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Roy D'Arcy

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Roy D'Arcy (1894–1969) an American Actor and Performer.

BioEdit

Roy D'Arcy was born Roy Giusti in San Francisco in 1894 but educated in Europe. For a while he traveled with a band of gypsies throughout the Continent, but left to study art and painting in Paris. After several years of traveling and various business ventures in South America and Asia he returned to the US and decided to become involved in the theater. He got a job as a singer in several touring theatrical companies, and in 1919 made his film debut in Oh Boy! (1919) in a role he had played on the stage. He spent some time in vaudeville as a monologist, and took his act to Europe and Asia. When he returned to the US he was performing his show on a Los Angeles stage when he was spotted by director Erich von Stroheim, who though D'Arcy was just right for the part of the villainous, arrogant Prince Mirko in The Merry Widow (1925) (Von Stroheim had wanted to play the part himself, but was forbidden from doing so by MGM production head Irving Thalberg). It was a troubled production - from which Von Stroheim was fired, brought back, then fired again - but the film was a great critical and financial success, and D'Arcy received rave reviews for his superb portrayal of the cruel, dissolute Mirko.

Because of the success of that film, D'Arcy was thrown into several other productions as the head villain, such as Graustark (1925), La Boheme (1926) and The Temptress (1926), but he also appeared in such comedies as Adam and Evil (1927) and On Ze Boulevard (1927). He developed a revue he took to Broadway in 1928, called "The Greatest Array of Talent Ever Assembled on Any Bill in This Country", which consisted of singers, dancers, and D'Arcy himself walking out into the audience and telling stories of his travels around the world.

D'Arcy easily made the transitions from silents to talkies, and played a succession of exotic foreigners, both villainous and otherwise. However, as acting styles changed because of the introduction of sound, D'Arcy's somewhat florid style went out of fashion, and in a few years he was reduced to doing small, low-budget pictures for lower-rung independent studios, such as Broadway to Cheyenne (1932) for Monogram and Discarded Lovers (1932) for Tower Pictures. He had a showier role in a serial for Mascot, The Shadow of the Eagle (1932), starring a young John Wayne, and in his second serial, The Whispering Shadow (1933) with Bela Lugosi, he seemed to be having a ball as an executive in a trucking firm suspected of being responsible for the company's trucks being constantly hijacked.

Over the next few years he played villainous roles in a number of low-budget productions (Revolt of the Zombies (1936), Captain Calamity (1936), Under Strange Flags (1937)), but his final film was a major one, the Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), after which he retired. He then started his own real estate business. He died in 1969.

TriviaEdit

Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Spouse (1) 

Laura Guisti (March 1929 - 1930) (divorced)

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