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June 18, 2018

24 Fascinating Black and White Portrait Photos of Rosemary La Planche in the Early 1940s

Back in the days, winning the title of "Miss America" sometimes provided a springboard to Hollywood and a film career as a leading lady. This was certainly true in the case of California-born Rosemary La Planche.

Born on October 11, 1923, in the Southern California city of Glendale, Rosemary and her older sister Louise La Planche (by four years) both expressed a desire to perform as children. Each found work as a toddler in a silent movie before focusing on a normal public school upbringing. The interest in acting didn't wane in either of them, however, and during her years at John Marshall High School, Rosemary was cast in minor roles in two of Deanna Durbin Universal film vehicles.

In the meantime, both girls entered the beauty pageant circuit. Louise earned the title of "Miss Catalina" in 1939 and then "Miss North America" the following year. Rosemary followed suit by being crowned both "Miss California" and "Miss America" in 1941. This led to a featured role in the Hal Roach "B' film Prairie Chickens (1943) and a minor RKO contract that included unbilled bits as various "tootsie" types as hat check girls and chorines.

In 1947 the actress married radio host and producer Harry Koplan and had two children by him, slowly letting her movie career fade away as she focused more and more on family life. Her last role was in the Republic cliffhanger Federal Agents vs. Underworld, Inc. (1949) before retiring.

Once she retired, Rosemary focused on oil painting and exhibited her work from time to time. The family moved to Gallup, New Mexico where husband Harry continued to produce local TV programs until his death in 1973. Rosemary returned to the Los Angeles area but little was heard from her until her death from cancer at Glendale Adventist Hospital on May 6, 1979, at age 55.



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