David Rollins Poster

Biography

Extremely handsome, juvenile lead of the silent era David Rollins was discovered as an extra and given a contract with Fox Films in 1927. He worked mostly in light comedies, frequently paired with Sue Carol (the future wife of Alan Ladd). While under contract to Fox he worked with many great directors just beginning their careers, including Howard Hawks, John Ford and George Stevens.

Few of his films survive today. The best-known is probably The Big Trail (1930), a full-length talkie directed by Raoul Walsh featuring John Wayne in his first starring role. Though beautifully photographed, the sound is rather rickety and the film was seen by relatively few people due to the fact that it was shot in 70mm, which few theaters at the time were equipped to show.

Rollins retired in the 1950s and spent the rest of his life traveling, raising dogs, volunteering at a local hospital and tending his citrus orchards in Encinitas, California. He was interviewed only once, by author Michael Ankerich, for his where-are-they-now-book, "Broken Silence."