Peter Rogers, 1914 – 2009
Best remembered for creating the iconic Carry On series of films.
Peter Rogers was born in Rochester, Kent, on 20th February 1914. Educated at Kings School, Rochester.
He married wife Betty E. Box in 1949, they were married for fifty years until her death in 1999. They had no children.
Rogers began his career as a journalist on the “Kentish Express”. in the late 1930′s he changed direction, moving into theatre. He was Auriol Lee’s assistant on such classic West End productions as J.B. Priestley’s “People at Sea” and John Van Druten’s “Gertie Maud”.
From West End Theatre to Fleet Street, where he worked on “Picture Post”. After hospitalisation during the war, Peter became a radio scriptwriter for the BBC. He entered the film industry as a scriptwriter in 1942 and was a member of the production executive committee of J. Arthur Rank’s Religious Films Ltd.
In 1946, he joined the Rank-controlled Gainsborough Studios, in Shepherds Bush, as an assistant scenario editor. At Gainsborough. It was here he first met his future wife, Betty Box, O.B.E., herself one of Britain’s most successful producers. They would produce many films together, among the early films they co-produced were Marry Me (1949) and Don’t Ever Leave Me (1949).
In the late 1940′s Rank consolidated its interests and moved all production to Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Peter Rogers and Betty Box moved with them where they continued their successful partnership producing such films as “Venetian Bird” and the Channel Islands wartime comedy Appointment with Venus (1951).
In 1951 Rogers went on to produce children’s films. This enabled him to combine his entertainment flair with his love of animals.
It was in 1958 that he produced a film called Carry on Sergeant, little knowing the direction it would take his career in. He went on to produce thirty more Carry On Films.
In 1973 Peter Rogers took the “Carry On” humour to the stage, at the Victoria Palace. “Carry On London!” opened in October 1973 and ran for 18 months.
Over his career Peter Rogers has produced over 100 films. In later years, he returned to writing and published several novels, including “Forbidden” (2001), as well as working on numerous screenplays for film and radio plays.