Gilbert Roland

Last updated
Gilbert Roland
Gilbert Roland - 1952.jpg
Roland in 1952
Born
Luis Antonio Dámaso de Alonso

(1905-12-11)December 11, 1905
DiedMay 15, 1994(1994-05-15) (aged 88)
OccupationActor
Years active1923–82
Spouse(s)
Constance Bennett
(m. 1941;div. 1945)

Guillermina Cantu
(m. 1954)
Children2
Awards Hollywood Walk of Fame
(Motion Picture 6730 Hollywood Boulevard)

Gilbert Roland (born Luis Antonio Dámaso de Alonso, December 11, 1905 – May 15, 1994) was a Mexican-born American film and television actor whose career spanned seven decades from the 1920s until the 1980s. He was twice nominated for the Golden Globe Award in 1952 and 1964, and inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. [1]

Golden Globe Award award of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association

The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association beginning in January 1944, recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Entertainment hall of fame in Hollywood, Los Angeles

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of musicians, actors, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others. The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. It is a popular tourist destination, with a reported 10 million visitors in 2003. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce holds trademark rights to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Contents

Biography

Roland was born in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and originally intended to become a bullfighter like his father. When the family moved to the United States, however, he became interested in acting when he was picked at random for a role as an extra. He chose his screen name by combining the names of his favorite actors, John Gilbert and Ruth Roland. He was often cast in the stereotypical "Latin Lover" role.

Ciudad Juárez City in Chihuahua, Mexico

Ciudad Juárez is the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The city is commonly referred to by locals as simply Juárez, and was known as Paso del Norte until 1888. Juárez is the seat of the municipality of Juárez with an estimated population of 1,428,508. The city lies on the Rio Grande river, south of El Paso, Texas, United States. Together with the surrounding areas, the cities form El Paso–Juárez, the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico–U.S. border, with a combined population of almost 2.3 million people.

Chihuahua (state) State of Mexico

Chihuahua, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua, is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is located in Northwestern Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the southwest, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east. To the north and northeast, it has a long border with the U.S. adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. Its capital city is Chihuahua City.

Bullfighter bullfighter and the main performer in bullfighting

A bullfighter is a performer in the art of bullfighting. "Torero" or "toureiro" are the Spanish and Portuguese words for bullfighter and describe all the performers in the sport of bullfighting as practised in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, France, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and other countries influenced by Portuguese and Spanish culture. The main performer and leader of the entourage in a bullfight, and who finally kills the bull, is addressed as maestro (master), or with the formal title matador de toros. The other bullfighters in the entourage are called subalternos and their suits are embroidered in silver as opposed to the matador's more-theatrical gold. They include the picadores, rejoneadores, and banderilleros.

Roland's first major role was in the collegiate comedy The Plastic Age (1925) together with Clara Bow, to whom he became engaged. [2] In 1926, he played Armand in Camille opposite Norma Talmadge, with whom he was romantically involved, and they starred together in several productions. With the advent of sound films, Roland frequently appeared in Spanish language adaptations of American films, in romantic lead roles. Roland served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.

<i>The Plastic Age</i> (film) 1925 film by Wesley Ruggles

The Plastic Age is a 1925 black-and-white silent film, starring Clara Bow, Donald Keith, and Gilbert Roland in his film debut. The film survives today not only on 16 mm film, but also on video and DVD. The film was based on a best-selling novel from 1924 of the same name, written by Percy Marks, a Brown University English instructor who chronicled the life of the fast-set of that university and used the fictitious Sanford College as a backdrop. The Plastic Age is known to most silent film fans as the very first hit of Clara Bow's career, and helped jumpstart her fast rise to stardom. Frederica Sagor Maas and Eve Unsell adapted the book for the screen.

Clara Bow American actress known as "The "It Girl".

Clara Gordon Bow was an American actress who rose to stardom in silent film during the 1920s and successfully made the transition to "talkies" after 1927. Her appearance as a plucky shopgirl in the film It brought her global fame and the nickname "The It Girl". Bow came to personify the Roaring Twenties and is described as its leading sex symbol.

<i>Camille</i> (1926 feature film) 1926 silent film directed by Fred Niblo

Camille is a 1926 American silent film based on the play adaptation of La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, first published in French as a novel in 1848 and as a play in 1852. Adapted by Fred de Gresac, George Marion Jr., Olga Printzlau, and Chandler Sprague, Camille was a directed by Fred Niblo and starred Norma Talmadge as Camille and Gilbert Roland as her lover, Armand. It was produced by the Norma Talmadge Film Corporation and released by First National Pictures. The film's score was composed by William Axt.

