Rutherford Herman

b. 12 April 1893, d. 21 August 1982

Jack Rutherford (born Rutherford Herman), 1893-1982
  • Rutherford Herman was born on 12 April 1893 in Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.
  • Charles Herman Dexheimer and Margaret Rutherford Cullen appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Camden, Camden County, New Jersey, at 227 Cooper. Other members of the household included Rutherford Herman, Erle Cullen Herman. Also in the household is servant Betty Banks, age 40.
  • His acting career began as Rutherford Herman on the Broadway stage in 1910 as callboy with a small part in "The Spitfire" (1910), then "Disraeli" 1911), "Hamlet" (1912); in Los Angeles in "Blindness of Virtue" (1913); then back in New York as John Rutherford in "Paganini" (1916), "Nina/The Girl from Nyusa" (1917); following service in WWI, "The Passing Show of 1919" and "Forbidden" (1919), "All-Star Idlers" and "Two Blocks Away" (1921), "He Who Gets Slapped" (1922) and "R.U.R." (1922), "Under the Bamboo Tree/In the Moonlight," "Cunnel Blake/Magnolia," and "Kid Boots" (1923), "The City Chap" (1925), "Queen High" (1926), "Bonita/My Golden West/The Love Call" (1927), "Whoopee" on stage and screen (1928-1932), various other films, "Annie Get Your Gun" national road show (1947-1949).
  • The following appeared on 19 September 1911 in The New York Times: Arliss as 'Disraeli' in a Parker Romance. . . . Disraeli, a comedy in four acts, by Louis N. Parker. Wallack's Theatre. [cast] Footman at Glastonbury Towers...Rutherford Herman. [The original play opened at Wallack's on Broadway 18 September 1911, and closed in May 1912 after 280 performances.]
  • The following appeared on 24 April 1912 in The New York Times: "Hamlet" was acted by a special cast at Wallack's Theatre yesterday afternoon. According to announcements the performance was arranged for the purpose of honoring Shakespeare's natal day. Opinions may differ as to the exact extent in which that particular purpose was accomplished. But Shakespeare himself certainly did not suffer. He has been dead about 300 years. /P/ Mr. Ian Maclaren, a young English actor, who has been playing with George Arliss in "Disraeli," was the one who who discovered that in this country proper attention had not been paid to the birthday of the Bard. And so, in a properly humble, unselfish, and reverential spirit he ste about arranging a cast--with himself as the Prince. /P/ Many worse Hamlets have been seen. Also, it may be added, there have been a lot who were better. Mr. Maclaren read some of the speeches very well, but his diction was often of a kind to make mincemeat of the text. The young actor's pronunciation also was ver bad at times. /P/ No conspicuous ecellencies [sic] were discovered elsewhere. But at least Shakespeare's birthday did not pass entirely unnoticed. [cast] . . . Second Grave Digger..Mr. Rutherford Herman. . . .
  • The following appeared on 23 February 1913 in The Philadelphia Inquirer: In George Arliss' company at the Broad Street Theatre this week are two Philadelphians, Margaret Dale and Rutherford Herman. Both of these Disraelian actors were born in Germantown.
  • The following appeared on 25 February 1913 in The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Disraeli," a play in four acts by Louis N. Parker, presented for the first time in this city at the Broad Street Theatre last night. The cast: . . . [last in the list] Flooks, a rural postman...Rutherford Herman. . . .
  • The following appeared on 28 March 1913 in The Philadelphia Inquirer: [Among other benefits held in Philadelphia], A special performance of "Disraeli" will be given at the Broad Street Theatre, on Tuesday afternoon, for the benefit of the flood sufferers, George Arliss and the entire membership of his company having volunteered their services and Nixon and Zimmerman having proffered the theatre, for that purpose. The proceeds will be wired to Governor Cox of Ohio. Fully $2000 are expected to be realized by the performance /P/ The members of the George ARliss Company who will take part in the benefit performance are: Mr. Arliss. . . Rutherford Herman, [17 others named]. . . .
  • The following appeared on 30 November 1913 in the Albuquerque Morning Journal: In "The Blindness of Virtue," Cosmo Hamilton tells a story of a young girl in an English town, the daughter of a vicar who has broad sympathies and is very popular with his parishioners and his wife who is wrapt up in his work. In the blindness ans smug assurance of their virtue a tragedy in their lives is narrowly averted. The play will be presented at the Elks theater tomorrow night.
