Adam Roarke

Adam Roarke (born Richard Jordan Gerler, August 8, 1937 – April 27, 1996) was an American actor and film director.

Adam Roarke
Born
Richard Jordan Gerler

(1937-08-08)August 8, 1937
DiedApril 27, 1996(1996-04-27) (aged 58)
Euless, Texas, U.S.
Occupationactor, director
Years active1962-1994
Spouse(s)Carla DeLane Roarke (1989-1996) (his death) (1 child)

Life and careerEdit

Roarke was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he was a street gang member during his youth.[1] His father was a vaudeville comedian and his mother was a chorine, showgirl.[2]

Roarke began his acting career under the name Jordan Gerler and then Jordan Grant; however, when he signed on with Universal Studios in 1957, he was told that he needed to change the name, because the studios already had one Mr. Grant (Cary Grant) under contract. Roarke appeared in a number of television series during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including the role of Communications Officer Garrison in the original Star Trek pilot. He appeared in a string of AIP biker pictures along with Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, and Bruce Dern in the late 1960s, beginning with Hells Angels on Wheels (1967), and culminating with The Losers (subsequently retitled Nam's Angels) in 1970. In 1974, Roarke appeared in the financially successful car chase film Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, with Fonda and Susan George, a role which showcased his range of acting skill.

His breakout role came in 1980 when he portrayed Raymond Bailey, a self-important leading man whose stunt double was played by Steve Railsback in The Stunt Man. Peter O'Toole befriended Roarke during filming, and the two became drinking pals. Unfortunately, Roarke was unable to keep up with O’Toole, and was hospitalized with delirium tremens before shooting was concluded. Word spread around Hollywood quickly, and Roarke had difficulty finding work as a result. However, an offer to work on a low-budget independent film brought him to Austin, Texas, in 1982. At the time, Texas had a burgeoning movie industry—billing itself as the "Third Coast"—but lacked any real opportunities for aspiring film actors to learn their craft from industry veterans. Recognizing this need, Roarke opened the "Film Actors Lab" in the Dallas Communications Complex at the Studios in Las Colinas. "Graduates" of his program include Darryl Cox, Benton Jennings, Lar Park Lincoln and Lou Diamond Phillips.

In 1989 Roarke married Carla DeLane and they had one child together. A child from Roarke’s previous marriage, Jordan Gerler, was also an actor, appearing in Rolling Thunder in 1977. Roarke died in Euless, Texas, of an apparent heart attack.

FilmographyEdit

DirectorEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit