Roger Imhof

Frederick Roger Imhof[1] (August 15, 1875 – April 15, 1958)[1] was an American film actor, vaudeville, burlesque and circus performer, sketch writer, and songwriter.[2]

Roger Imhof
Roger Imhof in Red Lights Ahead.jpg
Roger Imhof in the film Red Lights Ahead (1936)
Frederick Roger Imhoff

(1875-04-15)April 15, 1875
DiedApril 15, 1958(1958-04-15) (aged 83)
Years active1890-1950

Early yearsEdit

Imhof was born in Rock Island, Illinois on April 15, 1875[3][4] to Nicholas Imhoff, from Switzerland, and Susan McCluen Imhoff, from Ireland.[5]


Imhof began his career as a clown with the Mills Orton Circus,[6] and as an "Irish" comedian.[2][7] He "toured in vaudeville and burlesque between 1895 and 1930."[2] By 1897, he was "teamed with Charles Osborne in a comedy contortion and burlesque acrobatics act."[1] Around this time, he dropped an "f" from his last name.

In the 1902–1903 season, he first worked with longtime vaudeville partner Hugh Conn, an association that lasted into the 1920s or possibly 1930s.[1] Marcel Corinne (died 1977), sometimes spelled Coreene, joined the act sometime in the 1910s. She and Imhof married in 1913.[1] The trio of Imhof, Conn and Corinne toured in two comic sketches, "The Pest House" and "Surgeon Louder, U.S.A.", the latter "a military comedy" Imhof had written.[8][9] "The Pest House" was "the most popular and longest running of several sketches starring the portly pair Roger Imhof and Marcel Corinne".[6][10] According to an October 1920 edition of the Oregon Daily Journal, the sketch involved Imhof playing an Irish peddler who spends a mishap-filled night at an inn.[11] In 1923, he appeared in the Broadway play Jack and Jill.[6][12]

He reportedly invested in Chicago and Los Angeles real estate, but lost most of his money in the stock market and during the Great Depression.[6]

He became involved early on in the nascent Hollywood film industry, apparently "as a presenter, promoter, or agent".[1] As an actor, he appeared in films from 1932 to 1944, including San Francisco (1936), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and This Gun for Hire (1942).

Of the songs he composed, eleven are extant, including the 1906 "Old Broadway".[2]

Imhof died on April 15, 1958 and was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.[citation needed]


Collections of his papers and other material are held by the Green Library (Special Collections M0611), Department of Special Collections, Stanford University,[1] and the Spencer Research Library (MS 121), University of Kansas.[2]

Partial filmographyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Guide to the Roger Imhof Vaudeville, variety, circus, and silent screen star scrapbooks, 1883-1952" (PDF). Department of Special Collections, Green Library, Stanford University; Online Archive of California. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e Paul Laird. "Roger Imhof (1875-1958): A Vaudeville and Burlesque "Rube" and Irish Comic on Tour (abstract for a conference on American Musical Theater)". The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Roger Fred Imhof, World War I Draft Registration Card -
  4. ^ California Death Index -
  5. ^ "Hold Rites for Ex-Rock Island Actor," p. 14, Quad City Times, April 18, 1958.
  6. ^ a b c d Cullen, Frank (2006). Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, Volume 1. Routledge. p. 548. ISBN 0-415-93853-8. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "Roger Imhof, Veteran Irish Comedian, Dies," The Los Angeles Times, p. 7, Part III, April 17, 1958.
  8. ^ "Palace Today". Fort Wayne News. November 17, 1915 – via  
  9. ^ "Orpheum". Winnipeg Tribune. December 20, 1916 – via  
  10. ^ "At the Prospect". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 30, 1927 – via  
  11. ^ "Vaudeville". Oregon Daily Journal. October 17, 1920 – via  
  12. ^ Roger Imhof at the Internet Broadway Database

External linksEdit