Life of “Big Daddy” Roth Subject of New Movie – Press Release 2/12/2005

DATE 02/12/2005 4:19 PM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Life of “Big Daddy” Roth Subject of New Movie

The life of Manti’s “Big Daddy” Roth is coming to the big screen.Toronto film maker Ron Mann is making a documentary about the late Ed Roth, who was famous for designing and building hotrod cars, including the Beatnik Bandit, and for creating the 1960s cartoon character Rat Fink and related paraphernalia. Roth, who moved to Manti from California in 1987, died in April 2001 at the age of 69.

The movie, Confessions of a Hot Roddin’, Pinstripin’, Kustomizin’, Teenage Icon, is set to be released later this year.

“I am so happy to have a movie that will preserve Ed’s legacy,” says Ilene Roth, Ed Roth’s widow and the Sanpete County auditor. She and her late husband met with Mann in 2000 when he came to Utah to discuss the film. “Ed was very excited about having a movie produced to spotlight his creations with Rat Fink and fiberglass cars. It was his dream and it will soon be a reality.”

An avid hotrod enthusiast from the age of 12, Ed Roth started out by fixing up old cars in his garage. He then moved on to building cars from scratch and quickly became known as an artist rather than a mechanic, with his creations earning the title “sculptures on wheels.”

He financed his passion by making cartoons and T-shirts, including drawings of cars and monsters driving cars. His most famous cartoon character was a rodent named Rat Fink, which became very popular in the 1960s and was featured on posters, T-shirts, rings and more.

Every year, Ilene Roth holds a “Rat Fink Reunion” celebration to honor the life of her late husband. This year’s reunion will be held May 12-14. The weekend attracts hundreds of his fans from around the world. One of the reunion’s special events is an open house at the “museum” Ilene Roth built on to her house to showcase Ed Roth’s creations. His art work is framed and hanging on the walls, and other memorabilia is on display. The museum is also open to the public year-round by appointment.

# # #

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
Skip to content

On this website we use first or third-party tools that store small files (cookie) on your device. Cookies are normally used to allow the site to run properly (technical cookies), to generate navigation usage reports (statistics cookies) and to suitable advertise our services/products (profiling cookies). We can directly use technical cookies, but you have the right to choose whether or not to enable statistical and profiling cookies. Enabling these cookies, you help us to offer you a better experience.