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Roy Rowland (film director)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roy Rowland
BornDecember 31, 1910
DiedJune 29, 1995(1995-06-29) (aged 84)
OccupationFilm director, producer

Roy Rowland (December 31, 1910 – June 29, 1995)[1] was an American film director. The New York-born director helmed a number of films in the 1950s and 1960s including Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Meet Me in Las Vegas, Rogue Cop, The 5000 Fingers of Doctor T, and The Girl Hunters.[2] Rowland married Ruth Cummings, the niece of Louis B. Mayer and sister of Jack Cummings (MGM producer/director). They had one son, Steve Rowland, born in 1932, who later became a music producer in the UK.


Early life

Roy Rowland was born in Brooklyn, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants.[1] The family moved to Edendale, California, when Roy was ten.[3] He graduated from the University of Southern California with a law degree before beginning his career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) as a script clerk.[1] He then began working as a prop man, grip, and assistant cameraman.[3] In 1927 he met Ruth Cummings at the Santa Monica Beach Club.[3] She was the niece of Louis B. Mayer and the sister of producer Jack Cummings.[1][3] Her family disapproved of Rowlands, so they eloped.[1] This resulted in Rowland being blacklisted. But Ruth Cummings arranged a rapprochement with Mayer.[3]

He was assistant director on most of the Tarzan films, starring Johnny Weissmuller in the 1930s.[3]

Short films

Rowland made his reputation directing short films, particularly the "How to" series of shorts starring Robert Benchley.[1] One of them, How to Sleep (1937), won an Academy Award.[4] He also worked with producer Pete Smith as the director of several of the short films in the Pete Smith Specialties series, and directed several of the short films in the Crime Does Not Pay series.[1]


Rowland's debut feature was A Stranger in Town (1943). He made three films with the child actress Margaret O'Brien: Lost Angel (1943), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945), and Tenth Avenue Angel (1948).[1] He also directed musicals such as Hit the Deck (1955), Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956), and The Seven Hills of Rome (1957). He also made The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953), from a story by Dr. Seuss.[5] He directed Many Rivers to Cross with Robert Taylor[6] and Gun Glory (1957) with Stewart Granger and Rowland's son Steve.[7]

Rowland was survived by his wife Ruth and their son.[3]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bergan, Ronald (3 August 1995). "Roy Rowland: Making movies in the shadows". The Guardian. p. 11.
  2. ^ All Movie biography
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Roy Rowland;Obituary". The Times. London. 29 July 1995. p. 1.
  4. ^ "The 8th Academy Awards (1936) Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  5. ^ Ames, Walter (Jan 24, 1954). "Doctors, Dentists Can Bolster Business by Adopting TV Ways". Los Angeles Times. p. D11.
  6. ^ "MOVIELAND BRIEFS". Los Angeles Times. May 21, 1954. p. A6.
  7. ^ "Rowland Finally Gets Break With Father". Los Angeles Times. Oct 26, 1956. p. 27.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 April 2022, at 22:05
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