Will Rogers: The remarkable story of Native American actor who ran for president as a hoax

The multi-talented star, who travelled the world three times, made 71 films in total

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 04 November 2019 15:55 GMT
Will Rogers performs lasso tricks for the Ford Motor Company

Will Rogers is being remembered on Google Doodle on what would have been his 140th birthday.

Born on 4 November, 1879, the American Indian actor-director, known as both “America’s Cowboy Philosopher” and “Oklahoma’s favourite son”, began his career in the 1920s, starring in films including The Ropin’ Fool (1922), A Truthful Liar (1924) and Tip Toes (1927).

It was through these films that Rogers became one of the most popular actors in Hollywood. After years of riding horses and touring the world as a circus performer called The Cherokee Kid, Rogers began presenting his own radio show and wrote several books that became bestsellers.

His vaudeville rope act even led to success on Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies.

Rogers was also known for his phrases, including “I never met a man I didn’t like” and “A man that don’t love a horse, there is something the matter with him.”

The multitalented star, the son of a Cherokee senator, even had a tenure as politician after mounting a mock campaign for presidency in 1928.

He did so in an attempt to prove that all campaigning was worthless and on election day, he resigned.

Rogers’ legacy lives on through several buildings set up in his name, including the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma and the Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, California.

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His childhood home, based near Oologah, Oklahoma, is also open to the public.

Rogers died in 1935 aviator Wiley Post after a plane crash in northern Alaska.

His son, Will Rogers Jr, played him in both 1949 film Look for the Silver Lining and The Story of Will Rogers in 1952.

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