Lela E. Rogers, 86, mother of actress Ginger Rogers and a writer, editior and prosucer, died Wednesday in Palm Springs, Calif.
She was one of the first women to joine Marine Corps at the begining of World War I and eventually became editor of the Marine magazine. Leatherneck.
Mrs. Rogers covered theater for the Fort Worth (Texas) Record. Her daughter, Ginger, made her debut in Fort Worth and went on to a noteworthy carcer in motion pictures, on the stage, and in nightclubs.
Mrs. Rogers was considered her daughter's mentor. She lived in Hollywood for many years, manging the actress' affairs and developing her own career as a producer. She even appeared in a film or two herself.
Mrs. Rogers at one time operated an acing school, where she trained such stars as Lucille Ball and Betty Grable. Asked once about "glamour," she replied:
It's tied up with beauty, but beauty is mostly a state of mind. And that's something every girl should be taught in the public schools - it's every bit as important as the A,B,Cs. There is really no such thing as a homely woman. It is the way a woman feels about herself that makes her homely."
Mrs. Rogers was considered by many to be as glamorous as her daughter. In the late 1930s, a rumor spread that she was considering marriage to the late J. Edgar Hoover, FBI chief.
She admitted that they were good friends but said the rumor develop through a misunderstanding.
In 1974, Mrs. Rogers, who was one of the founders of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American ideals, apperared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was probing Communism in Hollywood.
She contended then that Hollywood movie makers were "politically blind" to the menance of communism and called for the outlawing of the Communist Party in this country.
Mrs. Rogers had not been in the news in recent years. Her famous daughter, who is 65, is still performing and appearing on television talk shows.