Roger Corman

Corman in 2009, photo by s_bukley/

Birth Name: Roger William Corman

Date of Birth: April 5, 1926

Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Date of Death: May 9, 2024

Place of Death: Santa Monica, California, U.S.

*father – Ashkenazi Jewish
*mother – Polish

Roger Corman was an American independent film producer, screenwriter, director, entertainment businessperson, and actor. Known as an innovator of low-budget, independent, cult films, particularly in the horror and then crime/biker genres, he specifically adapted many works by Edgar Allan Poe. A figure of the New Hollywood era, he worked with a large number of its up-and-coming directors and actors; and himself directed films largely from the mid 1950s to the early 1970s. He directed, among other titles, Swamp Women, It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth (1957), Machine-Gun Kelly, Teenage Caveman (1958), A Bucket of Blood, The Wasp Woman (1959), House of Usher, Last Woman on Earth, The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Creature from the Haunted Sea, The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Premature Burial, The Intruder, Tales of Terror, Tower of London (1962), The Raven, The Terror, The Haunted Palace (1963), X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tomb of Ligeia (1964), The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Bloody Mama, and Frankenstein Unbound. He co-founded New World Pictures and New Concorde, and helped distribute many acclaimed foreign films in the U.S. He was known as “The Pope of Pop Cinema,” “The Spiritual Godfather of the New Hollywood,” and “The King of Cult.”

Roger was the son of Anne/Ann/Annie Martha and William Corman. His brother, Gene Corman, was also a film producer. Roger’s father was Jewish, born in Missouri, to Russian Jewish immigrants. Roger’s mother was Catholic, born in Michigan, to Polish parents. Roger and his brother were raised Catholic.

Roger was married to film producer Julie (Halloran) Corman, until his death, with whom he had four children.

Roger’s paternal grandfather was named Jacob Corman.

Roger’s paternal grandmother was named Betty/Bessie Arst.

Roger’s maternal grandfather was named Jozef/Joseph High/Chajewski.

Roger’s maternal grandmother was named Clara Dolny/Dolney.

Sources: Roger Corman on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Roger’s parents –

Roger’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Roger’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Roger’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Death record of Roger’s mother –

2 Responses

  1. tomoyo says:

    I think his mother was probably an ethnic Pole. The “High” surname was originally “Chajewski”:

    Not to mention “Dolny” is of Polish origin anyway. And Joseph and Clara’s grave reads “ojciec” and “matka”, Polish for father and mother:

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