Gilbert Roland (born Luis Antonio Dámaso de Alonso, December 11, 1905 – May 15, 1994) was a Mexican-born American film and television actor whose career spanned seven decades from the 1920s until the 1980s. He was twice nominated for the Golden Globe Award in 1952 and 1964, and inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.
Luis Antonio Dámaso de Alonso
December 11, 1905
|Died||May 15, 1994 (aged 88)|
(m. 1941; div. 1945)
|Awards||Hollywood Walk of Fame |
(Motion Picture 6730 Hollywood Boulevard)
When Pancho Villa took control of their town, Roland and his family fled to the United States. He lived in Texas until at age 14 he hopped on a freight train and went to Hollywood. After arriving there, he found menial jobs and slept in a Catholic church. He often lost those jobs because he spent time working as an extra in films. He chose his screen name by combining the names of his favorite actors, John Gilbert and Ruth Roland. He was often cast in the stereotypical Latin lover role.
Roland's first film contract was with Paramount. His first major role was in the collegiate comedy The Plastic Age (1925) together with Clara Bow, to whom he became engaged. In 1926, he played Armand in Camille opposite Norma Talmadge, with whom he was romantically involved, and they starred together in several productions. With the advent of sound films, Roland frequently appeared in Spanish language adaptations of American films, in romantic lead roles.
Beginning in the 1940s, critics began to take notice of his acting and he was praised for his supporting roles in John Huston's We Were Strangers (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Thunder Bay (1953), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). He also appeared in a series of films in the mid-1940s as the popular character "The Cisco Kid". He played Hugo, the agnostic (and fictional) friend of the three shepherd children in The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, based on the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. In 1953, Roland played Greek-American sponge diver Mike Petrakis in the epic Beneath the 12-Mile Reef.
Roland played Dom Pedro II, the emperor of Brazil, in a 1963 episode, "A Kingdom for a Horse", of the syndicated western television series Death Valley Days. He also portrayed Howard McMahon on Bewitched, acted on December Bride and Playhouse 90, and both wrote the script for and acted in an episode of Wagon Train.
Roland married actress Constance Bennett on April 20, 1941 in Yuma, Arizona. They were married until 1946 and had two daughters, Lorinda "Lynda" (b. 1938) and Christina "Gyl" (b. 1941). Bennett won custody of their daughters. He had appeared with Bennett in 1933 as Pepe in George Cukor's Our Betters, and in the same year, as the romantic lead in After Tonight, a World War I drama.
His second marriage to Guillermina Cantú in 1954 lasted until his death 40 years later.
Roland was nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award, for his roles in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Gilbert Roland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6730 Hollywood Boulevard.
The moving-image collection of Gilbert Roland is held at the Academy Film Archive. Home movies make up the bulk of the collection. The film material at the Academy Film Archive is complemented by material in the Gilbert Roland papers at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.
In 1975, El Paso, Texas, held Gilbert Roland Days. Among the recognition given the actor was creation of The Gilbert Roland Newspaper Carrier Scholarships Fund by the Newspaper Printing Corporation.
