La Roche, Johann Joseph
Johann Joseph La Roche as Caspar, the errand-boy, in "Die Schwestern von Prag" by J. Perinet, engraving by Renard (after a sketch by J. A. Watteau)
La Roche, Johann Joseph, b. Bratislava, Slovakia (then Preßburg) April 1, 1745, d. Vienna, June 8, 1806, actor. Initially intended to become a barber, but entered acting (1764-1768) in the Brunian travelling company in Graz; from 1768 acted with the Menninger Company in Baden near Vienna, where he created the figure of "Kasperl" (characteristic: cape with a red heart sewn on it). From 1781 played under K. von Marinelli at the Vienna Leopoldstädter Theater, was its most popular actor until his death. Numerous plays were written esp. for him.
Literature: G. Gugitz, Der weiland Kasperl (J. L. R.). Ein Beitrag zur Theater- und Sittengeschichte Alt-Wiens, 1920; O. Rommel, Die großen Figuren der Altwiener Volkskomödie, 1946; O. Rommel, Die Altwiener Volkskomödie, 1952.