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 Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers

During the peak of his popularity in the late 1920s and early 1930s he was publicized as “America’s Boy Friend”.

Charles Buddy Rogers

1926Fascinating Youth  
More Pay – Less Work 
So’s Your Old Man 
My Best Girl 
Get Your Man 
1928Abie’s Irish Rose  
Someone to Love 
Red Lips  
1929Close Harmony  
River of Romance  
Half Way to Heaven  
1930Young Eagles 
Paramount on Parade  
Safety in Numbers 
Follow Thru 
Heads Up 
Along Came Youth 
1931The Slippery Pearls  
The Lawyer’s Secret 
The Road to Reno 
Working Girls  
1932This Reckless Age  
1933Best of Enemies  
Take a Chance  
1935Dance Band 
Old Man Rhythm  
1937This Way Please  
1938Let’s Make a Night of It  
1941Golden Hoofs 
The Mexican Spitfire’s Baby  
Sing for Your Supper  
1942Mexican Spitfire at Sea 
Twelfth Street Rag 
Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost 
1948An Innocent Affair  
1957The Parson and the Outlaw  

Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers was never nominated for an Academy Award.

Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers was born on Aug. 13, 1904, on a farm in Olathe, Kan., one of three children of Maude and Bert H. Rogers, who was a newspaperman and later a probate judge in Johnson County. He studied at the University of Kansas where he became an active member of Phi Kappa Psi. Just before graduation in 1925 he was discovered by talent scouts from Paramount studios. He then attended acting school and soon found himself in a silent movie with W. C. Fields entitled, “So’s Your Old Man,” filmed in New York.

 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 bands for publicity purposes. In 1933-’34 Rogers took over the popular Joe Haymes orchestra, to which he added drummer Gene Krupa. 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 with a group organized by drummer, and later actor, Jess Kirkpatrick. In 1938, he signed with Vocalion and recorded six swing records.

Image from the movie "Wings"

© 1927 Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation − All right reserved.

Rogers starred in a couple of films before landing a major role in Wings (1927). The film, an epic for its time, featured sequences of dogfights and collisions shot from the air. The role positioned Rogers to get the part of Joe Grant in a light romantic comedy, My Best Girl (1927) — where he met Mary Pickford. In the love scenes, it was plain to everyone that the two had chemistry.

On June 24, 1937, Rogers became the third husband of silent film legend Mary Pickford. 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 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.

In later years known for his humanitarianism, in 1986 he was awarded the Jean Hersholt Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He was married twice:

  • Beverly Ricono (23 July 1981 – 21 April 1999) ( his death)
  • Mary Pickford (24 June 1937 – 29 May 1979) ( her death) ( 2 children).

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