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Will Rogers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (49) | Salary (5)

Overview (5)

Born in Oologah, Indian Territory, USA [now Oklahoma]
Died in near Point Barrow, Territory of Alaska, USA  (plane crash)
Birth NameWilliam Penn Adair Rogers
Nicknames Bill
Swill Rogers
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

World-famous, widely popular American humorist of the vaudeville stage and of silent and sound films, Will Rogers graduated from military school, but his first real job was in the livestock business in Argentina, of all places. He transported pack animals across the South Atlantic from Buenos Aires to South Africa for use in the Boer War (1899-1902). He stayed in Johannesburg for a short while, appearing there in Wild West shows where he drew upon his expertise with horse and lasso. Returning to America, he brought his talents to vaudeville and by 1917 was a Ziegfeld Follies star. Over the years he gradually blended into his act his unique style of topical, iconoclastic humor, in which he speared the efforts of the powerful to trample the rights of the common man, while twirling his lariat and perhaps chewing on a blade of straw. Although appearing in many silents, he reached his motion-picture zenith with the arrival of sound. Now mass audiences could hear his rural twang as he delivered his homespun philosophy on behalf of Everyman. The appeal and weight of his words carried such weight with the average citizen that he was even nominated for governor of Oklahoma (which he declined).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Spouse (1)

Betty Blake Rogers (25 November 1908 - 15 August 1935) (his death) (4 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Warm hearted fatherly roles

Trivia (19)

Rogers had four children with wife, Betty. They were: Fred (died 1920), Mary (died 1989), Will Rogers Jr. (died 1993) and Jimmy Rogers (died 2000).
Died in the Arctic crash of a plane piloted by the world-renowned, one-eyed pioneer aviator, Wiley Post (in which Post died as well).
His birthplace in the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) is cited variously as Colagah, Colgah or Cologah. The correct name is "Oologah", which is situated in the northeast corner of the state, approximately 25 miles/40 kilometers north-northeast of Tulsa.
In 1922 his weekly articles for the "New York Times" became so popular that they appeared in more than 500 U.S. newspapers daily. The articles dished out down-to-earth, biting criticism of politics, politicians, big business and the imbalance of the wealthy and the poor. In all, Rogers wrote more than 2,800 daily articles up until his death. H.L. Mencken labeled him "the most dangerous man alive" because of the power his comments had on an adoring public.
Buried in Claremore, Oklahoma, at the Will Rogers Memorial. There's a lot of memorabilia, and it's a popular tourist attraction.
Was part Cherokee Indian.
Pictured on a 3¢ US postage stamp in the Famous Americans series, issued 4 November 1948.
Pictured on a 15¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Performing Arts and Artists series, 4 November 1979.
Attended Kemper Military School & College in Boonville, Missouri.
As host of the 1933 Academy Awards ceremony, he made a minor blunder when announcing the Best Director Award. After reading the nominees he told the winner, "Come and get it, Frank!" Frank Capra (nominated for Lady for a Day (1933)) was halfway to the podium before he realized Rogers meant Frank Lloyd (winner for Cavalcade (1933)). Capra could well afford to lick his wounds: He won the following year for It Happened One Night (1934) and became Academy President the year after that.
A friend, and frequent critic, of several U.S. Presidents, Rogers once visited Warren G. Harding (1865-1923, President 1921-1923) and said, "'Morning, Mr. President! Would you like to hear the latest political jokes?" Harding replied, "You don't have to, Will. I appointed them."
Charter member of the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1955.
While growing up on the family ranch, he worked with cattle and learned to ride and lasso from a young age. He grew so talented with a rope, in fact, that he was placed in the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing three lassos at once. One went around the horse's neck, another circled around the rider, and the third flew under the horse, looping all four legs together.
Cousin of Clu Gulager.
Has a turnpike named in his honor. The Will Rogers Turnpike is in northeast Oklahoma running from just outside of Tulsa, through Will's hometown of Claremore to the Missouri state line.
He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard and for Motion Pictures at 6401 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Served as Honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills, California, from 1926-1928.
Was portrayed by his son, Will Rogers Jr., in the movie, The Story of Will Rogers (1952).
Inducted into The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in 2011.

Personal Quotes (49)

It's a good thing we don't get all the government we pay for.
There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education.
I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.
No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he has a dog, he has a friend; and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has.
Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on Earth.
A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it . . . You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.
My ancestors may not have come over on the Mayflower, but they met 'em at the boat.
Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else.
The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself.
[last words, in a radio broadcast by Rogers before the plane crash in which he and Wiley Post were killed] Well, Wiley's got her warmed up. Let's go.
I never met a man I didn't like.
There's two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither one works.
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow is too lazy to form an opinion.
When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states.
Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock.
Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.
I'm not a real movie star. I've still got the same wife I started out with 28 years ago.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
And the thing about my jokes is, they don't hurt anybody. You can take 'em or leave 'em - you can say they're funny or they're terrible or they're good, or whatever, but you can just pass 'em by. But with Congress, every time they make a joke, it's a law! And every time they make a law, it's a joke!
Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.
I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.
Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it.
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
When you put down the good things you ought to have done and leave out the bad things you did do -- that's Memoirs.
If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don't get wet you can keep.
My father was one eighth Cherokee and my mother one fourth Cherokee, which I figure makes me about an eight cigar-store Injun.
Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious.
Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.
There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.
People's minds are changed through observation and not through argument.
If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone, 'America died from a delusion that she has moral leadership.'
I can remember way back when a liberal was one who was generous with his own money.
The minute you read something that you can't understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.
We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
Nothing you can't spell will ever work.
The man with the best job in the country is the Vice President. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, "How's the President?"
Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in speeches.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
I don't care how poor and inefficient a little country is; they like to run their own business. I know men that would make my wife a better husband than I am, but, darn it, I'm not going to give her to 'em.
You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.
[on looking over the Academy Awards audience, 1934]: This looks like the last roundup of the ermine.
[on Commitee] Outside of traffic, there is nothing that has held this country back as much as committees.
Most people and actors appearing on the stage have some writer write their material. I don't do that. Congress is good enough for me. They have been writing my material for years.
The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.
[on introducing comic banter to his rope-twirling routines] The first gag I ever pulled was when I got my rope all tangled up and says, 'A rope ain't bad to get tangled up in if it ain't around your neck'.
Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven.

Salary (5)

Laughing Bill Hyde (1918) $150 /week
They Had to See Paris (1929) $150,000
So This Is London (1930) $150,000
Lightnin' (1930) $150,000
A Connecticut Yankee (1931) $150,000

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