Born in San Francisco, California, Roland's father managed a theatre and she became a child actress who went on to work in vaudeville. She was hired by director Sidney Olcott who had seen her on stage in New York City. She appeared in her first film for Kalem Studios in 1909 and along with Gene Gauntier was soon billed as a "Kalem Girl". She eventually was sent to Kalem's West Coast studio, where she was the lead actress and overseer of "Kalem House" where all the actors lived. Aged 12, she was the youngest student at Hollywood High School, having attended the school around 1904 or 1905 (there is debate on this date). Roland was Hollywood High School's first homegrown movie star.
Roland left Kalem and went on to even more fame at Balboa Films, where she was under contract from 1914–1917. In 1915 she appeared in a 14-episode adventure film serial titled The Red Circle. A shrewd businessperson, she established her own production company and signed a distribution deal with Pathé to make six new multi-episode serials that proved very successful.
Between 1909 and 1927, Roland appeared in more than 200 films. She appeared in an early color feature film Cupid Angling (1918) made in the Natural Color process invented by Leon F. Douglass, and filmed in the Lake Lagunitas area of Marin County, California.
Roland worked the film business until 1930 when she made her first talkie. Although her voice worked well enough on screen, now entering her forties she returned to performing in live theatre, making only one more film appearance in 1935.
Roland married actor Ben Bard in 1929. Bard also had stage acting in common and ran a Hollywood acting school after they married. They were together until the end of Roland's life.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Ruth Roland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6220 Hollywood Blvd.
The Timber Queen (1922)
- The Scarlet Letter (1908)
- The Cardboard Baby (1909)
- Her Indian Mother (1910)
- He Who Laughs Last (1911)
- Pulque Pete and the Opera Troupe (1912)
- The Raiders from Double L Ranch (1913)
- Gertie Gets the Cash (1914)
- The Pursuit of Pleasure (1915)
- The Red Circle (1915)
- The Sultana (1916)
- The Devil's Bait (1917)
- The Fringe of Society (1917)
- Cupid Angling (1918)
- The Adventures of Ruth (1919)
- Ruth of the Rockies (1920)
- The Avenging Arrow (1921)
- White Eagle (1922)
- The Timber Queen (1922)
- The Haunted Valley (1923)
- Dollar Down (1925)
- The Masked Woman (1927)
- Reno (1930)
- From Nine to Nine (1935)
- Balboa Films – A History and Filmography of the Silent Film Studio ISBN 0-7864-0496-5
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