Remarkable Child Stars

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1.
Margaret O'Brien
Born Angela Maxine O'Brien on January 15, 1937 in San Diego, California. Her film debut was one-minute shot in MGM's Babes on Broadway. Her big moment came when she was cast in Journey for Margaret. This film shot her into instant stardom and also resulted in Angela changing her name to Margaret. Throughout the 1940s Margaret was a major child star...
 
2.
Virginia Weidler
Delightful child/juvenile actress Virginia Weidler (her friends called her "Ginny") had that knowing gleam in her eye that usually spelled trouble in one form or another for anyone at arm's reach. Born in Eagle Rock, California in 1926, she was one of six children born to Alfred Weidler, an architect...
 
3.
Judy Garland
One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals. She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in Minnesota...
 
4.
Elizabeth Taylor
Actress, Giant
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty, especially for her violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked on with since...
 
5.
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple was easily the most popular and famous child star of all time. She got her start in the movies at the age of three and soon progressed to super stardom. Shirley could do it all: act, sing and dance and all at the age of five! Fans loved her as she was bright, bouncy and cheerful in her...
 
6.
Freddie Bartholomew
One of the most popular child actors in film history, Freddie Bartholomew was born Frederick Cecil Bartholomew in London, England, in 1924. He was raised by his aunt, Millicent Bartholomew. Freddie had appeared on stage and in four minor British films when he was offered the title role in David Copperfield by MGM...
 
7.
Jackie Cooper
Actor, The Champ
Jackie Cooper was born John Cooper in Los Angeles, California, to Mabel Leonard, an Italian-American stage pianist, and John Cooper. Through his mother, he was the nephew of actress Julie Leonard, screenwriter Jack Leonard, and (by marriage) director Norman Taurog. Jackie served with the Navy in the South Pacific toward the end of World War II...
 
8.
Sabu
Sabu's role of Toomai in the 'Elephant Boy' was originally a minor one with the focus being on the other actors and the elephants. When the early rushes were viewed Sabu's naturalness and photogenic quality stood out which, combined with his way with the animals, caused the script to be re written giving him a major part...
 
9.
Baby Peggy
Silent moppet star Jackie Coogan, immortalized as Charles Chaplin's The Kid, had only one screen rival during the early 1920s, and that was none other than Baby Peggy. She was "discovered" while visiting the Century Studios lot on Sunset Boulevard with her mother when she was a mere 19-months-old...
 
10.
Joan Marsh
Platinum blonde; a leading lady in US films from the 30's through late 50's who had been a child player in silents ca. 1920.
 
12.
Dickie Moore
Former child and then juvenile actor, always to be remembered for bestowing on a 14-year-old Shirley Temple her first screen kiss - in 'Miss Annie Rooney' (1942). Has been a public-relations executive since the 50s, currently (1995) based in New York City.
 
13.
Philippe De Lacy
Actor, Peter Pan
Born in France during a World War I air raid in which his mother was killed, Philippe was adopted by Mrs. Edith DeLacy, who was associated with the Women's Overseas Hospital. After the war ended, Mrs. Lacy brought Philippe to America where his stunning looks soon made him a sought after model for advertisements and eventually brought him to the screen.
 
15.
Scotty Beckett
Scotty Beckett was one of the cutest, most successful child actors of the 1930s and 1940s. His descent into a life of alcoholism, drugs, and crime remains one of the most tragic of Hollywood stories. Born Scott Hastings Beckett on October 4, 1929 in Oakland, California, he and his family moved to Los Angeles when Scotty was 3 years old...
 
16.
Mitzi Green
Mitzi Green, also known as Mitze Green, was born Elizabeth Keno in The Bronx on October 22, 1920. At age 3, she began appearing in her parents' vaudeville act. In the early 1930s, she starred in several popular films with Paramount Pictures, including Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. She became...
 
17.
Jane Withers
Actress, Giant
During the early times of the Depression when life was more famine than feast, child stars became the blue plate special of the day, served up by Hollywood to help nourish a nation besieged with troubles. Following 20th Century-Fox monumental success with Shirley Temple in the early 1930s, every studio...
 
18.
Darla Hood
Darla Hood was born in a small rural Oklahoma town on Sunday, November 8th, 1931, she grew up as dark-banged cute girl, Darla Hood began her association with the motley "Our Gang" group at the tender age of 2 1/2, as she stated on the The Jack Benny Program. Her father, James Claude Hood, Jr., a banker...
 
19.
Bonita Granville
Producer, Lassie
Daughter of Bernard 'Bunny' Granville, Bonita Granville was born into an acting family. It's not surprising that she herself became a child actor, first on the stage and, at the age of 9, debuting in movies in Westward Passage. She was regularly cast as a naughty little girl, as in These Three where she played Mary...
 
20.
Marcia Mae Jones
Marcia Mae Jones was born on August 1, 1924, to an acting family. Her mother, Freda Jones, was an actress, and all three of her siblings - Margaret Jones, Macon Jones, and Marvin Jones - were child actors. But Marcia Mae had the most successful career, and she was the only one of her siblings to become a child star...
 
21.
Tommy Bond
Art Department, The Carol Burnett Show
Thomas Ross Bond, best known as the bully Butch in the "Our Gang" comedies, was born September 16, 1926 in Dallas. He got his start at the age of 5 when a talent scout for Hal Roach studios approached him as he was leaving a movie theater with his mother. Moving from Dallas to L.A. Bond appeared in dozens of "Our Gang" and "Little Rascals" features before outgrowing the role...
 
23.
Robert J. Mauch
1930's US child actor who usually appeared on screen with his twin, Billy Mauch.
 
24.
Anne Shirley
They didn't come packaged any sweeter and lovelier than Anne Shirley, a gentle and gracious 1930s teen film actress who didn't quite reach the zenith of front-rank stardom and retired all too soon at age 26. On film as a toddler, she went through a small revolving door of marquee names before legally settling (at age 16) on the name Anne Shirley...
 
25.
Dean Stockwell
Photogenic American child actor of the 1940s, popular due in no small measure to his air of innocence and his beautiful, cherubic face with its dimples and his sparkling eyes, topped with a crown of curls. Still an actor in demand while well into his middle years, he is one of the few juvenile performers to succeed lifelong in films...
 
26.
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins
Popular freckle-faced, buck-toothed child star of the 40's.
 
27.
Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco, California, as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova) and Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés, of Ukrainian and Russian descent, who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming US citizens...
 
28.
Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He first took the stage as a toddler in his parents vaudeville act at 17 months old. He made his first film appearance in 1926. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. It was in this popular film series that he took the stage name Mickey Rooney...
 
30.
Jackie Coogan
Actor, The Kid
Jackie Coogan was born into a family of vaudevillians where his father was a dancer and his mother had been a child star. On the stage by four, Jackie was touring at the age of five with his family in Los Angeles, California. While performing on the stage, he was spotted by Charles Chaplin, who then and there planned a movie in which he and Jackie would star...