Thursday, January 11, 2018

"The Story of Temple Drake" Actor Jack La Rue 1984 Holy Cross Cemetery

Jack La Rue (May 3, 1902 in New York City, New York – January 11, 1984 in Santa Monica, California) was an American film and stage actor.[1]

Early years

La Rue was born Gaspere Biondolillo[1] in New York City.[2]


La Rue went from high school to his first acting job, in Otis Skinner's road company production of Blood and Sand.[2] He performed in Broadway plays from around 1923 to 1931. According to La Rue, while appearing in Mae West's play Diamond Lil, he was spotted by Howard Hawks, who offered him a part in the film Scarface (1932), starring Paul Muni.[3]


He moved to Hollywood, where he appeared in numerous films. However, Scarface was not one of them. La Rue stated in a newspaper article that, after four days, Hawks had to replace him with George Raft because La Rue was taller than Muni and had a more powerful voice.[3] Later, however, Raft turned down the role of the despicable villain in The Story of Temple Drake (1933), fearing it would damage his screen image, so the part went to La Rue. 

Sometimes mistaken for Humphrey Bogart, he played thugs and gangsters for the most part. However, director Frank Borzage atypically cast him as a priest in the 1932 version of A Farewell to Arms simply because, according to newspaper columnist Hubbard Keavy, he was "tired of seeing conventional characters."[2] La Rue stated he turned down a role in The Godfather (1972) and many parts in the television series The Untouchables because of the way they portrayed Italian-Americans.[3]

Personal life

He was married three times.[1] La Rue married Los Angeles socialite Constance Deighton Simpson on September 22, 1938, in London.[4] She obtained a divorce on December 17, 1946, charging him with mental cruelty.[4] In 1955, he obtained an annulment from former Baroness Violet Edith von Rosenberg after six years of marriage, claiming she had only married him to obtain American citizenship and that they separated after less than two months.[5] He married Anne Giordano on August 12, 1962; she obtained an annulment in 1967.[6] Jack La Rue had no children.


La Rue died of a heart attack at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California,[7] at the age of 81. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.

Partial filmography

The Lucky Devil (1925) as Prizefight Attendant (uncredited)
The King on Main Street (1925) as Member of King's Retinue in Paris Hotel Lobby (uncredited)
Fine Manners (1926) as New Year's Eve Celebrant (uncredited)
East Side, West Side (1927) as Dining Extra (uncredited)
The House of Terror (1928)
Follow the Leader (1930) as A Gangster
Night World (1932) as Henchman (uncredited)
The Mouthpiece (1932) as Joe Garland (uncredited)
While Paris Sleeps (1932) as Julot
Radio Patrol (1932) as Slick (uncredited)
Blessed Event (1932) as Louis De Marco (uncredited)
The All American (1932) as Joe Fiore
Virtue (1932) as Toots
Three on a Match (1932) as Ace's Henchman (uncredited)
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) as Ackerman (uncredited)
Man Against Woman (1932) as Alberti
A Farewell to Arms (1932) as The Priest
Lawyer Man (1932) as Spike Murphy (uncredited)
The Woman Accused (1933) as Little Maxie
42nd Street (1933) as Mug with Murphy (uncredited)
Christopher Strong (1933) as Carlo
Terror Aboard (1933) as Gregory Cordoff
The Story of Temple Drake (1933) as Trigger
The Girl in 419 (1933) as Sammy

Gambling Ship (1933) as Pete Manning

Headline Shooter (1933) as Ricci

To the Last Man (1933) as Jim Daggs
The Kennel Murder Case (1933) as Eduardo Grassi
Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen (1934) as Bert
Good Dame (1934) as Bluch Brown

The Fighting Rookie (1934) as Patrolman Jim Trent

Straight Is the Way (1934) as Monk
Take the Stand (1934) as George Gaylord

No Ransom (1934) as Larry Romero

Secret of the Chateau (1934) as Lucien Vonaire

Calling All Cars (1935) as Jerry Kennedy
Times Square Lady (1935) as Jack Kramer
Men of the Hour (1935) as Nick Thomas

The Headline Woman (1935) as Phil Zarias

Under the Pampas Moon (1935) as Bazan
The Daring Young Man (1935) as Cubby
After the Dance (1935) as Mitch
Little Big Shot (1935) as Doré
Special Agent (1935) as Jake Andrews
His Night Out (1935) as Joe Ferranza
Waterfront Lady (1935) as Tom Braden
The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935) as Gardner
Hot Off the Press (1935) as Bill Jeffrey
Remember Last Night? (1935) as Baptiste
Strike Me Pink (1936) as Mr. Thrust
The Bridge of Sighs (1936) as Packy Lacy
In Paris, A.W.O.L. (1936) as Soldier

Dancing Pirate (1936) as Lt. Chago (Baltazar's Aide)

