Roger Imhof in the film Red Lights Ahead (1936)
|Died||April 15, 1958 (aged 82)|
Imhof was born in Rock Island, Illinois and began his career as a circus clown, with the Mills Orton Circus, and as an Irish comic. He "toured in vaudeville and burlesque between 1895 and 1930." By 1897, he was "teamed with Charles Osborne in a comedy contortion and burlesque acrobatics act." Around this time, he dropped an "f" from his last name.
In the 1902-1903 season, he first worked with longtime vaudeville partner Hugh Conn, an association that lasted into the 1920s or possibly 1930s. Marcel Corinne (died 1977), sometimes spelled Coreene, joined the act sometime in the 1910s. She and Imhof married in 1913. The trio of Imhof, Conn and Corinne toured in two comic sketches, "The Pest House" and "Surgeon Louder, U.S.A.", the latter "a military comedy" Imhof had written. "The Pest House" was "the most popular and longest running of several sketches starring the portly pair Roger Imhof and Marcel Corinne". According to an October 1920 edition of the Oregon Daily Journal, the sketch involved Imhof playing an Irish peddler who spends a mishap-filled night at an inn. In 1923, he appeared in the Broadway play Jack and Jill.
He became involved early on in the nascent Hollywood film industry, apparently "as a presenter, promoter, or agent". As an actor, he appeared in films from 1932 to 1944, including San Francisco (1936), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and This Gun for Hire (1942).
Of the songs he composed, 11 are extant, including the 1906 "Old Broadway".
Collections of his papers and other material are held by the Green Library (Special Collections M0611), Department of Special Collections, Stanford University, and the Spencer Research Library (MS 121), University of Kansas.