Charles "Buddy" Rogers
Rogers in 1929
|Born||Charles Edward Rogers
August 13, 1904
Olathe, Kansas, U.S.
|Died||April 21, 1999
Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mary Pickford (m. 1937–79) (her death)
Beverly Ricondo (m. 1981–99) (his death)
Charles Edward “Buddy” Rogers (August 13, 1904 – April 21, 1999) was an American film actor and musician. During the peak of his popularity in the late 1920s and early 1930s he was publicized as "America's Boy Friend".
Life and career
Rogers was born to Maude and Bert Henry Rogers in Olathe, Kansas. He studied at the University of Kansas where he became an active member of Phi Kappa Psi. In the mid-1920s he began acting professionally in Hollywood films. A talented trombonist skilled on several other musical instruments, Rogers performed with his own dance band in motion pictures and on radio. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy as a flight training instructor.
According to American Dance Bands On Record and Film (1915–1942), compiled by Richard J. Johnson and Bernard H. Shirley (Rustbooks Publishing, 2010), Rogers was not a bandleader in the usual sense of the term. Instead, he was a film actor who fronted a band for publicity purposes. His later bands were organized by Milt Shaw. In 1930, he recorded two records for Columbia as a solo singer with a small jazz band accompanying. In 1932, he signed with Victor and recorded four sweet dance band records. In 1938, he signed with Vocalion and recorded six swing records (see discography below).
Nicknamed "Buddy", his most remembered performance in film was opposite Clara Bow in the 1927 Academy Award winning Wings, the first film ever honored as Best Picture. In 1968, he appeared as himself in an episode of Petticoat Junction entitled "Wings", a direct reference to the silent movie.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Rogers has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6135 Hollywood Blvd.
A longtime resident and benefactor of California's Coachella Valley, Rogers was honored by having named after him a children's symphony orchestra that he and second wife, Beverley Ricondo, a real estate agent he married in 1981, helped found. A street in Cathedral City, California is named after him as well.
In 1937, Rogers became the third husband of silent film legend Mary Pickford, a woman twelve years his senior. Their romance had begun in 1927, when they co-starred in My Best Girl, but they kept it on ice until Pickford's separation and 1936 divorce from the less faithful Douglas Fairbanks. The couple adopted two children—Roxanne (born 1944, adopted in 1944) and Ronald Charles (born 1937, adopted in 1943)—and remained married for 42 years until Pickford's death in 1979.
- Fascinating Youth (1926)
- More Pay – Less Work (1926)
- So's Your Old Man (1926)
- Wings (1927)
- My Best Girl (1927)
- Get Your Man (1927)
- Abie's Irish Rose (1928)
- Varsity (1928)
- Someone to Love (1928)
- Red Lips (1928)
- Close Harmony (1929)
- River of Romance (1929)
- Illusion (1929)
- Half Way to Heaven (1929)
- Young Eagles (1930)
- Paramount on Parade (1930)
- Safety in Numbers (1930)
- Follow Thru (1930)
- Heads Up (1930)
- Along Came Youth (1930)
- The Slippery Pearls (1931)
- The Lawyer's Secret (1931)
- The Road to Reno (1931)
- Working Girls (1931)
- This Reckless Age (1932)
- Best of Enemies (1933)
- Take a Chance (1933)
- Dance Band (1935)
- Old Man Rhythm (1935)
- This Way Please (1937)
- Let's Make a Night of It (1938)
- Golden Hoofs (1941)
- The Mexican Spitfire's Baby (1941)
- Sing for Your Supper (1941)
- Mexican Spitfire at Sea (1942)
- Twelfth Street Rag (1942)
- Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost (1942)
- An Innocent Affair (1948)
- The Parson and the Outlaw (1957)
as Charles "Buddy" Rogers (America's Boy Friend)
- February 27, 1930 & March 4, 1930
- (I'd like to be) A Bee in Your Boudoir/My Future Just Passed (Columbia 2193-D)
- March 4, 1930
- Any Time's the Time to Fall in Love/(Up on Top of a Rainbow) Sweepin' the Clouds Away (Columbia 2143-D)
as Buddy Rogers and His California Cavaliers
- April 18, 1932
- You Fascinate Me/Hello,Gorgeous (Victor 24001)
- May 11, 1932
- In My Hideaway/Happy-Go-Lucky You (And Broken-Hearted Me) (Victor 24015)
- May 18, 1932
- I Beg Your Pardon, Mademoiselle/With My Sweetie in the Moonlight (Victor 24031)
- Please Handle with Care/Ask Yourself Who Loves You (Victor 24049)
as Buddy Rogers and his Famous Swing Band
(vocals by Buddy Rogers, except Bob Hannon# or Joe Mooney@, or Elizabeth Tilton$)
- April 15, 1938
- Lovelight in the Starlight#/This Time It's Real# (Vocalion 4058)
- Moonshine over Kentucky (v/BR)/Little Lady Make-Believe# (Vocalion 4071)
- June 29, 1938
- Figaro#/Meet the Beat of My Heart# (Vocalion 4227)
- Happy as a Lark (v/BR)/The Sunny Side of Things@ (Vocalion 4240)
- September 17, 1938
- You Can't Be Mine (And Someone Else's Too)$/While A Cigarette Was Burning$ (Vocalion 4408)
- This Is Madness (to Love Like This)#/Rainbow 'Round the Moon (instrumental) (Vocalion 4422)
- Palm Springs Walk of Stars dedication to Rogers; accessed February 6, 2014.
- UCLA Film & Television Archive program notes for My Best Girl, including comments by Pickford biographer Jeffrey Vance. Accessed April 26, 2016.
- Brooks, Patricia; Brooks, Jonathan (2006). "Chapter 8: East L.A. and the Desert". Laid to Rest in California: a guide to the cemeteries and grave sites of the rich and famous. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0762741014. OCLC 70284362.
- "Charles "Buddy" Rogers biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
- Van Gelder, Lawrence (April 23, 1999). "Buddy Rogers, Star of 'Wings' And Band Leader, Dies at 94". New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
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