2 items from 2016
Actor and singer who started out as a Hollywood child star
Bobby Breen, who has died aged 87, belongs on the long list of Hollywood child stars whose careers were terminated or blunted by adolescence. It was particularly poignant for the curly-haired, cherubic Breen because his fame resided mainly in his high, prepubescent singing voice. Rainbow on the River (1936) was perhaps his best-known film, the title song also becoming his greatest hit on Decca records.
From the age of eight to 11, from 1936 to 1939, Breen, under contract to Rko Pictures, starred in eight hit movies, almost rivalling Shirley Temple and Freddie Bartholomew in popularity. The modest semi-musicals were cleverly constructed vehicles that highlighted his clear, boy soprano tones and natural acting ability. Although all the characters he played had one parent or were orphans, Breen was a cheerful, spunky child, who avoided the saccharine elements usual in such portrayals (like, for example, »
- Ronald Bergan
Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...
Though nobody guessed it when she was cast, Judy Garland’s fifth movie would be the first in a series starring the most famous child actor team in Hollywood history. Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry, a Freddie Bartholomew vehicle sadly missing its intended star, saw the first team up of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. Though both played supporting parts, their onscreen chemistry is clear. These kids were a hit!
The Movie: Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (MGM 1937)
The Songwriter: Arthur Freed (music and lyrics)
The Story: This bizarre little musical number perfectly encapsulates what would become the Mickey and Judy dynamic. Mickey is busy working at a project – in this case, trying to take Ronald Sinclair’s pants off (just in case you needed your daily dose of unintended homoerotic subtext). Meanwhile, »
- Anne Marie
2 items from 2016
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