Jack La Rue

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Jack La Rue
Jack La Rue in For Heaven's Sake.jpg
Jack La Rue in For Heaven's Sake (1950)
Born Gaspere Biondolillo
(1902-05-03)May 3, 1902
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 11, 1984(1984-01-11) (aged 81)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Film and stage actor
Years active 1923-1977
Spouse(s) Constance Deighton Simpson (1938-1946) (divorce)
Violet Edith von Rosenberg (1949-1955) (annulment)
Anne Giordano (1962-1967) (annulment)

Jack La Rue (May 3, 1902 in New York City, New York – January 11, 1984 in Santa Monica, California) was an American film and stage actor.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

La Rue was born Gaspere Biondolillo[1] in New York City.[2]

Stage[edit]

La Rue went from high school to his first acting job, in Otis Skinner's road company production of Blood and Sand.[2] He performed in Broadway plays from around 1923 to 1931. According to La Rue, while appearing in Mae West's play Diamond Lil, he was spotted by Howard Hawks, who offered him a part in the film Scarface (1932), starring Paul Muni.[3]

Film[edit]

He moved to Hollywood, where he appeared in numerous films. However, Scarface was not one of them. La Rue stated in a newspaper article that, after four days, Hawks had to replace him with George Raft because La Rue was taller than Muni and had a more powerful voice.[3] Later, however, Raft turned down the role of the despicable villain in The Story of Temple Drake (1933), fearing it would damage his screen image, so the part went to La Rue. Sometimes mistaken for Humphrey Bogart, he played thugs and gangsters for the most part. However, director Frank Borzage atypically cast him as a priest in the 1932 version of A Farewell to Arms simply because, according to newspaper columnist Hubbard Keavy, he was "tired of seeing conventional characters".[2] La Rue stated he turned down a role in The Godfather (1972) and many parts in the television series The Untouchables because of the way they portrayed Italian-Americans.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He was married three times.[1] La Rue married Los Angeles socialite Constance Deighton Simpson on September 22, 1938, in London.[4] She obtained a divorce on December 17, 1946, charging him with mental cruelty.[4] In 1955, he obtained an annulment from former Baroness Violet Edith von Rosenberg after six years of marriage, claiming she had only married him to obtain American citizenship and that they separated after less than two months.[5] He married Anne Giordano on August 12, 1962; she obtained an annulment in 1967.[6] Jack La Rue had no children.

Death[edit]

La Rue died of a heart attack at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California,[7] at the age of 81. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.

Partial filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Jack LaRue, Actor, Is Dead; In 200 Films, Often as Villain". The New York Times. United Press International. January 13, 1984. 
  2. ^ a b c Hubbard Keavy (April 26, 1933). "Screen Life In Hollywood". Altoona Tribune. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ a b c "Yesterday's Stars: La Rue doesn't like gangster stereotypes". The Mercury. Copley News Service. November 8, 1975. p. 40 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b "Jack La Rue's Wife Is Divorced From Movie's [sic] Bad Man". Nevada State Journal. December 17, 1946. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ "Jack La Rue Marriage to Ex-Baroness Ended". The Bridgeport Post. Associated Press. May 13, 1955 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Mrs. Jack La Rue Given Annulment". The Daily Mail. Associated Press. February 16, 1967. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "Movie bad guy Jack LaRue dies". The Montreal Gazette. United Press International. January 12, 1984. p. D-9. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 

External links[edit]