Discovered on Broadway by director 霍华德·霍克斯, La Rue was originally brought to Hollywood to play a gangster in 疤面人 (1932). He lost that role to 乔治·拉夫特, and similarly was replaced by 亨弗莱·鲍嘉 in the film version of 化石森林 (1936). Eventually, he became well-known to movie-goers as a mean, sexy gangster type in sadistic roles like 米利亚姆·霍普金斯' abductor in 可怜美玉陷泥淖 (1933). Film audiences, who loved to loathe him on-screen, were occasionally surprised by his being cast against type in such movies as 告别武器 (1932). His final film was in the low-budget film Paesano: A Voice in the Night (1975).