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Frank La Rue in B westerns.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Buck Jones on trusty steed Silver chats with George Hayes, several years before he became 'Windy' and 'Gabby', and in the right background is Frank LaRue. Scene from Jones' THE THROWBACK (Universal, 1935).



(Courtesy of Elsimae 'CiCi' Morse)

Above from left to right are Bob Baker, Frances Robinson, Frank LaRue and Johnny Mack Brown in a scene from RIDERS OF PASCO BASIN (Universal, 1940). This was one of a half-dozen oaters starring Brown and featuring Universal's earlier range hero and singin' cowboy Bob Baker as the second lead.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Archie Twitchell, Frank LaRue and Francis Walker in a scene from PRAIRIE STRANGER (Columbia, 1941), which starred Charles Starrett.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Frank LaRue, Donald Curtis, Mary Daily, Kenneth MacDonald (suit) and Tom Moray on the far right. Scene from the Bill Elliott HANDS ACROSS THE ROCKIES (Columbia, 1941). MacDonald is brains heavy "Juneau Jessup" and is ably supported by LaRue (as the mean and brutal "Rufe Crawley") and his sons "Dade Crawley" (Curtis) and "Hi Crawley" (Moray).



(Courtesy of Elsimae 'CiCi' Morse)

Above - an older Frank with a wounded arm and wearing a Cavalry officer uniform in an unidentified film.


Frank's marriages.
Newspapers, trade publiscations, various records and family trees (on Ancestry.com and Family Search) indicate that Frank was married four times:

1. Family trees mention that Frank's first wife was Alice Clark. Circa 1905, Frank was performing with the Manhattan Stock Dramatic Company and actress Alice Clark, and she MAY have been his first wife. Family trees note that his marriage to Alice Clark occurred sometime prior to 1912.

2. Elsie May Payne (about 1877-1961) - she married actor Frank Clayton Cormier on July 17, 1905 in Weber, Utah.
Elsie G. Cormier and Frank married June 19, 1912 in Chicago and they divorced on December 19, 1921. Frank and Elsie toured for about ten years during the period 1910-1920 and her stage name was "Elsie Gresham".

3. Family trees mention that Frank's third wife was a "Stella W." and they were together from about 1923-1924. I've found no information on her.

4. Frank married Florence Ronette Smith (1888-1983) on June 21, 1932 in Los Angeles. Her maiden name was Florence Ronette Techa. On the marriage license, Frank identified this as his fourth marriage and Florence's second.

California Death Index for Elsie M. Larue, born October 13, 1877 in Oregon, mother's maiden name of Warren, and she passed away May 4, 1961 in the Santa Clara, California area: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPKV-Z44

California Death Index for Florence Larue, born September 21, 1888, and she passed away January 8, 1983 in the Los Angeles area: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VG1W-H7V


Frank's early years on stage and vaudeville, circa 1898-1930.
Newspaper and tradezine highlights and timelines follow:

