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Your Favorite Child Stars

162 posts in this topic

BROOKLYN was released earlier as a video and laser disc. It supposedly is coming up as a Studio Classic DVD soon! It a wonderful film. In fact one of the projects set to star Marilyn Monroe before her untimely death was the film version of the B'way musical of TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN in the Joan Blondell role, I assume. She would have been great in that role!!

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Hope you're right and Fox does not do the same as with "Laura's" release on dvd...

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I think LAURA must be held up in some sort of legal rights, either music or story!! Hopefully, this will be straightened out soon. WB had problems with EAST OF EDEN, but now this has been straightened out. Re: child stars I really like Bobby Driscoll in The WINDOW. He carries the whole picture on his shoulders!! He was a remarkable child actor, very natural.

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I agree Dean Stockwell, Roddy McDowell two who really continued on their way as adults and fine actors and a credit to their youth.

 

Dean was so wonderful in Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,

The Boy with Green Hair, Anchors Aweigh, etc.

Roddy, of course all Lassie, plus his great career as a renowned photographer.

 

I am still enjoying Dean today on JAG, an outstanding military series presently on TV.

 

Nb

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Yes, no one can ever top Shirley Temple

 

All the others, Dean Stockwell, Roddy McDowell, Butch Jenkins, Jackie Cooper, Margaret O'Brien, Bobby Driscoll,

Mickey Rooney, Freddie Bartholomew, Bobs Watson (with Lionel Barrymore and the devil in the tree)

he was one great crier-

We are fortunate to have the movies to remind us of these and many others-to relive our youth through them

 

nb

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How terrible, I failed to include Mickey Rooney, who has not only lived through the young, teen and adult actor, but is still favoring us with his outstanding performances on stage.

 

He is another who made it and shows the appreciation for having made it. He is an outstanding gentleman.

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I agree Dean Stockwell, Roddy McDowell two who really continued on their way as adults and fine actors and a credit to their youth.

 

Dean was so wonderful in Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,

The Boy with Green Hair, Anchors Aweigh, etc.

Roddy, of course all Lassie, plus his great career as a reknowned photographer.OOPS, goofed on Dean, I believe it was Gentlemens' Agreement he played a great role. Not Man in the Grey Flannel Suit.

 

I am still enjoying Dean today on JAG, an outstanding military series presently on TV.

 

Nb

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What great memories in this thread.

 

Shirley Temple is of course tops in my book. Her scenes with James Dunn in BRIGHT EYES (and Dunn's with Garner in TREE/BROOKLYN) just break your heart.

 

Bobs Watson of course in ON BORROWED TIME...."Then I don't love you anymore either...I don't love you anymore either...."

 

I think also of little Tami Marihugh in THE LAST VOYAGE when she had to be in some physical danger - I don't think they were all trick shots!

 

The kids in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, especially Angela Cartwright....watching her face when her father sings that song with his guitar...so sweet.

 

Tommy Rettig of course as had been mentioned in RIVER OF NO RETURN and THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T.

 

Richard Eyer who played they younger son in FRIENDLY PERSUASION, THE INVISIBLE BOY, and with another tot performer Susan Gordon in THE BOY AND THE PIRATES.

 

Susan was also in ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE and TORMENTED, but best of all THE FIVE PENNIES as Danny Kaye's young daughter. I love the scene when they play poker and then he takes her out to sing with Louis Armstrong.

 

Darryl Hickman in LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN.

 

When the kids were bad they were awful (lots of tv kids) -but when they were good - they made the movie.

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Guest

Patty Macormack gave an excellent performance in The Bad Seed, though she disappeared soon thereafter and never became a star.

 

One person I couldn't stand as a child or as an adult is Jane Withers, who seemed to suffer from a terminal case of the 'cutsies.'

 

Of course the most lumenescent child star is Shirley Temple who appeared so natural and appealing on the screen. These are things that cannot be learned; one is born with them. A more modern example is Marilyn Monroe. People born with these rare qualities evoke several emotions in the viewing audience that serve as the basis of their appeal...a deaire to nurture, to protect, to love, to befriend, etc.