         . . . The play will be interpreted by a specially engaged English cast who were personally selected and rehearsed by the author. The players are Frank Elliott, Rutherford Herman, T. Ralph, Vera Fuller Melish, Alys Rees, Polly Emery, Elizabeth Bland and Henela Parsons. . . .
         . . . Mr. Morris brought the production to this country and presented it with marked success last season and is repeating this season his success of last year. In Chicago the play ran four months, in Boston ten weeks, and in New York for four weeks, while in London the length of its run lasted two years.
  • The following appeared on 4 December 1913 in The Tucson Citizen: "The Blindness of Virtue" will be seen at the Tucson opera house tonight. The company was personally selected and rehearsed by Mr. Hamilton and includes Frank Elliott, Rutherford Herman, Harley Knowles, Vera Fuller Milish, Alys Ross, Pollie Emery and Margaret Bland. The four acts of the play will be handsomely mounted.
  • The following appeared on 20 January 1914 in the Morning Oregonian: "The Blindness of Virtue" is the first of the lessons on sex hygiene given us through the theater, to visit Portland.
         It is a beautifully presented sermon against the fallacy that in ignorance lies the stronghold of virtue, a thrilling indictment of the habit of permitting boys and girls to grow to manhood and womanhood in ignorance of certain natural impulses and conditions that will confront them in later years.
         Mr. Hamilton has attacked this so-called prudishness, that parents take refuge under in the name of modesty, with fearlessness and yet without grossness. . . . An excellent all-English company presents the play. Vera Fuller-Mellish is the ideal type of a young English girl of 17, Rutherford Herman is the young man. . . . "The Blindness of Virtue" will be presented again tonight, tomorrow night and Wednesday matinee and night.
  • The following appeared on 8 February 1914 in The Anaconda Standard: "The Blindness of Virtue," by the eminent Englishman of letters, Cosmo Hamilton, is described as one of the strongest and most vital dramas ever presented in the American stage dealing with the question of sex ignorance. No play written in the last decade has evoked the discussion or created so profound an impression as this one has. It is said to be the strongest lesson that can be given mothers, and it will be presented at the Broadway theater Sunday, Feb. 15.
          . . . The play was taken from Cosmo Hamilton's book of the same name and was dramatized by him at the request of the bishop of London, who appreciated the lesson it taught and the benefits to be gained by all who see it. The splendid cast, under the direction of William Morris, was personally selected by the author. It includes Harley Knoles, Rutherford Herman. . .
  • The following appeared on 14 February 1914 in The Anaconda Standard: "The Blindness of Virtue," by the noted Englishman of letters, Cosmo Hamilton, is a new play that has been attracting considerable attention in other parts of the country. . . . will be presented by William Morris' all-English company at the Margaret tonight. . . . The parts will be interpreted by Harley Knoles, Rutherford Herman, Harold Ainsworth, Vera Fuller Melish, Pollie Emery, Marguerite Cellier and Marjorie Allen.
  • The following appeared on 15 February 1914 in The Anaconda Standard: The William Morris company of English players is one of splendid ability and unrestrained zeal. . . . Mr. Harmon [sic] was a thoroughly satisfying impulsive, honest and responsive English boy. . .
  • The following appeared on 3 March 1914 in the New-York Tribune: William Morris presents his company of English Players from the Little Theatre, London, in Cosmo Hamilton's play, "The Blindness of Virtue," at the West End Theatre this week. The cast includes Harley Knowles, Marguerite Cellier, Vera Fuller Mellish, Pollie Emery, Rutherford Herman, Marjorie Allen and Harold Alingworth.
  • He was known as John Rutherford on the stage. Like his father before him, it appears that Rutherford Herman began using a stage name following his father's death in 1916. The last billing we find him as Rutherford Herman is in "Blindness of Virtue" which opened in Los Angeles in December 1913. The first known billing as John Rutherford occurs in August 1916, on Broadway in "Paganini."
  • Rutherford Herman registered for the draft on 1 June 1917 in Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey, while living at 181 Valley Road in Montclair, and employed as an actor by William Haversham at the Shubert Theater in New York City.
