Child Stars of the Golden Era - Where Are They Now


Shirley Temple was born on April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, CA. The most popular child star of all time, Shirley would be the #1 box office attraction in the world for four straight years from 1935-1938. She was in her first film at 3 and made 58 films before losing her childish charm.

She became Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. Shirley is still living at age 83. She has three children from two marriages.


Gigi Perreau was born on February 6, 1941 in Los Angeles, Ca. She was in her first film at eighteen months and is still working today at age 71. She made over 70 films.

She has four children from two marriages.


Jackie Cooper was born on September 15, 1922 in Los Angeles, CA. He started in films at age six and made 128 movie and tv appearances before his death in 2011 at age 88.

He has four children from three marriages.


Deanna Durbin was born on December 4, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She made her first film at 14 and would make 23 films in her career. She would become the highest paid actress in the world.

She has two children from three marriages. Deanna is 90 at this writing and living in France.


Margaret O’Brien was born on January 15, 1937 in San Diego, CA. Her film debut was in Babes in Arms with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland at age two. She has made over 70 films so far.

She has one child from two marriages.


Judy Garland was born on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, MN. She was in her first film at age six and performed in over 100 films and TV shows. One of the greatest singers of all time as well as an outstanding actress.

Judy is best remembered for Wizard of Oz in 1939 along with Meet Me in St. Louis and A Star is Born.

Judy had three children from five marriages. She died on June 22, 1969 at 47 from an overdose of barbiturates.


Ann Rutherford was born on November 2, 1920 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was in her first film at 14 and would make over seventy films and TV appearances before retiring in 1976. She was most famous for her series of Andy Hardy films with Mickey Rooney.

She has one child from two marriages. Ann is 91 years young.


Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, CA. She was one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen. She made her first film appearance at four years old and had 70 film and TV shows before her untimely death.

She will always be remembered from Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean and Sal Mineo. All three stars would have tragic endings. Another great role for Natalie was in West Side Story in 1961. She is seen yearly at Christmas time in 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street.

She had two children from three marriages including film star Robert Wagner who she married twice. Natalie died from drowning in 1981 at the age of 43.


Mickey Rooney was born on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, NY. He made his debut on stage at 15 months and has 329 films and TV appearances to his credit as of this writing. Mickey at 91 is still active in the industry. Like Shirley Temple, Mickey was #1 box office attraction in the world.

Mickey, in my opinion is the greatest all-around entertainer of all time. He could sing, dance, do comedy and drama and play several instruments. If you never saw any of The Andy Hardy movies with Mickey in the lead role, believe me, you missed some terrific entertainment. There were over 20 in the series.

Mickey has nine children from eight marriages including his first marriage to film star, Ava Gardner.


Jane Powell was born on April 1, 1929 in Portland, OR. She appeared in her first film at age fourteen and has over 40 films to her credit. She has three children from five marriages.

She was a highly trained soprano best known for the film, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Jane is 83.


Hayley Mills was born on April 18, 1946 in London, England to a theatrical family. She made her film debut at thirteen and has 43 TV and film appearances.

She has one child from a previous marriage and is still active at 65.


Elizabeth Taylor was born on February 27, 1932 in Hampstead, London, England. Still considered by many as the most beautiful woman on screen ever. Liz would perform in 68 films and television shows starting with her first at age ten.

She married eight times and had four children. She once said that she never slept with a man that she did not marry.

Elizabeth won two Oscars for Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. She passed away on March 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA.


Freddie Bartholomew made 36 films starting at age six. He was like Shirley Temple in that as he grew older he lost the charm of youth that kept them in demand. His most famous films were Little Lord Fauntleroy in 1936 and Captains Courageous with Spencer Tracy.

Freddie lost his millions he had earned as a child star by the time he was thirty to legal battles between his parents and his aunt that had raised him. He turned to directing television.

He would have three children from three marriages.

Freddie passed away on January 23, 1992 in Sarasota, FL.


Roddy McDowall was born on September 17, 1928 in London, England and made his first appearance on the screen in at age nine. He would take part in 258 films and television movies. He is most remembered for his roles in How Green Was My Valley and Lassie Come Home.

Roddy, along with Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson were considered Elizabeth Taylor’s best friends. She once said that she could confide in Roddy with anything. Roddy never married.

Roddy passed away on October 3, 1998 from lung cancer in Studio City, CA.


Jackie Coogan first performed on screen at age 2. He appeared in 140 films and television movies. He was born on October 26, 1914 in Los Angeles, California and was first spotted by film great Charles Chaplin.

He is remembered mostly for The Kid, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn which would be his final film during his high popularity. As with other child stars, his reign of stardom took a nosedive when his childish looks disappeared.

He had four children during three marriages, one of which was Better Grable known world wide for her great legs.

For those familiar with The Addams Family in the 70’s, Coogan was Uncle Fester.

Jackie passed away on March 1, 1984 from a heart attack in Santa Monica, CA.


Patty Duke first appeared on television at age 11. She appeared in films and on television 135 times. Patty was born on December 14, 1946 in Elmhurst, NY.

She is best remembered for her Oscar winning role in The Miracle Worker in 1962 at age 16 making her the youngest person ever to win an Oscar at that time.

She has three children from four marriages and currently lives in Idaho.


Claude Jarman, Jr. was born on September 27, 1934 in Nashville, TN and appeared in his first film, The Yearling in 1946 which would remain the film that he would always be remembered for. A powerful performance along with that of Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman brought him more work in ten more films before his youthful innocence left him. Being his first role and done with such emotion, the Academy awarded him a miniature Oscar.

Not receiving offers in films, he returned to Nashville to finish high school and followed with attending Vanderbilt University and a stint in the navy.

Claude has seven children from three marriages and is currently living in San Francisco.


Patty McCormick was born on August 21, 1945 in Brooklyn, NY. She began her career at age five and is still making films at age 66.

The role that will always define Patty is The Bad Seed in 1956 for which she would earn an Oscar nomination. She has performed in 129 films and television series so far.

Patty is divorced with one child and has one film, Buttwhistle in post production.


Bobby Driscoll began his film career at age five and would make 50 movie and television appearances.

Bobby was born on March 3, 1937 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is best remembered for his role as Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island in 1950, but in 1949 he would receive an Oscar for Outstanding Juvenile actor for his role in The Window.

Acne stalled his acting career at age sixteen and his next big hit was doing the voice of Peter Pan in 1953. He turned to drugs and was imprisoned in 1961. He tried to make a comeback, but was not accepted by the studios.

His final appearance on film was in an underground film, Dirt in 1965. On March 30, 1968, two kids playing in an abandoned tenement housing found his body. He was believed to be a homeless person and buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave in New York where his body remains.

Bobby was married twice to the same woman and had three children.


Jane Withers was born on April 12, 1926 in Atlanta, GA. Like so many others, she graced the screen at age five. She had 68 movie and television appearances. Her most famous roles early on were in Bright Eyes in 1934 and Ginger in 1935.

After growing out of her youthful appearance, she tried a comeback in 1956 with Giant starring James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. She was terrific in her role as the loudmouth Texas cowgirl.

Probably, she is mostly remembered, however as Josephine the Plumber on television commercials.

She had five children from two marriages and at 85 is still actively pursuing roles.


Robet Blake was born on September 18, 1933 in Nutley, NJ. He started his career with a role in the Our Gang series at the age of five. He would appear in 163 films and television series. His most famous film was In Cold Blood in 1967 where he played the real life role of a brutal and sadistic killer.

Probably best remembered for his four year series Baretta playing Detective Tony Baretta during the late 70’s.

In his personal life, however, he would be best remembered for being tried for the murder of his wife. He was not convicted, but it seemingly ended his long career.

Blake was married twice and had three children. The attorneys for his trial left him broke and out of work.


Annette Funicello was born on October 22, 1942 in Utica, NY.

Annette is best remembered for being a Mouseketeer and for her beach party movies in the 60’s. She made 34 appearances in movies and television.

She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1987 following her final film, Back to the Beach.

Annette has three children from two marriages and still lives in the very first house she ever owned.


Sal Mineo was born on January 10, 1939 in The Bronx, NY. His first film was a television movie at the age of thirteen and he would go on to make 71 appearances on both television and films.

His most famous film is Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean and Natalie Wood. All three actors would die tragic deaths.

My favorite film of Sal’s is The Gene Krupa Story in 1959. I was a drummer in my own band and my hero was Mr. Gene Krupa himself. So, when I saw this film and discovered that Sal was actually playing the drums in the movie, I was blown away. He and Mickey Rooney both were that good.

On February 12, 1976 in West Hollywood, CA, Sal was walking home from rehearsal for a play when a stranger stabbed him to death. The attacker, a drug addict needing money, was sentenced to life imprisonment.


Shelley Fabares was born on January 19, 1944 in Santa Monica, CA. Her first appearance on the small screen was at age eleven. She had television and movie roles in 88 productions.

She will always be remembered for her role as Donna Reed‘s daughter in The Donna Reed Show during the 50’s and 60’s. Unlike most of her counterparts, Shelley transitioned herself into adult roles very respectfully. She was a beautiful young woman. Her most memorable film would be Brian’s Song with James Caan in 1971. She made three films with Elvis.

She had one huge hit as a singer, Johnny Angel which topped the charts in 1962.

She is now living with her second husband, Mike Farrell of television fame and her two step-children.


Ron Howard was born on March 1, 1954 in Duncan, OK. He has been a child star of television and the movies as well as a much decorated film director.

His first film was at age two. He would act in 77 films. Of course, everyone remembers Ron as Opie in The Andy Griffith Show in the 60’s, but I best remember Ron in the movie, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father in 1963 with Glen Ford. A truly entertaining film of a man’s relationship with his son after losing the boy’s mother.

We also remember fondly the role of Richie Cunningham in Happy Days in the 70’s and 80’s. Then, there is one of my favorite comedies of all time, Night Shift in 1982 which Ron directed starring Michael Keaton in an unforgettable role along with Henry Winkler.

Ron is still married to the same woman after 37 years and is the father of four children. They currently reside in the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.


Bonita Granville was born on February 2, 1923 in Chicago, IL. She appeared in her first of 79 films at age nine. She is best remembered for her Nancy Drew Mysteries role in which she played Nancy Drew. She also appeared in a few of Mickey Rooney‘s Andy Hardy films.

After marrying an oil millionaire in the mid 50’s, she retired from films and became a producer of such films as the Lassie series on television.

Bonita died of cancer on October 11, 1988 in Santa Monica, CA.


Darryl Hickman was born on July 28, 1931 in Hollywood, CA. His first of 138 film and television roles came at age five. Remembered for Grapes of Wrath in 1940, Meet Me in St. Louis in 1944 and The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers in 1946.

He left the business to enter a monastery in 1951, but after a year went back to Hollywood to start over. After failing at recapturing his youth, he went on to become a producer as did his brother, Dwayne.

He has one child from two marriages and still lives in Los Angeles.

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