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I like all your selections yet no one listed Liz Taylor who was not bad at all, although when I see her a grin appears; she reminds me of a woman playing an 11 year old. Know what I mean??

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Liz was mentioned several times through out this thread, and if you mean she came across as mature for her age I agree. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I like Liz's early movies Fathers Little Dividend era and prior. I'm not sure why.

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It's a wonder how former child star Jane Withers kept her chin up with a sunshine attitude since she had so much tragedy in her life.

As a child she was adored by the stars and crew of her movies as well as her child star friends who all enjoyed attending parties at her home.

A very generous person, her faith in the Lord also helped her to cope with it all.

 

Mongo

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Bobby watson in On Borrowed time, also in Boys Town

when he gets hit by the car OH Peewee! I cry everytime

he was also in the men of Boystown. Margaret O' Brien

is also my favorite both Margaret & Bobby could cry so good on camera it tears your heart out!....lolite

Both excellent child actors from their era.

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Virginia Weidler in the Philadelphia Story has always been one of my favourites. She has given me one of my best lines, 'It's a dirty gyp!' The scene at the stable is just hilarious.

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slappy I thought at least you would have appreciated the evil little brat played by Patty McCormack in "The Bad Seed"?

 

Mongo

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You're right mongo.I don't dislike 'em all.I'm NOT a kid hater, it's just that so many child stars are just too cute and precociously articulate for me. Another thing that irritates me... WHY do the wife and kids ALWAYS have to be smarter than the father who is invariably depicted as a complete moron, incapabile of any intelligent speech or behavior? Ok it was funny the first MILLION times they did it....

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Patty McCormack played Rhoda in The Bad Seed quite well. One of my friends looks like an older version and her and we call her Rhoda!

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Recently watched the movie "All This, and Heaven Too" with Bette Davis which featured an outstanding child actor Richard Nichols. He played Reynald who was under the care of Davis as the nanny and he was most appealing as a sickly child. It is noted that Davis herself took to this child and was very fond of him.

He was also in "A Woman's Face", "Kitty Foyle", "Blossoms in the Dust" etc.

Just read that Mr. Nichols passed away in March of 2003.

 

Mongo

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For sheer charisma and appeal, nobody beat SHIRLEY TEMPLE. She may not have been the greatest actress of all the child stars, but she certainly had a certain star power that no one else did. She was more than just a movie star--she was a national institution during the '30s.

 

Others I would choose strictly for talent:

 

FREDDIE BARTHOLOMEW (for DAVID COPPERFIELD), PEGGY ANN GARNER (although hard to believe she turned into Joan Fontaine in JANE EYRE), ELIZABETH TAYLOR (in LASSIE COME HOME she was incredibly sensitive as an actress), BOBBY DRISCOLL (fantastic in THE WINDOW) and BONITA GRANVILLE (in THESE THREE she deserved more than just a nomination). However, she could be irritating in her other brat roles in Warner comedies of the '30s.

 

But SHIRLEY TEMPLE had it over all of them!!!

 

 

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Another very natural and delightful child actor was Karolyn Grimes, better known as "Zuzu" (she of the petals). She also played Bing Crosby's daughter in "Blue Skies."

 

 

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After watching a double dose of Freddie Bartholomew in "David Copperfield" and "Captains Courageous", on TCM recently, I must reiterate that he was one superior child star.

It's a wonder that as an adult he chose not to discuss his years in the movie business. Could be the tug-o-war that went on concerning his child welfare.

In any event, with his talent, he had nothing to be ashamed of.

 

Mongo

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Another kid I enjoyed was Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins (National Velvet, The Human Comedy, etc). Left the screen at age 11. I heard it said because he developed a stutter - maybe mongo knows.

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Oops...looks like we have two threads going now for this topic. Bother! This being the "original" thread, I'll post in it again, too.

 

My selections include: Freddie Bartholomew, Roddy McDowall, Bobs Watson, and more recently Haley Joel Osment. I should also add my favorite "little girls": Jane Withers, Virginia Weidler, Shirley Temple, and Margaret O'Brien. :)ML

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