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) as Extra (uncredited)
- The Lost World (1925) as Extra (uncredited)
- The Spaniard (1925) as Matador (uncredited)
- The Lady Who Lied (1925)
- The Lawful Cheater (1925) (uncredited)
- The Midshipman (1925) (uncredited)
- The Plastic Age (1925) as Carl Peters
- The Campus Flirt (1926) as Graham Stearns
- The Blonde Saint (1926) as Annibale
- Camille (1926) as Armand Duval
- Rose of the Golden West (1927) as Juan
- The Love Mart (1927) as Victor Jallot
- The Dove (1927) as Johnny Powell
- The Woman Disputed (1928) as Paul Hartman
- New York Nights (1929) as Fred Deverne
- Men of the North (1930) (Spanish and French version also filmed) as Louis La Bey aka Monsieur Le Fox
- Resurrección (1931) (Spanish version of Resurrection) as Prince Dmitri Nekhludov
- The Passionate Plumber (1932) as Tony Lagorce
- Hombres de mi vida (1932) (Spanish version of Men in Her Life) as Jaime Gilman
- The Woman in Room 13 (1932) as Victor Legrand
- Life Begins (1932) as Tony, Rita's Husband (uncredited)
- No Living Witness (1932) as Jerry Bennett
- A Parisian Romance (1932) as Victor
- Call Her Savage (1932) as Moonglow
- She Done Him Wrong (1933) as Serge Stanieff
- Our Betters (1933) as Pepi D'Costa
- The Romantic Widow (1933) as Luis Felipe de Córdoba aka Prudencio González
- Tarnished Youth (1933) (UK version of Gigolettes of Paris) as Antoine 'Tony' Ferrand
- After Tonight (1933) as Captain Rudolph "Rudy" Ritter
- Yo, tú y ella (1933) as Gabriel Villalba
- Elinor Norton (1934) as Rene Alba
- Mystery Woman (1935) as Juan Santanda
- Juliet Buys a Baby (1935) as Jack Aranda
- Ladies Love Danger (1935) as Ricardo Souchet aka Alonzo
- Midnight Taxi (1937) as Flash Dillon
- The Last Train from Madrid (1937) as Eduardo de Soto
- Thunder Trail (1937) as Dick Ames aka Arizona Lopez
- La vida bohemia (1938) as Rodolfo
- Gateway (1938) as Tony Cadona
- Juarez (1939) as Colonel Miguel Lopez
- Isle of Destiny (1940) as Oliver Barton
- Gambling on the High Seas (1940) as Greg Morella
- The Sea Hawk (1940) as Capt. Lopez
- Rangers of Fortune (1940) as Antonio Hernandez Sierra
- Angels with Broken Wings (1941) as Don Pablo Vincente
- My Life with Caroline (1941) as Paco Del Valle
- Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen (1942) as Paul Gillette
- Isle of Missing Men (1942) as Thomas 'Dan' Bentley aka Curtis
- The Desert Hawk (1944) as Kasim, The Desert Hawk / Hassan, The Evil Twin Brother
- Captain Kidd (1945) as Jose Lorenzo
- The Gay Cavalier (1946) as The Cisco Kid
- South of Monterey (1946) as The Cisco Kid
- Beauty and the Bandit (1946) as The Cisco Kid
- Riding the California Trail (1947) as The Cisco Kid posing as Don Luis Salazar
- The Other Love (1947) as Croupier
- High Conquest (1947) as Hugo Lanier
- Robin Hood of Monterey (1947) as The Cisco Kid
- Pirates of Monterey (1947) as Major de Rojas
- King of the Bandits (1947) as the Cisco Kid aka Ramon Mojica
- The Dude Goes West (1948) as Pecos Kid
- The Rebellion of the Ghosts (1949) as Arturo del Rosal
- We Were Strangers (1949) as Guillermo Montilla
- Malaya (1949) as Romano
- The Torch (1950) as Father Sierra
- Crisis (1950) as Roland Gonzales
- The Furies (1950) as Juan Herrera
- Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) as Manolo Estrada
- The Mark of the Renegade (1951) as Don Pedro Garcia
- Ten Tall Men (1951) as Corporal Luis Delgado
- My Six Convicts (1952) as Punch Pinero
- Glory Alley (1952) as Peppi Donnato
- The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952) as Hugo da Silva
- Apache War Smoke (1952) as Peso Herrera
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) as Victor 'Gaucho' Ribero
- Thunder Bay (1953) as Teche Bossier
- The Diamond Queen (1953) as Baron Paul de Cabannes
- Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953) as Mike Petrakis
- The French Line (1953) as Pierre DuQuesne
- The Racers (1955) as Dell'Oro
- Underwater! (1955) as Dominic Quesada
