Brian Roper (actor)
|Born||Brian T. Roper
19 August 1929
Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
|Died||14 May 1994
Real estate businessman
|Years active||c. 1936 – 1960|
|Spouse(s)||Barbara L. Eaton (1967-1972) Michelle Bisserier (1974-1994) (his death)|
Roper played youthful parts during his career due to his young physique, which included his appearance as the animal-loving young boy "Dickon" with a pet fox in The Secret Garden (1949), starring Margaret O'Brien. The Secret Garden was prepared for MGM's 25th anniversary as a film studio and was heavily promoted in 1949–50. Newspapers at the time claimed his age as 14. He appeared this age but was actually five years older. Roper was noted for his reddish hair and some freckles.
Born in Doncaster, Roper left England on 5 October 1948 when he was 19 years old after his selection for The Secret Garden from more than 100 boys who were tested during a six-month search. Work on the film began on 4 October 1948 and was completed in late November. He later lived in both Britain and California, depending on the location of his acting work, and acted for 24 years.
Following his acting career he went briefly into the film industry agency business. Roper married Barbara L. Eaton (aka Barbara L. Stafsudd), in Los Angeles when he was 38 years old, on 30 December 1967. His wife was 13 years younger. Shortly after this marriage, Roper established the Roper School of Real Estate in 1968 in Hayward, California and served as its lecturer and instructor. He would go on to train new salespeople while serving as director of sales training for Red Carpet Realtors in Northern California.
|Before and around 1936||various||Britain|
|Theatre (Stage Plays)|
|1936||The Boy David||David||London||Played title role in this biblical play, created for actress Elisabeth Bergner by J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan; The Boy David was Barrie's last play.|
|1949||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Puck||Britain|
|1947||Just William's Luck||Ginger|
|1948||William Comes To Town||Ginger||U.S. title: William at the Circus.|
|1948||The Boy with Green Hair||Background boy.||Uncredited.|
|1949||The Secret Garden||Dickon|
|1950||The Miniver Story||Richard||Uncredited.|
|1950||Maria Chapdelaine||Tit-Be Chapdelaine||French title: Maria Chapdelaine; U.S. title: The Naked Heart.|
|1952||Time Gentlemen, Please!||Cyril||Aka Nothing to Lose.|
|1953||The Girl on the Pier||Ronnie Hall|
|1954||The Rainbow Jacket||Ron Saunders|
|1955||The Blue Peter||Tony Mullins||U.S. title: Navy Heroes (1957).|
|1958||Hong Kong Confidential||Dennis Brooks||Spy film.|
|1960||The Lost World||Zoological Institute [British] – forum participant||Uncredited.|
|1951||Kaleidoscope||Boy page||TV serial of 6 episodes that aired 1951–1952. Roper appeared in 1 episode:
|1952||The Secret Garden (TV series 1952)||Dickon||TV serial of 8 episodes using the Alice de Grey adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel (weekly on Tuesdays – first air dates: 29 April 1952 to 17 June 1952). Roper appeared in 4 episodes:
|1956||ITV Television Playhouse||Gormy Evans||TV serial that aired for 9 seasons, 1955–64. Roper appeared in 1 episode:
|1955–1956||Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School||Bob Cherry||TV serial that aired for 7 seasons, 1952–61. Based on character Billy Bunter at Greyfriars School. Roper appeared in 8 episodes:
|1957||The Adventures of Sir Lancelot||Alan (4th year squire to King Rolf's son Prince Damien)||TV serial of 30 episodes that aired for 1 season, 1956–57. Roper appeared at the beginning of 1 episode:
|1958||Studio 57||TV serial that aired for 4 seasons, 1954–1958. U.S. title: Heinz Studio 57. [See Heinz 57]. Roper appeared in 1 episode:
|1960||Adventures in Paradise||Potter||TV serial that aired for 3 seasons, 1959–62. Roper appeared in 1 episode:
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Result||Category||Film or series||Notes|
|1961||Golden Laurel Award[note 3]||Nominated||Top Action Drama – 5th place||The Lost World (1960)||Award honors film (all persons involved).|
|Member||National Association of Boys’ Clubs (United Kingdom)||youth|
|Member||Screen Actors Guild (SAG)||adult|
- "Brian T. Roper" appears in the England and Wales Birth Index. It appears as such on the passenger manifest for an airline flight. The middle initial "T" appears on the Marriage Index reference and also appears in his name in his Modesto Bee advertisement reference, and again in the SSDI entry. All other references use the name without the middle initial.
- Roper is a common surname around this time period in this area of Great Britain, including on the very same England and Wales register. One should note the typed transcription of his age as "19", which agrees with the Birth Index, on the airflight manifest reference. Birth date in Holmstrom (1998) was erroneously listed as 9 August 1933, the day with a typographical error and the year based on the age of 14 which appeared in the press at his time of flying over to the United States. The Ragan (1992) birth date is listed in error as 19 August 1933, having picked up the year from the Holmstrom (1998) reference.
- Later renamed Producers Guild of America Award, or PGA Award.
- England and Wales – Civil Registration Indexes: Birth Index, "Births Registered in July, August and September, 1929", p. 108, General Register Office, London, United Kingdom.
- Holmstrom (1998), p. 184, column 2.
- U.S. Social Security Administration, U.S. Social Security Death Index Master File (SSDI), Washington, D.C.
- Ragan (1992), 2nd Edition, vol. 2.; no listing in 1st Edition (1976).
- Chronicle-Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, 12 October 1972, Thursday, p. B-4, advertisement, column 1 (left).
- Brigham, Ruth, New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania, "Brian Excited" in "Around Hollywood", 6 October 1948, p. 17, column 2, bottom.
- Johnson, Erskine. Kingsport Times, Kingsport, Tennessee, "In Hollywood", paragraphs 3–4, 24 January 1949, p. 4, column 3. Roper's age is noted as 15.
- Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897–1957, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. National Archives, Washington, D.C., microfilm roll T715-7663 [roll 7,663 of 8,892 rolls], Air Passenger Manifest – p. 172 (sheet 2 of 2).
- Brian Roper profile at IMDb.
- San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California, 10 November 1948, p. 20, columns 2–3.
- Holmstrom (1998), p. 184, column 3.
- California Department of Health Services, Center For Health Statistics, California Marriage Index 1960–1985, Sacramento, California, microfiche (of computer printout), p. 7077, line 12 – Roper/Eaton; p. 24263, line 7 – Roper/Stafsudd.
- The Modesto Bee, Advertisement, 30 June 1968, p. A-11, lower left corner.
- Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 13 May 1973, Sunday, p. 11-C, picture of Roper in extreme upper left corner entitled "Training Director".
- Hopper, Hedda. Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, "Looking At Hollywood", January 15, 1949, p. 9.
- Holmstrom (1998); and/or the Internet Movie Database, unless otherwise noted.
- Zambrana (2002), p. 23.
- Holmstrom (1998).
- Holmstrom, John (1998), The Moving Picture Boy – An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, 2nd Revised Edition, Michael Russell (Publishing) Ltd., Wilby Hall, Wilby, Norwich, England, Great Britain; ISBN 0-85955-178-4 (ISBN 978-0-85955-178-6), hardcover. 1st Edition 1996.
- Ragan, David (1992), Who's Who in Hollywood – The Largest Cast of International Film Personalities Ever Assembled, 2nd Revised Edition, Facts on File (publisher), New York, New York, USA, 2 volumes (vol. 1 A-L, vol. 2 M-Z) (1,920 pp.); ISBN 0-8160-2011-6 (ISBN 978-0-8160-2011-9), hardcover. 1st Edition: Who's Who in Hollywood – 1900–1976, Arlington House (publisher), 1 volume (864 pp.), 1976; ISBN 0-87000-349-6 (ISBN 978-0870003493), hardcover; Crown Publishing, 1977; ISBN 0-517-54822-4 (ISBN 978-0517548226), hardcover.
- Zambrana, M. L. (2002), Nature Boy: The Unauthorized Biography of Dean Stockwell, iUniverse (publisher), 130 pp.; ISBN 0-595-21829-6 (ISBN 978-0595218295), softcover.