It Couldn't Have Happened – But It Did (1936) as Smiley Clark
Born to Fight (1936) as Smoothy Morgan
A Tenderfoot Goes West (1936) as James Killer Madden
Ellis Island (1936) as Dude
Yellow Cargo (1936) as Al Perrelli
Go West, Young Man (1936) as Rico in 'Drifting Lady'
Mind Your Own Business (1936) as Cruger
Her Husband Lies (1937) as 'Trigger, ' Gunman
That I May Live (1937) as Charlie
Captains Courageous (1937) as Priest
Dangerous Holiday (1937) as Gollenger
Trapped by G-Men (1937) as Fred Drake
Arson Gang Busters (1938) as Bud Morgan
Under the Big Top (1938) as Ricardo Le Grande
Valley of the Giants (1938) as Ed Morrell
I Demand Payment (1938) as Smiles Badolio
Murder in Soho (1939) as Steve Marco
The Gang's All Here (1939) as Alberni
Big Town Czar (1939) as Mike Luger
In Old Caliente (1939) as Sujarno
Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) as Manolo
Forgotten Girls (1940) as Eddie Nolan
Enemy Agent (1940) as Alex
The Sea Hawk (1940) as Lt. Ortega
Fugitive from a Prison Camp (1940) as Red Nelson
East of the River (1940) as Frank 'Frisco' Scarfi
Footsteps in the Dark (1941) as Ace Vernon
Paper Bullets (1941) as Mickey Roman
Ringside Maisie (1941) as Ricky Du Prez
Gentleman from Dixie (1941) as Thad Terrill

Hard Guy (1941) as Vic Monroe

Swamp Woman (1941) as Pete Oliver / Pierre Pertinax Pontineau Briand Broussicourt d'Olivier

A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen (1942) as Tommy Gould
Pardon My Sarong (1942) as Tabor (uncredited)
Highways by Night (1942) as Johnny Lieber, Gangster

X Marks the Spot (1942) as Marty Clark

The Payoff (1942) as John Angus
American Empire (1942) as Pierre- Beauchard Henchman
You Can't Beat the Law (1943) as Cain
A Gentle Gangster (1943) as Hugo
Secret Service in Darkest Africa (1943) as Hassan [Ch. 6] (uncredited)
The Law Rides Again (1943) as Duke Dillon
The Girl from Monterrey (1943) as Al Johnson
A Scream in the Dark (1943) as Det. Lt. Cross
Never a Dull Moment (1943) as Joey
Pistol Packin' Mama (1943) as Johnny Rossi
The Sultan's Daughter (1943) as Rata
Smart Guy (1943) as Matt Taylor
The Desert Song (1943) as Lieutenant Bertin
Follow the Leader (1944) as Larry
Machine Gun Mama (1944) as Jose
Leave It to the Irish (1944) as Rockwell
The Last Ride (1944) as Joe Genna

Dangerous Passage (1944) as Mike Zomano

Steppin' in Society (1945) as Bow Tie
The Spanish Main (1945) as Lt. Escobar
Road to Utopia (1945) as LeBec
Cornered (1945) as Diego, Hotel Valet
Dakota (1945) as Suade
Murder in the Music Hall (1946) as Bruce Wilton
In Old Sacramento (1946) as Laramie
Santa Fe Uprising (1946) as Bruce Jackson
My Favorite Brunette (1947) as Tony

Bush Pilot (1947) as Paul Girard

Robin Hood of Monterey (1947) as Don Ricardo Gonzales

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) as Slim Grisson

For Heaven's Sake (1950) as Tony Clark
Ride the Man Down (1952) as Kennedy
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957) as Father Paul (uncredited)
40 Pounds of Trouble (1962) as Nick the Greek (uncredited)
For Those Who Think Young (1964) as Cronin's Business Associate
Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) as Tomatoes
The Spy in the Green Hat (1967) as Federico 'Feet' Stilletto
Paesano: A Voice in the Night (1975) as Bartender
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) as Silent Film Villain (final film role)


1. "Jack LaRue, Actor, Is Dead; In 200 Films, Often as Villain". The New York Times. United Press International. January 13, 1984.
2. Hubbard Keavy (April 26, 1933). "Screen Life In Hollywood". Altoona Tribune. p. 4 – via open access publication – free to read
3. "Yesterday's Stars: La Rue doesn't like gangster stereotypes". The Mercury. Copley News Service. November 8, 1975. p. 40 – via open access publication – free to read
4. "Jack La Rue's Wife Is Divorced From Movie's [sic] Bad Man". Nevada State Journal. December 17, 1946. p. 2 – via open access publication – free to read
5. "Jack La Rue Marriage to Ex-Baroness Ended". The Bridgeport Post. Associated Press. May 13, 1955 – via open access publication – free to read
6. "Mrs. Jack La Rue Given Annulment". The Daily Mail. Associated Press. February 16, 1967. p. 16 – via open access publication – free to read
7. "Movie bad guy Jack LaRue dies". The Montreal Gazette. United Press International. January 12, 1984. p. D-9. 

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