Rose Hobart (born Rose Kefer; May 1, 1906 – August 29, 2000)[2] was an American actress and a Screen Actors Guild official.

Rose Hobart
Rose Hobart Press Photo 1942.jpg
Hobart in 1942
Born
Rose Kefer

(1906-05-01)May 1, 1906
DiedAugust 29, 2000(2000-08-29) (aged 94)
OccupationActress
Years active1923–1971
Spouse(s)Benjamin Winter
(m. 19??; div. 1929)
William M. Grosvenor
(m. 1932; div. 1941)

Barton H. Bosworth
(m. 1948; died 19??)[1]
Children1

Early yearsEdit

Born in New York City,[3] Hobart was the daughter of a cellist in the New York Symphony Orchestra, Paul Kefer, and an opera singer, Marguerite Kefer. Her parents' divorce when she was seven resulted in Hobart and her sister, Polly, going to France to live with their grandmother. When World War I began, they came back to the United States and went to boarding schools.[4] By 1921, she was a student at Kingston High School in Kingston, New York.[5]

CareerEdit

When Hobart was 15, she debuted professionally in Cappy Ricks, a Chautauqua production. She was accepted for the 18-week tour because she told officials that she was 18.[4] At that same age, she was cast in Ferenc Molnár's Liliom, which opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[1] Hobart's Broadway stage debut was on September 17, 1923 at the Knickerbocker Theater, playing a young girl in Lullaby. In 1925, she played Charmian in Caesar and Cleopatra.[6]

Hobart was an original member of Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre.[7] In 1928, she made her London debut, playing Nona Rolf in The Comic Artist. During her career in theater, she toured with Noël Coward in The Vortex and was cast opposite Helen Hayes in What Every Woman Knows.

Her performance as Grazia in Death Takes a Holiday won her a Hollywood contract.[1] Hobart appeared in more than 40 motion pictures over a 20-year period. Her first film role was the part of Julie in the first talking picture version of Liliom,[2] made by Fox Film Corporation in 1930, starring Charles Farrell in the title role, and directed by Frank Borzage. Under contract to Universal, Hobart starred in A Lady Surrenders (1930), East of Borneo (1931), and Scandal for Sale (1932). On loan to other studios, she appeared in Chances (1931) and Compromised (1931). In 1931, she co-starred with Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins in Rouben Mamoulian's original film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931). She played the role of Muriel, Jekyll's fiancée. In 1936, Surrealist artist Joseph Cornell, who bought a print of East of Borneo to screen at home, became smitten with the actress, and cut out nearly all the parts that did not include her. He also showed the film at silent film speed and projected it through a blue-tinted lens. He named the resulting work Rose Hobart. Hobart often played the "other woman" in movies during the 1940s, with her last major film role in Bride of Vengeance (1949).[4]

PoliticsEdit

The House Un-American Activities Committee investigated Hobart in 1949, effectively ending her career.[4] She believed that she first came to the attention of anti-Communist activists because of her commitment to improving working conditions for actors in Hollywood.[8] In 1986, she recalled that "On my first three pictures, they worked me 18 hours a day and then complained because I was losing so much weight that they had to put stuff in my evening dress . . . . When I did East of Borneo (1931), that schlocky horror [film that] I did, we shot all night long. They started at 6 o'clock at night and finished at 5 in the morning. For two solid weeks, I was working with alligators, jaguars and pythons out on the back lot. I thought, 'This is acting?' It was ridiculous. We were militant about the working conditions. We wanted an eight-hour day like everybody else."[1]

Hobart also served on the board of the Screen Actors Guild and was an active participant in the Actors' Laboratory Theatre, a group which anti-Communists like Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed was subversive.[1] In 1948, Hobart was subpoenaed to appear before the Tenney Committee on Un-American Activities. Although Hobart was not a member of the Communist Party, she refused to cooperate, instead reading a prepared statement that concluded, "In a democracy no one should be forced or intimidated into a declaration of his principles. If one does yield to such pressure, he gives away his birthright. I am just mulish enough not to budge when anyone uses force on me." In 1950, Hobart was also listed in the anti-Communist blacklisting publication, Red Channels. Hobart never worked in film again, although she did work on stage, and, later as the blacklist eased, in the 1960s, she took on television roles, including a part on Peyton Place.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Hobart was married three times. Her first marriage, to Benjamin L. Winter, ended in divorce in 1929.[9] On October 9, 1932, she married William Mason Grosvenor, Jr., an executive in a chemical engineering firm. They were divorced on February 17, 1941.[10] She had one child, son Judson Bosworth, from her third marriage to architect Barton H. Bosworth.[1]

Later yearsEdit

In 1994, Hobart published her autobiography, A Steady Digression to a Fixed Point.

