The cabalen lad first appeared in stage with former President Diosdado Macapagal who became his brother-in-law. His real name was Regidor dela Rosa but he was more popularly known in showbusiness as Rogelio dela Rosa. His parents were Feliciano dela Rosa and Rosario Lim.
He hailed from Lubao, Pampanga. He was an honor student in his primary and secondary schooling and his interest ranged from sports to drama and curation. He took an Associate in Arts course at the Far Eastern University, one of the popular school in the metropolis. He excelled there in boxing as he competed with other student boxers from other institution. Being the athletic type, he was also a member of the FEU basketball team. He also won in inter-university oratorical contests.
His career as an actor began when he was discovered by no less than Jose Nepomuceno, the acknowledged Father of Philippines Cinema. He was introduced in a silent movie, Ligaw na Bulaklak, in 1932 where he co-starred with Rosa del Rosario, a protégée of the wife of Jose Nepomuceno.
Other silent pictures followed, including Ang Ganid, Ulong Inasnan and Sawing Palad. His tandem with Carmen Rosales became a surefire box-office team up which prompted Senator Pedro Vera, producer of Sampaguita Pictures, to keep them as a loveteam. They co-starred in such films as Lambingan, Diwa ng Awit, Señorita, Tampuhan, Colegiala, Panambitan, Takipsilim, Maalaala Mo Kaya and Iyung – iyo. They also appeared in Ang Tangi Kong Pag-Ibig with Norma Vales and Luis Gonzales under the direction of Mar S. Torres. In Lydia, they formed a love triangle with Paraluman in a film megged by Armando Garces. All flicks were produced by Sampaguita Pictures Inc.
In 1949, the loveteam.was still going strong. Their films in this period included Kampanang Ginto. But Rogelio de la Rosa also starred opposite other ladies. His films included Camelia (with Patricia Mijares), Backpay (with Erlinda Cortes), Haring Kobra (with Lilia Dizon), Gintong Pangarap (with Cecilia Lopez), Victory Joe, Isang Libong Kagandahan and Voice of Freedom (with Norma Blancaflor), Prinsipe Amante and Prinsipe Amante sa Rubintanya (with Delia Razon, Rosa Rosal and Ben Rubio), Sohrab at Rustum (with his younger brother Jaime), Prinsipeng Hindi Tumatawa (with Mila del Sol, Elvira Reyes and Erlinda Cortez, directed by Manuel Conde) and Higit Sa Lahat which won for him the Famas Best Actor award in 1955 and the same trophy in the 1956 Asian Film Festival.
He also made films for LVN Pictures, Inc. In the 30’s, he appeared opposite different leading ladies in such movies like Florante at Laura and Makiling with Rosita Rivera and directed by Carlos Padilla Sr. for Parlatone Hispano Filipino, Bahay Kubo with co-star Fely Vallejo and Fleur de Lis was directed by Gerardo de Leon, Lagot na Kuwintas with Rosario Moreno, Diwata ng Karagatan with Adela Flunkers under the direction of Carlos Vander Tolosa, Bituing Marikit with songtress Elsa Oria and Teniente Rosario with Lucita Goyena.
He established a movie outfit, the RDR Productions with co-producers Placido Mapa and J. Amado Araneta. They produced films like Anong Ganda Mo, Ang Maestra with Rosa del Rosario which was directed by Gerardo de Leon and Caballero.
He also made films under Premiere Productions, Inc. These included Bulaklak at Paruparo with co-star Rosa Del Rosario as his leading lady. In Apat Na Kasaysayang Ginto, he appeared in one episode. In Ngayon at Kailanman, he co-starred with Pancho Magalona, Cynthia Zamora and Corazon Rivas under the direction of Teodorico Santos. He appeared in an international film which was shot in Hollywood. His two leading ladies were Sigrid Gurie and Pacita Francisco. This was the film Sword of the Avenger (Ang Vengador in its Tagalog version). It was directed and produced by Sydney Salkow under Eagle Lion Films and United Philippine Artists.
He was already a senator when he made in 1961 Dugo at Luha, a dramatic story of the life of poor people surviving in their daily struggles. He almost aspired for the presidency but backed up at the last moment in favor of his former brother-in-law and townmate, Diosdado Macapagal. In 1982, he was given the Walang Kupas award.
He was assigned to several ambassadorial posts in Sri-lanka, Cambodia and the Netherlands where he succumbed to heart attack on November 26, 1986 at the age of 71.
He was survived by his wife, actress Lota Delgado, and their seven children. His other siblings were sister Susan Africa and younger brother Jaime de la Rosa.