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Defenestrator

Furthest Back Surviving Co-Stars

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I thought an interesting game would be to think of the oldest movie with a certain number of surviving cast members. This surely would have been a better game a decade or two ago, with so few notable stars even from the fifties and sixties left at this point, much less the thirties and forties. But today I noticed "The Secret Garden" from 1949 still has the juvenile leads Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell living, along with an uncredited castmember, also a child star at the time, Kathryn Beaumont, who would gain her greatest fame as a Disney legend voicing characters in two of the studio's most popular animated features, "Alice in Wonderland" (as Alice) and "Peter Pan" (as Wendy). So the game would be to next come up with a movie from the forties that has more than three people still among us, or just a movie from an earlier year with the same number of survivors. This thread can then go back and forth with larger numbers of co-stars from a later decade, as even the seventies might be challenging in this regard at some point.

I recall on the 75th Annual Academy Awards broadcast in 2003, the hosts pointed out two legends in attendance who immediately got standing ovations--Olivia De Havilland and Mickey Rooney (the latter of course having since passed). At the time, a joke occurred to me that I thought they could have used but didn't: "Since both these stars are here tonight, this is not only the Oscars broadcast. It is also the 'Midsummer Nights Dream Reunion Special.'" Of course, that was the 1935 movie early in both careers that was Mickey and Olivia's sole feature as co-stars, from 68 years before.

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A couple of "Our Gang" films from 1937 have some survivors.  "Reunion In Rhythm" featured Georgie Jean LaRue and Sidney Kibrick, both born in 1928, who are still alive today.  Also, "Our Gang Follies Of 1938" featured Georgie Jean LaRue and Annie Ross.  Annie Ross was born in 1930 and was then billed as Annabelle Logan.  Here she is at age seven.

 

    

 

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OK, that's four survivors in 1964, two survivors in each of two 1937 shorts, and three in 1949. If we adopt "Name That Tune" rules, the goal will be to match the number of survivors in an earlier year or go higher in a close later one.

I had forgotten Annie Ross was in that Our Gang short, knowing her mainly for her villainous role in "Superman III." But isn't it odd that the villains are almost the only survivors from the main cast of the Chris Reeve "Superman" movies (except for Robert Vaughn)? That's Gene Hackman, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, Terence Stamp, Sarah Douglas, Jack O'Halloran, Pamela Stephenson, Annie Ross, Jon Cryer and Mark Pillow, plus just a few non-villains such as Marc McClure, Annette O'Toole, Jeff East and Mariel Hemingway.

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This month the SOTM on TCM is Jane Powell.  In 1948, Jane starred in "Three Daring Daughters".  It was recently shown on TCM.  The other two daughters were played by Ann E. Todd and Elinor Donahue.  All three of those ladies are still with us.

And speaking of Elinor Donahue, she made several movies with Margaret O'Brien.  One was "Her First Romance" in 1951.  Also in the cast was Elinor's future "Father Knows Best" co-star, Billy Gray.  In the story, Margaret O'Brien has a crush on a boy played by Allen Martin Jr.  Also featured were veteran child stars Jimmy Hunt and Sharyn Moffett.  All six of those folks are still alive today, some sixty-eight years later.

Image result for allen martin jr. her first romance

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Robert Wagner, Virginia Leith and Joanne Woodward are still alive as of today.

They were in "A Kiss Before Dying" (1956)

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Terry Kilburn as Tiny Tim and June Lockhart as Belinda Cratchit were both in MGM's 1938 version of "A Christmas Carol"  Both are still with us today.

Image result for terry kilburn  a christmas carol 

 

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