Charles "Buddy" Rogers

Charles Edward "Buddy" Rogers (August 13, 1904 – April 21, 1999) was an American film actor and musician. During the peak of his popularity in the late 1920s and early 1930s he was publicized as "America's Boy Friend".

Charles "Buddy" Rogers
Rogers in 1929
Charles Edward Rogers

(1904-08-13)August 13, 1904
DiedApril 21, 1999(1999-04-21) (aged 94)
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1926–1968
Mary Pickford
(m. 1937; died 1979)
Beverly Ricondo (m. 1981)

Life and career

Early years

Rogers was born to Maude and Bert Henry Rogers in Olathe, Kansas. He studied at the University of Kansas where he became an active member of Phi Kappa Psi. In the mid-1920s he began acting professionally in Hollywood films. A talented trombonist skilled on several other musical instruments, Rogers performed with his own dance band in motion pictures and on radio. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy as a flight training instructor.

According to American Dance Bands On Record and Film (1915–1942), compiled by Richard J. Johnson and Bernard H. Shirley (Rustbooks Publishing, 2010), Rogers was not a bandleader in the usual sense of the term. Instead, he was a film actor who fronted bands for publicity purposes. In 1933–34 Rogers took over the popular Joe Haymes orchestra, to which he added drummer Gene Krupa. His later bands were organized by Milt Shaw.

In 1930, he recorded two records for Columbia as a solo singer with a small jazz band accompanying. In 1932, he signed with Victor and recorded four sweet dance band records with a group organized by drummer, and later actor, Jess Kirkpatrick. In 1938, he signed with Vocalion and recorded six swing records (see discography below).


Nicknamed "Buddy", his most-remembered performance in film was opposite Clara Bow in the 1927 Academy Award winning Wings, the first film ever honored as Best Picture. In 1968, he appeared as himself in an episode of Petticoat Junction titled "Wings", a direct reference to the silent movie.


For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Rogers has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6135 Hollywood Blvd, which was dedicated on February 8, 1960.[1]

Respected by his peers for his work in film and for his humanitarianism, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Rogers in 1986 with The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.[2]

A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to him in 1993.[3]

Personal life

On June 24, 1937, Rogers became the third husband of silent film actress Mary Pickford. Their romance had begun in 1927, when they co-starred in My Best Girl,[4] but they kept it on ice until Pickford's separation and 1936 divorce from Douglas Fairbanks. The couple adopted two children—Roxanne (born 1944, adopted in 1944) and Ronald Charles (born 1937, adopted in 1943)—and remained married for 42 years until Pickford's death in 1979.


Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, California, in 1999 at the age of 94 of natural causes, and was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Cathedral City, near Palm Springs.[5]



As Charles "Buddy" Rogers (America's Boy Friend)

  • February 27, 1930 & March 4, 1930
    • (I'd like to be) A Bee in Your Boudoir/My Future Just Passed (Columbia 2183-D)
  • March 4, 1930
    • Any Time's the Time to Fall in Love/(Up on Top of a Rainbow) Sweepin' the Clouds Away (Columbia 2143-D)

As Buddy Rogers and His California Cavaliers

  • April 18, 1932
    • You Fascinate Me/Hello,Gorgeous (Victor 24001)
  • May 11, 1932
    • In My Hideaway/Happy-Go-Lucky You (And Broken-Hearted Me) (Victor 24015)
  • May 18, 1932
    • I Beg Your Pardon, Mademoiselle/With My Sweetie in the Moonlight (Victor 24031)
    • Please Handle with Care/Ask Yourself Who Loves You (Victor 24049)

As Buddy Rogers and his Famous Swing Band (vocals by Buddy Rogers, except Bob Hannon# or Joe Mooney@, or Elizabeth Tilton$)

  • April 15, 1938
    • Lovelight in the Starlight#/This Time It's Real# (Vocalion 4058)
    • Moonshine over Kentucky (v/BR)/Little Lady Make-Believe# (Vocalion 4071)
  • June 29, 1938
    • Figaro#/Meet the Beat of My Heart# (Vocalion 4227)
    • Happy as a Lark (v/BR)/The Sunny Side of Things@ (Vocalion 4240)
  • September 17, 1938
    • You Can't Be Mine (And Someone Else's Too)$/While A Cigarette Was Burning$ (Vocalion 4408)
    • This Is Madness (to Love Like This)#/Rainbow 'Round the Moon (instrumental) (Vocalion 4422)


  1. "Charles Buddy Rogers". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. The 58th Academy Awards – 1986
  3. Palm Springs Walk of Stars Archived 2017-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. UCLA Film & Television Archive program notes for My Best Girl, including comments by Pickford biographer Jeffrey Vance. Accessed April 26, 2016.
  5. Brooks, Patricia; Brooks, Jonathan (2006). "Chapter 8: East L.A. and the Desert". Laid to Rest in California: a guide to the cemeteries and grave sites of the rich and famous. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-7627-4101-4. OCLC 70284362.


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