DeathEdit

On August 29, 2000, Hobart died at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, aged 94,[2] from natural causes. She was survived by her only child, son Judson Bosworth (b. 1949).[11][12]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1930 Liliom Julie
1930 A Lady Surrenders Mabel 'Mike' Isabel Beauvel
1931 Chances Molly Prescott
1931 East of Borneo Linda Randolph
1931 Compromised Ann Brock
1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Muriel Carew
1932 Scandal for Sale Claire Strong
1933 The Shadow Laughs Ruth Hackett
1935 Convention Girl Cynthia 'Babe' LaVal
1939 Tower of London Anne Neville
1940 Wolf of New York Peggy Nolan
1940 Susan and God Irene
1940 A Night at Earl Carroll's Ramona Lisa
1941 Ziegfeld Girl Mrs. Merton
1941 Singapore Woman Alice North
1941 Lady Be Good Mrs. Carter Wardley
1941 I'll Sell My Life Dale Layden (Mary Jones)
1941 Nothing But the Truth Mrs. Harriet Donnelly
1941 No Hands on the Clock Marion West
1942 A Gentleman at Heart Claire Barrington
1942 Mr. and Mrs. North Carol Brent
1942 Who Is Hope Schuyler? Alma Pearce
1942 Gallant Lady Rosemary Walsh
1942 Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant Mrs. Black
1942 The Adventures of Smilin' Jack Fraulein Von Teufel
1943 Air Raid Wardens (scenes deleted)
1943 Salute to the Marines Mrs. Carson (uncredited)
1943 Swing Shift Maisie Lead Woman (uncredited)
1943 The Mad Ghoul Della
1943 Crime Doctor's Strangest Case aka Strangest Case Mrs. Diana Burns
1944 Song of the Open Road Mrs. Powell
1944 The Soul of a Monster Lilyan Gregg
1945 The Brighton Strangler Dorothy Kent
1945 Conflict Kathryn Mason
1945 Isle of the Dead Mrs. Mary St. Aubyn (in long shot; uncredited)
1946 Claudia and David Edith Dexter
1946 The Cat Creeps Connie Palmer
1946 Canyon Passage Marta Lestrade
1947 The Farmer's Daughter Virginia Thatcher
1947 The Trouble With Women Agnes Meeler
1947 Cass Timberlane Diantha Marl
1948 Mickey Lydia Matthews (uncredited)
1949 Bride of Vengeance Lady Eleonora

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Invaders Housekeeper - Irma 1 episode
1968 Gunsmoke Melanie Karcher 1 episode
1968–1969 The F.B.I. Molly Ferguson / Maid 2 episodes
1971 Cannon Nina's Mother 1 episode
1971 Night Gallery Mrs. Hugo (segment "The Dear Departed") 1 episode; final appearance

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Oliver, Myrna (August 31, 2000). "Rose Hobart; SAG Official; Blacklisted Actor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Lentz, Harris M. III (2001). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2000: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 111. ISBN 9780786410248. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Raw, Laurence (2012). Character Actors in Horror and Science Fiction Films, 1930–1960. McFarland. p. 106. ISBN 9780786490493. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Ankerich, Michael G. (2015). The Sound of Silence: Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies. McFarland. pp. 111–123. ISBN 9780786485345. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "High School Minstrel Cast". The Kingston Daily Freeman. New York, Kingston. May 19, 1921. p. 1. Retrieved February 21, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ "Rose Hobart". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Hobart, Rose (1994). A Steady Digression to a Fixed Point. Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. v.
  8. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (September 14, 2000). "Rose Hobart: Hollywood beauty blacklisted after complaining about studio working conditions". The Guardian. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  9. ^ "Wedding of Actress Set in October". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. September 21, 1932. p. 3. Retrieved February 22, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  10. ^ "Rose Hobart Gets Western Divorce". The Kingston Daily Freeman. New York, Kingston. Associated Press. February 18, 1941. p. 2. Retrieved February 22, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.  
  11. ^ Bergan, Ronald (September 14, 2000). "Obituary: Rose Hobart". the Guardian.
  12. ^ Willis, John; Monush, Barry (2002). Screen World 2001. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 343. ISBN 9781557834782. Retrieved February 22, 2018.

External linksEdit