  • Jack Rutherford enlisted in the US Army on 14 September 1917, and was released on 28 March 1919, according to Veterans Affairs BIRLS records..
  • According to a 1930 New York Times article, "During World War I Rutherford was an aviation cadet at St. Maxient, France, and was drafted to serve temporarily as one of the army gendarmerie. Later he won his wings and brevet, and after participating in the St. Mihiel and Argonne attacks was shot down in a 'dog fight.' Severly injured, he spent the remainder of the war in a hospital." Washington Post: "At the outbreak of the war, Rutherford joined the flying corps and was sent to France. American planes not being ready, he was attached to the French forces, and flew under or over the Tricolor for two years. Rutherford fought as an aviator in both the French and American flying squadrons and was seriously wounded at St. Mihiel."
  • A search of the Washington Post Casualties lists 12 September to 1 October 1918 revealed no confirmation of his wounding at St. Mihiel.
  • Margaret Rutherford Cullen appeared in the US federal census of 1 January 1920 in Manhattan, New York, at 50 West 94th Street. Other members of the household included Rutherford Herman, Erle Cullen Herman.
  • He was a screen actor, according to the 1920 census.
  • The following appeared on 24 April 1927 in The New York Times: John Rutherford, who is the partnership dissolving lawyer of "Queen High" at the Ambassador Theatre, has, considering his youth, played a great variety of roles on the American stage. His father was Charles D. Herman, well-known in his day as a Shakespearean actor, who was leading man for Helena Mojeska, Kate Claxton, Fanny Davenport and Mme. Janauschek. In the tradition of most actors, Herman wanted his son to be anything but an Equity member and suggested medicine, which seemed like a dignified, non-trouping trade. To this end John Rutherford was sent to Germantown schools and to the Central High School of Philadelphia with a view to preparing him for Johns Hopkins. But again tradition got in its work and the scion of the Shakespearean actor sneaked away from his studies to carry a spear at the Academy of Music when the Metropolitan Opera and Hammerstein Opera companies played there. His first experience on the stage was thus of a sort which later should have stood him in good stead for musical comedy.
         His initial role, however, was in a comedy, and he acted in non-musical shows from then until the "Passing Show of 1919." He had a part and was call boy in "The Spitfire," produced at the Lyceum Theatre.
         Rutherford then played an engagement with the Orpheum Stock Company, appearing among other things in two George Arliss plays, "Disraeli" and "Paganini." He acted in Mount Vernon with the Westchester Stock Company, with William Faversham in "Getting Married" and in "The Blindness of Virtue."
         At the outbreak of the war, Rutherford joined the flying corps and was sent to France. American planes not being ready, he was attached to the French forces, and flew under or over the Tricolor for two years.
         Back from the war, he played in Comstock and Gast's "Light of the World," and "The Passing Show of 1919," his first musical piece. Here, at last, he had an opportunity to show his early Academy of Music training. "Forbidden," with Martha Hedman was his next play. He was Bezano, the lion tamer in the Theatre Guild's "He Who Gets Slapped" and Radius, the chief robot in "R. U. R." "Magnolia," Booth Tarkington's play, saw him next, followed by "Kid Boots," his second musical show, "The City Chap" and now "Queen High."
  • He was known as Jack Rutherford In the Broadway opening night cast list for "Whoopee," he is seen occasionally as "Jack," the name he uses exclusively by the early 1940s.
  • Rutherford Herman and Margaret Rutherford Cullen appeared in the US federal census of 1 April 1930 in Manhattan, New York, at 100 West 58th Street at the Hotel Barbizon Plaza.
  • He was a motion picture actor, according to the 1930 census.
  • He married Virginia Lee Bouldin, daughter of James Edward Bouldin II and Jennie Ann Scott, on 8 July 1936.
  • The following appeared on 11 July 1936 in The Dallas Morning News: Mrs. John Rutherford, before her marriage Wednesday, Miss Virginia Lee Bouldin, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Bouldin, 827 North Zang. The bride recently returned from spending four months in Mexico City where she appeared at the Alameda Theater and previously she has appeared in motion pictures and on the stage. Mr. Rutherford, New York and Hollywood, appeared with George Arliss in "Disraeli," at the Theater Guild in "He Who Gets Slapped" and with Eddie Cantor in several productions.
