Tribute - Roland, Gilbert

"Movie Magazine International" Tribute

(Air Date: Week Of 5/25/94)

By Monica Sullivan

A very young Bette Davis found herself making a romantic screen test opposite Gilbert Roland and pronounced him a "smashingly beautiful guy". Roland arrived in Hollywood when Rudolph Valentino was at his peak AND immediately caught the eye of the Sheik's then-wife, Natasha Rambova. That came to nothing, but Roland quickly attracted the attentions of Clara Bow, Norma Talmadge and Constance Bennett. He appeared in films with all of them and even married Bennett. Although he made dozens of movies in the 20's, 30's and 40's, (including the Cisco Kid series) this fine and sensitive actor really hit his stride after turning 45. He created indelible impressions in such classics as "The Bullfighter and the Lady" & "The Bad and the Beautiful". His lifelong motto was "Death comes soon enough so why kill yourself crying about it?" Luckily for Roland, his sizzling screen presence, a perennial twenty-inch waistline and his serene attitude about life and work sustained him through over 100 films between 1925 and 1982. According to George Hadley-Garcia's HISPANIC HOLLYWOOD, Roland's career endured longer than any other Latin Lover and he left behind a remarkable cinematic legacy to show us why.

Copyright 1994 Monica Sullivan

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