  • May 22, 1900 issue of the Marion, Ohio Daily Star: "Frank LaRue left this morning for Falls Village, Connecticut, where he will join the Broadway Comedians, a reportoire company now playing through the East. Mr. LaRue will play the leading male parts with the company."
  • February 1, 1902 issue of the Marion, Ohio Daily Star: "A number (of people) from here will go to Kenton (Ohio) Monday evening to witness the production of 'The American Girl.' Frank LaRue is a member of the company, and his friends will go over in a body to greet him." ; "Mr. LaRue will spend Sunday with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E. B. LaRue of this city."
  • February 7, 1902 issue of the Marion, Ohio Daily Star: Headline: "CAPTAIN LARUE SEES HIS SON AT KENTON". Article excerpts:" ... Frank H. LaRue ... was a former Marion (Ohio) boy. Mr. LaRue is the son of Captain LaRue, a special policeman in that city, and last night he and his wife witnessed the play. His son has been on the stage for the past four years and makes his headquarters in New York City."
  • August 17, 1905 Elmira, New York Gazette and Free Press notes that members of the Manhattan Stock Dramatic Company include Alice Clark and Frank LaRue. They were at the Rorick's Glen Theater and then leaving on tour.
  • January 25, 1907 issue of the Marion (Ohio) Daily Mirror had an article on LaRue playing in 'The College Widow' at the Grand Theater. Article headlines: "OLD MARION (OHIO) BOY IS WINNING FAME. Frank LaRue Appears Before a Home Audience."
  • September 14, 1907 New York Clipper had Frank in Lowell, Massachusetts: "The Academy of Music Stock Co., headed by Frank H. La Rue and Jessie Arnold, in 'The Sign of the Four,' opened Labor Day, to S. R. O., with good business during the week."
  • June 27, 1909 Theater news section in the Atlanta, Georgia Constitution: Frank H. LaRue is in the cast of the comedy 'Bachelor's Honeymoon' at the Lyric Theater.
  • January 27, 1912 Variety: Frank is at Cincinnati's Walnut Theater in 'The Penalty'.
  • Frank married actress Elsie G. Cormier on June 19, 1912, and they would perform together for about ten years until a 1921 divorce. (Elsie Gresham Payne had an earlier marriage to actor Frank Clayton Cormier.)
  • October 26, 1912 New York Clipper had Frank H. La Rue and Elsie Gresham on the bill at the Imperial Theater in Chicago.
  • December 30, 1913 issue of the Washington D. C. Times: Elsie Gresham is the female lead in 'The Spendthrift' at the Academy Theater. Frank LaRue has a minor role.
  • February 24, 1914 Pensacola, Florida Journal: Elsie Gresham and Frank LaRue are touring in 'The Spendthrift' and appearing at the Opera House in Pensacola , Florida.
  • December 21, 1917 Variety vaudeville section noted that Frank La Rue and Elsie Graham were in Chicago and would produce 'Don't Lie to Mama' for New Year's week.
  • April 28 1918 Madison, Wisconsin Sunday State Journal: Frank LaRue and Elsie Graham are at the Orpheum is 'Don't Lie to Mama'.
  • October 25 1919 Chester, Pennsylvania Times: Frank LaRue and Elsie Gresam are doing the playlet 'Along Came Kate' as part of a large vaudeville bill at the Edgemont Theater.
  • December 30, 1919 Syracuse (New York) Herald: Frank LaRue and Elsie Gresham are doing the playlet 'Along Came Kate' as part of a large vaudeville bill at the Crescent Theater.
  • December 7, 1920 Charleston, West Virginia Daily Mail: Frank LaRue and Elsie Graham are among many vaudeville acts at the Plaza theater.
  • November 12, 1925 Variety: Frank is with the Galvin Players, a tent repertoire company setting up bookings in Arizona.
  • September 8, 1926 Variety: Frank is to do plays in the Midwest with Irene Galvin and Associated Players.


On the trail of Frank LaRue
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), newspaper obituaries, California Death Index and the death certificate provide more on Frank La Rue and family. He was married four times:

  • 1880 census summary and census takers worksheet - living in Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio are 38 year old Endsley Larue (born Iowa; occupation "Farm Laborer"), his 22 year old wife Kate (born Ohio) and 1 year old son Frank (born Ohio): https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZ1J-S4T
  • 1890 census is unavailable - it was lost in a 1921 fire (and water damage) at the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C.
  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - 58 year old Ensley B. Larue (born Iowa; occupation "Express Man"), 43 year old wife Kate L. Larue (born Ohio), and 22 year old son Frank H. (born Ohio) are renting in Marion, Marion County, Ohio. Frank H. Larue's occupation is "musician": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MMDY-S6K
  • Ancestry.com had the Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Index - 33 year old Frank H. La Rue married 35 year old Elsie G. Cormier on June 19, 1912 in Chicago. There was an earlier marriage and divorce for Elsie - Ancestry.com had the Utah Marriage record for Elsie Gresham Payne, born about 1879. She married Frank Clayton Cormier on July 17, 1905 in Weber, Utah.
    Family Trees at Family Search have info on Elsie May Payne - she was born 1878 in Oregon and passed away May 4, 1961 in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California. She married Frank La Rue on June 19, 1912 and they divorced on December 19, 1921.
    July 18, 1905 Ogden, Utah Standard newspaper had more on Elsie's marriage to Cormier. Excerpts: "... marriage yesterday of Frank Clayton Cormier and Elsie Gresham Payne, whose stage names are Frank Clayton and Elsie Gresham ..." ; "both Mr. and Mrs. Clayton were members of the Utahua Stock company the past season and have become popular with the Ogden theater goers."
  • Ancestry.com had the 1915 New York Census - residing in New York City are 36 year old Frank Le Rue (occupation "Actor"), 36 year old wife Elsie and two year old daughter May.
  • World War I draft registration - 39 year old Frank Herman LaRue was born December 5, 1878; lives in Port Jefferson, Shelby County, Ohio; and nearest relative is Kate LaRue also of Port Jefferson, Ohio. His occupation is "Actor" and he works for Sylvia Bidwell, Navarre Hotel, New York, New York: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6N7-LPT
  • 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - living in Port Jefferson, Shelby County, Ohio are 62 year old Kate Larue (born Ohio; widowed), her 40 year old son Frank (born Ohio), Frank's 41 year old wife Elsa [sic] (born California), and their 6 year old daughter May. Occupations of Frank and wife are "Theatrical - Actor": https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MD52-V2V
  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - 58 year old Frank La Rue (born Ohio) and 38 year old wife Florence (born Georgia) are renting in Port Jefferson, Shelby County, Ohio. Occupations of Frank and Florence are "Actor - Vaudeville" and "Actress - Vaudeville", and Frank was not a World War I veteran: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X4CT-N77
  • June 21, 1932 Los Angeles County marriage license of 52 year old Frank Herman LaRue (born Ohio) and 36 year old Florence Ronette Smith (born Massachusetts). This was his 4th marriage and her second. His parents were E. B. La Rue (born Iowa) and Kate Coon (born Ohio). Florence's parents were Joseph Techa (born Austria) and Ida Cook (born Massachusetts):
    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L93H-H1NM?mode=g&i=320&cc=1804002
    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-893H-H9SM-W?mode=g&i=321&cc=1804002
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 61 year old Frank Larue (born Ohio), 50 year old wife Florence R. (born Massachusetts), Frank's 82 year old mother Linnie Kate Larue (born Ohio), and several lodgers are renting at 4639 Prospect, Los Angeles. Frank lists his employment as "Actor - Motion Pictures" and in 1939, he worked 14 weeks and earned $1250.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CC-9Q1
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet for Frank's former wife Elsie - 62 year old Elsie Larue (born Oregon; divorced) is living in Anne Arundel County, Maryland with her 26 year old daughter May (born Ohio), May's 31 year old husband James W. Robinson (born Oregon; occupation U. S. Navy) and two Robinson daughters: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K76F-ZG6
  • World War II draft registration - 63 year old Frank Herman La Rue was born December 5, 1878 in Ridgeway, Ohio. He and wife Florence R. La Rue live at 4639 Prospect Avenue, Los Angeles and his occupation is "Free lance in pictures": https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V4DW-1FC
  • Death certificate: Frank Herman La Rue was born December 5, 1878 in Ohio, and his parents were Boniti La Rue (born Michigan) and Kate Coon (born Ohio). His occupation was "Actor - Free lance - Stage and Screen", and he passed away from a heart attack on September 26, 1960 at the Motion Picture Home and Hospital, Woodland Hills, California. He and wife Florence La Rue lived at 5533 Romaine Street, Los Angeles. Utter-McKinley was funeral director and burial at Inglewood Mausoleum.
  • California Death Index mirrors the death certificate - Frank H. LaRue was born 12/5/1878 in Ohio, Mother's maiden name of Coon, and he passed away on 9/26/1960 in California: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPKV-MB2
  • The September 29, 1960 Los Angeles (California) Times newspaper had an obituary, and there were two children listed as survivors. Excerpts: "He leaves his widow, Florence La Rue; a daughter, Lola [sic] Williams of Green Valley, and a son, Rand Barker of Hollywood."
    (I asked Elsimae 'CiCi' Morse about Rand Barker. Apparently, the listing of him as a son is incorrect. He was a family friend and very close to "Nanny Flo" (Florence).)

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has info on Frank, his mother Kate, and wife Florence who are interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California:

Frank: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=114842091
Frank's wife Florence Ronette Smith LaRue (1888-1983): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=161587233
Frank's mother Kate Coon LaRue (1857-1942): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=147644562



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