Imhof, Roger, 1875-1958Alternative names
American stage performer, often paired with Hugh Coon in vaudeville through the 1920s. In Hollywood in the '30s, he became an agent and promoter for the growing film industry, and continued in this role through the early '50s.
From the description of Vaudeville, variety, circus, and silent screen star scrapbooks, 1883-1952. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122644682
Frederick Roger Imhoff was born in Roca Island, Illinois, 15 April, 1875. Although very little biographical information on Imhof exists in either the Sam Stark Index or the Imhof Scrapbook Collection, it seems Imhof must have had connections in theater even in his childhood. Scrapbooks of vaudeville and burlesque show programs he collected date back to the late 1880s, and by 1897 (if not before), Imhof was himself on stage, teamed with Charles Osborne in a comedy contortion and burlesque acrobatics act. It was around this time that Imhof dropped the second f from his last name (he apparently always preferred Roger).
The 1902-03 season was his first paired with Hugh Conn, a partnership that lasted well into the '20s and possibly even '30s. By the 1910s the duo had become a trio with the addition of Marcelle Coreene, who married Imhof around 1913 (it is unclear to me whether Marcelle Coreene and Corinne Imhof are actually the same person; both names appear in playbills of the Imhof and Conn acts).
It seems Imhof, while not completely dropping out of vaudeville, was able to get involved with the infant American film industry in Hollywood very early. Though Stark mentions on his Imhof index card that Imhof was a film actor, Imhof's real career in Hollywood seems to have been as a presenter, promoter, or agent. According to a few comments and articles sprinkled among his scrapbooks, Imhof was acquainted with such silent film celebrities as Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, and Max Sennett and his group.
Imhof actually stayed in Hollywood for the next three decades, and his scrapbooks show that he was part of the American motion picture scene throughout the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Friends and clients of his included the likes of Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Janet Leigh, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Roy Rogers, Gregory Peck, and hundreds of others.
It is unclear just how Imhof and Sam Stark met, but it must have been sometime in the '40s, for that's when Stark seems to have started receiving old scrapbooks from Imhof. Roger Imhof died on his birthday in 1958 in Hollywood, California. Included in the Sam Stark Theater Collection are 50 or more of Imhof's scrapbooks, pictorially documenting American entertainment from vaudeville to Hollywood's Golden Age.
From the guide to the Roger Imhof Vaudeville, variety, circus, and silent screen star scrapbooks, 1883-1952, (Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.)
- Musicals--Writing and publishing
- Toy theaters
- Motion pictures--History
- Lyric writing (Popular music)
- Circus--United States
- Lyricsts. lcsh
- Vaudeville--United States
- Hollywood (Calif.)--History
- Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) (as recorded)
- United States (as recorded)