Rod La Rocque was a leading man of the silent film days who made the transition to talkies in the 1940s.
Born in Chicago, he began on the stage as a child. After several seasons with traveling shows, he tried movies with the Essanay Studios in Chicago. When the studio closed, he went to New York and did a number of stage and film parts. He eventually transitioned to full-time screen acting, playing leading parts in movies such as “Jazzmania” and “The French Doll.” In the latter, he attracted the attention of Cecil B. De Mille, who gave him a leading role in the 1923 film “The Ten Commandments.”
He was married to actress Vilma Banky. Their wedding drew thousands of fans, and about 600 Hollywood glitterati attended the reception afterward.