- That Lady (1955) as Antonio Perez
- The Treasure of Pancho Villa (1955) as Colonel Juan Castro
- Bandido (1956) as Colonel José Escobar
- Around the World in 80 Days (1956) as Achmed Abdullah
- Three Violent People (1956) as Innocencio Ortega
- The Midnight Story (1957) as Sylvio Malatesta
- The Last of the Fast Guns (1958) as Miles Lang
- The Wild and the Innocent (1959) as Paul
- The Big Circus (1959) as Zach Colino
- Catch Me If You Can (1959) (unreleased)
- Guns of the Timberland (1960) as Monty Walker
- Samar (1962) as Col. Juan Sebastian Salazar
- Cheyenne Autumn (1964) as Dull Knife
- The Reward (1965) as Capt. Carbajal
- The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966) as Serge Marko
- Any Gun Can Play (1967) as Monetero
- The Ruthless Four (1968) as Mason
- Between God, the Devil and a Winchester (1968) as Horace
- Johnny Hamlet (1968) as Juan Chasquisdo
- Sartana Does Not Forgive (1968) as Kirchner
- The Christian Licorice Store (1971) as Jonathan 'JC' Carruthers
- Running Wild (1973) as Chief Tomacito
- Treasure of Tayopa (1974) as Himself - Host
- The Pacific Connection (1974) as Alan
- Islands in the Stream (1977) as Captain Ralph
- The Black Pearl (1977)
- Caboblanco (1980) as Dr. Rudolfo Ramirez
- Barbarosa (1982) as Don Braulio (final film role)
- Zorro, episodes "El Bandido" and "Adios El Cuchillo" (1960) as El Cuchillo / The Knife
- Gunsmoke, episode "Extradition" (1963) as Lt. Julio Chavez
- Death Valley Days, episode "A Kingdom for a Horse" (1963) as Emperor Dom Pedro
- The Fugitive, episode "Somebody to Remember" (1964) as Gus Priamos;
- Combat!, episode "The Convict" (1965) as Boulanger
- Bonanza, episode "The Lonely Runner" (1965) as Jim Acton
- The Fugitive, episode "The Savage Street" (1967) as Jose Anza.
- The High Chaparral, episode "The New Lion of Sonora" (1971) as Don Domingo Montoya
- Night Gallery, segment "The Waiting Room" (1972) as The Bartender
- Incident on a Dark Street (1973, TV Movie) as Dominic Leopold
- Kung Fu (1972 TV series), episode "The Chalice" (1973)
- Barnaby Jones, episode "Rendezvous with Terror" (1974)
- The Mark of Zorro (1974, TV Movie) as Don Alejandro Vega
- The Sacketts (1979, TV Movie) as Don Luis
- Hart to Hart, episode "The Raid" (1980) as Jorge
- "Gilbert Roland". HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
- Anderson, Nancy (January 11, 1973). "Gilbert Roland Saw Calling Early". Courier-Post. New Jersey, Camden. Copley News Service. p. 63. Retrieved February 12, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Gilbert Roland Wants Bull-Ring of His Own". Deseret News. Utah, Salt Lake City. January 8, 1953. p. 41. Retrieved February 12, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Torre, Marie (October 24, 1960). "Gilbert Roland Back". The Decatur Herald. Illinois, Decatur. N. Y. Herald Tribune Service. p. 5. Retrieved February 12, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "My life, by Clara Bow". Told to and edited by Adela Rogers St. Johns. Published by Photoplay magazine in February, March and April 1928
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- Arizona, County Marriage Records, 1865-1972
- "Actress Constance Bennett Dies at 59". Independent. California, Long Beach. July 26, 1965. p. 2. Retrieved February 12, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Golden Globe Awards for 'Gilbert Roland'". Golden Globe Awards. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "Gilbert Roland". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "Gilbert Roland Collection". Academy Film Archive.
- "Roland To Receive Sketch". El Paso Herald-Post. Texas, El Paso. January 14, 1975. p. 12. Retrieved February 12, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Monush, Barry. The Encyclopedia of Film Actors From The Silent Era to 1965. New York: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2003.
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