”1911 - 1979”
Jul. 20, 1911 - Mar. 26, 1979
Dancer, Actress. Born Rose Marie Grinnell on the Potawatomie Indian reservation in Jackson County, Kansas, she was the daughter of a Potawatomie father and a Chippewa mother.
She moved to Phoenix, Arizona, as a teenager, where she won a Miss Original America contest in 1928. Shortly thereafter she moved to California, where she changed her name to RoMere Darling and became a professional dancer and actress. In 1934 she appeared as an Indian dancer in the MGM film, "Laughing Boy". She was the subject of a photo-layout in the November 15, 1938, edition of "PIC" magazine, heralded as the Real Miss America of 1938. Over the next decade she appeared in several Hollywood films, in mostly 'native' roles, in "Son of Fury" (1942), in "Brazil" (1944), "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), and in "Unconquered" (1947) and "The Cowboy and the Indians" (1949). She also toured with Tex Ritter as an Indian dancer.
As a young woman Darling married Harold Rogers, a Senaca-Cayuga Indian from northeast Oklahoma. Rogers was a Tech Seargent in the United States Army Air Force and was killed during World War II. By 1950 she was married to Julius Martin.
She left Hollywood and settled with her husband in Tiff City, Missouri, on the Oklahoma border. There she engaged in various endeavors related to her native American ancestry. She organized a dance group in Turkey Ford, Oklahoma. She started a home business making Indian design shirts for men and women.
She is best remembered for her Christmas charity, "Box 14-A", collecting and distributing donations of food, clothing, and toys for needy Indian families in the quad-state area of southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas.
Late in life she was widowed again and remarried to Ovando Collman, who also preceded her.
RoMere Darling Martin died in a Joplin, Missouri, hospital after a long bout with cancer.
Burial site is Bassett Grove Cemetery, Grove, OK
Resource:The Morning Sun, Pittsburg, KS March 1979)
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