Andrew Rogers

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Photo Credit: "Winter Garden," Times Picayune. August 9, 1908 p. 40.

Contributors

Andrew Rogers – known by his fans as “Andy” – was a New Orleans native, as well as a vaudevillian and an actor working on the national circuit in the 1910’s and 1920’s.

Vaudeville Career

The year 1908 saw Rogers back in New Orleans, performing a vaudeville magic act at the Winter Garden Theater after time spent “making good on the big circuits” nationally [1] . By 1911, Rogers was clearly considered something of a native son making his way in the larger industry, as evidenced both by the Times Picayune’s highlighting of his substantial critical acclaim and by his presence in the 1911 Comus parade, while on a visit home between work with a Los Angeles Shakespeare company and an imminent contract with the Newark-based Louis Leon Hall Stock Company [2] .

Over the course of his time on the stage, Rogers “[was] in practically every department of the profession with the exception of Burlesque,” according to the Times Picayune, for whom his interpretation of Julius Caesar’s Marc Anthony, opposite a Brutus embodied by Frederick Ward, was particularly noteworthy, alongside a 1921 role as Hamlet in the eponymous play. Rogers also played the leading role in a play entitled “In Old Kentucky” [3] .

Screen Career

Rogers’ screen career had begun in earnest by 1916, at which point he had been hired by Nola Film Company as part of that company’s cadre of local New Orleanian talent, and had subsequently begun starring in their productions written by Rene Plaisetty.

During the filming of what seemed to be the as-yet-untitled “Folly of Revenge,” Rogers’ work took him to the mountains and rapids of Gadsden, Alabama, where the Nola company was on an expedition to acquire footage impossible to attain in New Orleans itself. “The work done by the actors today was startling in the extreme,” said an observer from the Gadsden Daily Journal, describing the very real and grueling work undertaken by the actors in the process of crafting a realistic shot. “Defying freezing weather, icy water and death or injury by hazardous leaps from hundred-foot precipices, motion picture actors are today completing the last scenes in a drama that promises to attract the attention of the motion picture world” [4] .

Another early example of Rogers’ work with Nola was “The Link,” a film released in May 1916 in which Rogers’ character – the profligate brother of a wealthy businessman – is brought back to the path of righteousness and respectability by an adoring four-year old niece [5] . Later that same year, Rogers starred in a Mino sketch, entitled Alias McCloskey, along Lawrence Carey, Will Bardin, and Annie Shields Rankin [6] . In the late 1910’s, Rogers found work as a stock actor in the New Jersey Solax studio, alongside leading lady Claire Whitney [7] .

Works Cited
  • “Winter Garden,” Times Picayune. August 9, 1908 p40.
  • “A Rising Thespian,” Times Picayune. April 9, 1911 p30.
  • “Orleans Actor,” Times Picayune. May 29, 1921 p41.
  • “New Orleans Film Folks Go to Alabama For Mountain Stuff for Five-Part Feature Production,” Daily Picayune. January 23, 1916 p26.
  • “The Folly of Revenge,” New Orleans Item. May 1, 1916 p 4
  • “‘Mino’ Actors in ‘Mino’ Sketch,” Times Picayune. December 10, 1916.
  • “Orleans Actor,” Times Picayune. May 29, 1921 p41.

This page was last modified on 27 April 2012, at 01:24

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