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Adam Roarke posters


August 8, 1937

Birth Sign




Burly Brooklyn-born tough guy Adam Roarke made an infamous name for himself in 1960s biker flicks, usually donning a black leather jacket and a mean, mean scowl, typically the head of a bunch of hell-raisers. Nine of his more than 30 films would be in motorcycle movies, sometimes at odds with young rebel Jack Nicholson before his 'Easy Rider' fame. The former Richard Jordan Gerler was destined to become some type of entertainer as his dad was a vaudeville comic and his mom a chorus girl. His parents met while performing in the Ziegfeld Follies. A former gang member living on the streets of New York, he eventually straightened up by enlisting in the Army. Following this he studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and earned a Universal contract to boot. Adam appeared on TV in all the "hip" 60s shows at the time such as "The Mod Squad" and "Star Trek." His cult films include Hells Angels on Wheels (1967) with Nicholson, The Savage Seven (1968), Psych-Out (1968) again with Nicholson, Hell's Belles (1969) and Platinum Pussycat (1968) In addition, he appeared on horseback in John Wayne's western El Dorado (1967), and co-starred with Anthony Perkins in Play It As It Lays (1972), Peter Fonda in Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974), and Peter O'Toole in The Stunt Man (1980). read more

Parts grew scarce in the early 80s and Adam decided to focus his attentions on teaching. In 1982 he opened the Film Actor's Lab in Dallas, Texas and settled. One of his students would be Lou Diamond Phillips of the movie La Bamba fame. Ironically, Adam's last film was a featured role in the low-budget film Sioux City (1994) starring and directed by former protégé Phillips. Adam died two years later of a heart attack in his sleep in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Euless, Texas. The 60s 'leader of the pack' prototype was survived by wife Carla.

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