  • He applied for a Social Security account number on 10 April 1937 while living at Regent Hotel, 6162 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California.
  • Jack Rutherford appeared as Buffalo Bill Cody in the Johnny Mack Brown 1938 serial of 15 episodes of Flaming Frontiers.
  • The following appeared on 23 September 1945 in The Dallas Morning News: Jack Rutherford, actor with Leo Carrillo in "The Bad Man," married a Dallas girl and spends a lot of time. . . . "The Bad Man" will open the Melba road show season Oct. 5 and 6.
  • The following appeared on 5 October 1945 in The Dallas Morning News: "The Bad Man," starring Leo Carrillo, will open the first of three performances at the Melba at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Jack Rutherford and Barbara Wooddell are featured in romantic leads in the Porter Emerson Browne drama.
         Other performances of the play, which opens the road show season at the Melba, will be Saturday at 2:15 p.m. an 8:15 p.m.
  • In 1946, Rutherford Herman and Virginia Lee Bouldin were living in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, at 1961 North Cahuenga Boulevard aaccording to the California voter registration index for that year, and the same information appears in 1948, 1950, 1952 and 1954.
  • The following appeared on 31 August 1947 in The Dallas Morning News: (New York) Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II announce a number of principals to support Mary Martin, who will star as Annie Oakley (played at the Imperial Theater, New York, by Ethel Merman) in the National Company of "Annie Get Your Gun." Miss Martin will open in the show at the Fair Park Auditorium, Dallas, Oct. 3.
         For the male lead (Frank Butler) the Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein have engaged the well-known singing-actor Earl Covert. Other principals under contract include Tommy Keeler; Billy Worth (Winnie Tate); Donald Burr (Charlie Davenport); Jack Rutherford (Buffalo Bill); Zachary Charles (Sitting Bull); Bernard Hoffman (Pawnee Bill); Charles Taylor, and Ed Clay.
         Rehearsals will begin on Monday under direction of Joshua Logan.
  • The following appeared on 3 October 1950 in The Dallas Morning News: The opening of the Diamond Garter in the Cotton Bowl Roller Rink during the 1950 State Fair edition will have an air of old home week for Casino veterans. Announcement Monday afternoon of completed castings for "The Drunkard's Daughter" by Charles R. Meeker Jr., read like a Casino roll call.
         Dink Freeman, actor and comedian who will also serve as master of ceremonies for olio acts, will be cast in the role of the sheriff. Frank Kennedy will appear as Frank the bartender, Lou Marcella as Joe Jackson, Margaret Nuckles as Fanny, Jack Rutherford as Logan. . .
  • The following appeared on 20 December 1950 in the Lubbock Evening Journal: (Los Angeles, Dec. 20) A civil suit charging a morals offense against a 10-year-old child actress in her berth on a train was settled for $2,500 yesterday by Jack Rutherford, an actor.
          His attorney emphasized that the settlement did not constitute an admission of the charge. Superior court approved the settlement. Payment was accepted by Mrs. Elizabeth McMinn of Philadelphia in behalf of her daughter, Doreen Lane McMinn. The McMinns had sought $50,000.
          The complaint said the girl was molested May 6, 1949, while aboard a train carrying members of the road show of "Annie Get Your Gun." Both were members of the cast. The train was in Houston, Texas.
  • The following appeared on 7 August 1951 in The Dallas Morning News: Dick Haymes Good Boy With Good Voice in Irving Berlin's Musical. The Auditorium audience Monday night was mightily pleased with "Miss Liberty," which was more Irving Berlin than Robert Sherwood as Mary Hunter staged it. The script was good and tight, if short on humor and emotion, and the music was played out beguilingly by the crack State Fair sinfonietta under Lehman Engel's baton. . . . Jack Rutherford was a dynamic Bennett and Norris Greer a patrician Pulitzer. . . .
  • The following appeared on 7 March 1955 in The Los Angeles Times: Actor Jack Rutherford, 60, of 5217 Hollywood Blvd., last night was booked on suspicion of felonious drunk driving after his automobile was involved in a collision on Vine St. Officers T. E. Buell and D. A. Danko reported that Rutherford's car hit one driven by Cyril John Dixon, 39 of Chula Vista, at the Vine St. turnoff of the Hollywood Freeway. Mrs. Margo Findlay, 35, of 2966 Passmore St., a passenger in Dixon's car, was treated for cuts and bruises at Hollywood Receiving Hospital. Rutherford's wife Virginia also suffered cuts and bruises.
