Back to prior page



Claire Rochelle

Real name: Mildred Frizell or Frizelle

1907, 1908 or 1914 or ? - 1981



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, Bob Steele guards Claire Rochelle in a crop from the title lobby card from EL DIABLO RIDES (Metropolitan, 1939). This was the fourth (and last) film in which Claire was Steele's leading lady. Bob's horse is 'Lucky/Tex' which was ridden by John 'Dusty' King, Raymond Hatton, Jack Randall and Jimmy Wakely.


Born in or around Nevada, Missouri in 1907 or 1908 or 1914 or ?, Claire Rochelle and her mother moved to California. Claire learned to dance and her early film work was hoofin' and chorus girl jobs in Busby Berkeley musicals at Warners circa 1933-1934. In her early Hollywood days, she called herself "Mildred Claire".

Her first western was a bit/supporting role in the Buck Jones EMPTY SADDLES (Universal, 1936). Over the next 3-4 years, she was the leading lady to Bob Steele (4 films), Johnny Mack Brown (2 films), Fred Scott (2 films) and one with Ken Maynard. Claire also played B-western "bad girls" and examples include KID FROM SANTA FE (Jack Randall, Monogram, 1940) and TEXAS JUSTICE (George Houston, Lone Rider series, PRC, 1942).

During the World War II years, Rochelle's screen work slowed to an occasional bit or support/character part, and during that period, she was most frequently employed at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC).

Apparently, Claire grew tired of waiting around for casting calls as well as the infrequent pay checks. She gave up movie work and began a fan club and fan mailing service with her husband Leo Hirsch. The business expanded and their clientele included scores of Hollywood stars (Howard Duff was their first customer). In a February, 1955 newspaper article, author Bob Thomas wrote: "Miss Rochelle and her husband Leo Hirsch run the United Fan Club and Fan Mail Service from an office on the Sunset Strip."

Claire's movie career ran from about 1933-1946 and consists of about 50 films (that includes 14 westerns and no serials). Her film appearances may have begun earlier - the Internet Movie Database lists her as a dancer in TANNED LEGS (RKO, 1929).

There are a variety of birth years associated with Claire Rochelle. You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and then to the California Death Records database. There you will find a record for: Claire R. Hirsch, born 8/22/1914 in Missouri, Mother's maiden name of Harrington, Father's name of Frizell, and she passed away in the San Diego, California area on 5/23/1981. However, a check of the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) shows her birth date as 8/22/1907.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Claire Rochelle: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0734019/

The Google Newspaper archive has several articles on the United Fan Club and Fan Mail Service which was run by Claire and her husband: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22claire+rochelle%22+%2B%22United+Fan+Club+and+Fan+Mail+Service%22&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=sOBPU8PXJMGSyATv24HIDQ&ved=0CAUQ_AUoAA&biw=1313&bih=885&dpr=1



(Courtesy of Les Adams)




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Claire Rochelle and Buck Jones in a crop from a lobby card from EMPTY SADDLES (Universal, 1936). The heroine in this Jones oater was silent film star Louise Brooks. Rochelle had a bit/support role.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from Steele's EL DIABLO RIDES (Metropolitan, 1939).




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Reed Howes, Dave O'Brien, Carleton Young, Bob Steele, Claire Rochelle and Ted Adams in a scene from RIDERS OF THE SAGE (Metropolitan, 1939).



Back to prior page