AUGUST 15, 1935

CHEROKEE HUMORIST WILLIAM PENN ADAIR (“WILL”) ROGERS DIES

Born November 4, 1879, in Cherokee Territory [near present Claremore, Oklahoma], Rogers learned to ride horses & do rope tricks growing up on a ranch. After working in South America, Africa, and in Wild West shows, his roping skills led him to vaudeville in 1905. He was in a few Broadway shows (1912-15) before joining Flo Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic and, in 1916, the Ziegfeld Follies. Poking fun at audience celebrities & hitting both political parties, he became master of the political one-liner. In 1918, Will made his 1st film, Laughing Bill Hyde, and did silent movies for Sam Goldwyn & Hal Roach, as well as several self-produced comedies. Rogers also wrote books, articles, and a syndicated newspaper column; performed on radio; and did after-dinner speeches. Sound films made him a bigger star than ever. His 21 feature films included A Connecticut Yankee (1931) & State Fair (1933).  Rogers died in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. His last 2 films were released posthumously in 1935.

Source:  “Will Rogers: American Humorist,” Britannica. Retrieved 2/8/2022, Will Rogers | Biography, Shows, Movies, & Facts | Britannica
Photo:  Melbourne Spurr (1888-1964), 1922. Public Domain. Source: Filmplay Journal, Jan. 1922 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

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