Beginning in the 1940s, critics began to take notice of his acting and he was praised for his supporting roles in John Huston's We Were Strangers (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Thunder Bay (1953), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). He also appeared in a series of films in the mid-1940s as the popular character "The Cisco Kid". He played Hugo, the agnostic (and totally fictional) friend of the three shepherd children in The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, based on the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. In 1953, Roland played Greek-American sponge diver Mike Petrakis in the epic Beneath the 12-Mile Reef.

John Huston American film director, screenwriter and actor

John Marcellus Huston was an American film director, screenwriter and actor. Huston was a citizen of the United States by birth but renounced U.S. citizenship to become an Irish citizen and resident. He returned to reside in the United States where he died. He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), The Misfits (1961), Fat City (1972) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975). During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films.

<i>We Were Strangers</i> 1949 film by John Huston

We Were Strangers is a 1949 American adventure-drama film directed by John Huston and starring Jennifer Jones and John Garfield. Set in 1933, the film concerns a group of revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the Cuban government of Gerardo Machado. The story is based loosely on an episode in Robert Sylvester's novel Rough Sketch and draws on historical events.

<i>The Bad and the Beautiful</i> 1952 film by Vincente Minnelli

The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 American melodrama that tells the story of a film producer who alienates all around him. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and written by George Bradshaw and Charles Schnee. It stars Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame and Gilbert Roland. The Bad and the Beautiful resulted in five Academy Awards out of six nominations in 1952, a record for the most awards for a movie that was not nominated for Best Picture nor for Best Director.

Roland played Dom Pedro II, the emperor of Brazil, in a 1963 episode, "A Kingdom for a Horse", of the syndicated western television series Death Valley Days .

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

Western (genre) multimedia genre of stories set primarily in the American Old West

Western is a genre of various arts which tell stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, often centering on the life of a nomadic cowboy or gunfighter armed with a revolver and a rifle who rides a horse. Cowboys and gunslingers typically wear Stetson hats, neckerchief bandannas, vests, spurs, cowboy boots and buckskins. Recurring characters include the aforementioned cowboys, Native Americans, bandits, lawmen, bounty hunters, outlaws, gamblers, soldiers, and settlers. The ambience is usually punctuated with a Western music score, including American and Mexican folk music such as country, Native American music, New Mexico music, and rancheras.

<i>Death Valley Days</i> television series

Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley country of southeastern California. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945 and continued from 1952 to 1970 as a syndicated television series, with reruns continuing through August 1, 1975. The radio and television versions combined to make the show "one of the longest-running western programs in broadcast history."

His last film appearance was in the 1982 western Barbarosa.

<i>Barbarosa</i> 1982 film by Fred Schepisi

Barbarosa is a 1982 American Western film motion picture starring Willie Nelson and Gary Busey about a young cowboy on the run from the law who partners with a famous bandito and learns about life from him. "One of the best overlooked westerns of the last 20 years" according to reviewer LG Writer, and featured on an episode of the television show Siskel & Ebert dedicated to uncovering worthy sleepers, it is "a tale of betrayal, vendetta, honor, and dignity". Barbarosa was the first American film by noted Australian director Fred Schepisi.

Personal life

Gilbert Roland from the trailer for the film The Bad and the Beautiful from 1952 Gilbert Roland in The Bad and the Beautiful trailer.jpg
Gilbert Roland from the trailer for the film The Bad and the Beautiful from 1952

Roland married actress Constance Bennett on April 20, 1941 in Yuma, Arizona. [3] They were married until 1946 and had two daughters, Lorinda and Gyl. [4] He had appeared with Bennett in 1933 as Pepe in George Cukor's Our Betters , and in the same year, as the romantic lead in After Tonight , a World War I drama. His second marriage to Guillermina Cantú in 1954 lasted until his death 40 years later.

Death

Gilbert Roland died of cancer in Beverly Hills, California in 1994, aged 88. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.

Accolades

Roland was nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award, for his roles in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Gilbert Roland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6730 Hollywood Boulevard.

Archives

The moving-image collection of Gilbert Roland is held at the Academy Film Archive. Home movies make up the bulk of the collection. The film material at the Academy Film Archive is complemented by material in the Gilbert Roland papers at the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library. [5]

Filmography

with Constance Bennett in After Tonight (1933) Gilbert Roland - Constance Bennett.jpg
with Constance Bennett in After Tonight (1933)

Features:

Television:

Short subjects:

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References

  1. "Gilbert Roland". HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  2. "My life, by Clara Bow". Told to and edited by Adela Rogers St. Johns. Published by Photoplay magazine in February, March and April 1928
  3. Arizona, County Marriage Records, 1865-1972
  4. http://streamline.filmstruck.com/2009/05/06/gilbert-roland-amigo/
  5. "Gilbert Roland Collection". Academy Film Archive.