Rojan Disparte, member of the Osage Nation, was born in Los Angeles, California on March 15th, 1926 and died in Santa Barbara, California on March 8th, 2009. An accomplished actress, she was a member of Actors’ Equity.
She married Charlie Disparte in 1948. They separated in 1984 and reconciled in 1996.
Rojan’s first love was her family. She was a loyal, devoted and spirited wife to Charlie. She was a wonderful mother, best friend and inspiration to her daughter Gina. She was a devoted and loving grandmother to Jacob, Cody, and David.
Her many treasured friends will remember Rojan as warm and compassionate. She also loved all animals and was a supporter of the ASPCA.
Ever independent, she had a zest for life that few could match. She had a gift of seeing the best in everyone and lit up the room the minute she entered. She was known for her unique style, sense of humor and saying whatever was on her mind.
She delighted in bargain shopping, gardening and making her home a beautiful place. She loved to travel and was very proud of her American Indian heritage. She had a deep passion for her people, the Osage Indians and made sure to pass that passion on to her daughter, grandchildren, nieces, and nephew.
She lived her life fully to the very end. Few could keep up with her pace. She was a unique and remarkable woman and will be missed by so many.
Rojan’s professional acting career began at the Glendale Centre Theatre in 1949. In 1986 she joined the Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre. Among her memorable portrayals there were the Nurse in “Medea”, Juanita in “Come Back to the Five & Dime”, “Jimmy Dean”, Elizabeth Almond in “The Heiress” and Patina in Tom Strelich’s “Neon Psalms”.
Rojan also performed at the Center Stage Theatre, Actors Playwrite Theatre, Starlight Dinner Theatre, Lobero Theatre, Rubicon Theatre and the Garvin Theatre.
At the Garvin, Rojan won a 1997 Santa Barbara Independent award for her role as Kate Jerome in Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound”. Direction was by Pope Freeman.
Although her main love was the theatre, she was also active in TV and film. Rojan attended Hollywood Actor’s Workshop, the Isabelle Draesmer Drama School, Pasadena Playhouse, Los Angeles City College, Santa Monica City College, Santa Barbara City College and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
She is survived by her husband, Charlie, brother Craig Brandow, daughter Gina Disparte and grandchildren Jacob Root, Cody Root, David Quiroz, Mark Quiroz, Sr., and Raeanna Dealba.
Rojan was predeceased by her good friend and mentor Robert Grande Weiss, her mother, Blanche Brandow, her brothers John McKim, Leon McKim and sister Edriss Totten.
She lived in Solvang, California from 1974 to 2004 except for the years between 1984 and 1996 when she lived in Santa Barbara. In 2005 she and Charlie moved to Santa Barbara.
In accordance with Rojan’s wishes, a memorial and celebration will be held at the family home in Solvang on Saturday, April 18th at 2pm. Please RSVP to (805)563-2823.