  • The following appeared on 16 February 1959 in the Tucson Daily Citizen: "Buffalo Bill Cody" will ride in the Tucson Rodeo parade this Thursday. He will be portrayed by the veteran actor, Jack Rutherford.
         Rutherford, an off-and-on resident of Southern Arizona for many years, achieved his greatest fame playing the famous frontiersman in the stage production of "Annie Get Your Gun," starring Mary Martin.
         He now owns the 10,000-acre mineral segregation part of the famous old Baca Float No. 3 Ranch in Santa Cruz County. His home is the old ranch headquarters, Hacienda Del Salero near Patagonia.
         His father-in-law, the late James E. Bouldin, once owned the 100,000 Baca Float No. 3 ranch.
         Rutherford was raised in the theater and as a youth appeared in many stage productions.
         As an adult, he continued his stage career, appearing with the biggest names in the business and finally moving to Hollywood for a long screen career.
  • The following appeared on 23 May 1959 in the Tucson Daily Citizen: A Patagonia man faces a tax fraud charge here.
         Jack Rutherford, 66, of Patagonia, was brought before U.S. Commissioner Thomas H. McKay in Tucson yesterday after being arrested at the Tucson Main Postoffice by agents of the Internal Revenue Bureau.
         Rutherford was arrested after more than three weeks' surveillance by the federal officers.
         Rutherford allegedly filed a false and fraudulent 1958 income tax return under the name, Owen Mehan, and received a $1,400 refund. The commissioner said it is also possible Rutherford filed additional false returns in Arizona, using other names to secure refunds.
         The Patagonia man, a veteran of World War I, was unable to post $2,000 bond and is being held for appearance in U.S. District Court.
  • The following appeared on 15 August 1959 in The Dallas Morning News: (Fort Worth) Casa Manana Musicals will close their summer season with "Annie Get Your Gun," opening at 8:15 p.m. Monday.
         Starring in the Irving Berlin musical will be Deedy Irwin as Annie Oakley and George Wallace as Frank Butler. . . .
         Jack Rutherford will play Buffalo Bill Cody, a part he played on Broadway and on tour with Mary Martin. He has also played Buffalo Bill in the motion picture "Flaming Frontiers," and on many leading television shows. . . .
  • The following appeared on 16 February 1960 in the Tucson Daily Citizen: U.S. District Court, Judge James A. Walsh, presiding. . . . False claim and fraud statements regarding income tax statements: Jack Rutherford, pleaded innocence to three counts, trial set March 15.
  • The following appeared on 28 March 1960 in the Tucson Daily Citizen: A 66-year-old Patagonia resident, Jack Rutherford of the Salerno Ranch, was sentenced in federal court today to six months imprisonment and a $2,000 fine for filing a false income tax return.
         Rutherford pleaded guilty last week to filing a false and fraudulent income tax return for 1958, which enabled him to receive a refund under an assumed name.
         He was arrested May 22, 1959 after more than three weeks surveillance by federal authorities.
         Judge James A. Walsh set Apr. 4 as the date for the imprisonment to start because Rutherford told the court he has to go to the ranch and feed the animals and make preparations. He said he was deeply humiliated by his offense and greatly ashamed.
         In sentencing him to six months, Walsh pointed out the seriousness of the charges.
  • The SSDI lists Patagonia, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, as the last residence of record of Rutherford Herman.
  • Rutherford Herman died on 21 August 1982 at age 89.
  • Virginia Lee Bouldin became a widow at his death.
  • The following appeared in Who's Who in Hollywood (1992): Jack Rutherford (d. 1982, age 89) Character, looking like the popular conception of Buffalo Bill, who appeared in numerous Westerns, silent (portrayed Buffalo Bill in one) and talkie (Tex Ritter's Riches of the Frontier, among others); later played Buffalo Bill on stage in the national company of Annie Get Your Gun with Mary Martin.
  • Last Edited: 16 May 2015

Family: Virginia Lee Bouldin b. 15 July 1911, d. 13 February 1995