Roy Rowland

Active - 1934 - 1967  |   Born - Dec 31, 1910 in New York, New York, United States  |   Died - Jun 29, 1995   |   Genres - Action, Drama, Western, Musical, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After studying law at U.S.C., Roy Rowland came to Hollywood, where he secured a job as a script clerk at MGM. While still in his early twenties, Rowland joined the directorial staff of the MGM's short subjects unit. He turned out entries in such one- and two-reel series as The Pete Smith Specialties and Crime Does Not Pay, and also worked harmoniously with humorist Robert Benchley, directing virtually all of Benchley's short comedies for MGM. Promoted to feature films in 1943, Rowland helmed such worthwhile endeavors as Lost Angel (1944) and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945). His most celebrated effort of the 1950s (though decidedly not the most profitable) was the elaborate Dr. Seuss-scripted musical fantasy The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (Columbia, 1953). During the 1960s, Rowland directed the British Mickey Spillane adaptation The Girl Hunters (1964), then produced and directed a handful of European spaghetti Westerns. Married to Laura Cummings, the niece of Louis B. Mayer and sister of MGM producer/director Jack Cummings, Roy Rowland was the father of actor Steve Rowland.

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Factsheet

  • Son of Russian immigrant parents.
  • At age 10, moved to Edendale, California, with his family.
  • Started working at MGM as a script clerk during the Depression.
  • Met wife Ruth Cummings at the Santa Monica Beach Club, they eloped because her family didn't approve their relationship.
  • His wife, Ruth Cummings, is the niece of Louis B. Mayer, film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios (MGM).