Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Dean Stockwell Says Child Stardom Was 'Not Great Fun' and Meant 'Zero Education': Dean Stockwell Says Child Stardom Wasn't Fun

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Dean Stockwell Says Child Stardom Was 'Not Great Fun' and Meant 'Zero Education': Dean Stockwell Says Child Stardom Wasn't Fun

Article excerpt

TORONTOL, Ont. - Oscar and Emmy-nominated actor Dean Stockwell doesn't have fond memories of being a prolific child star in 1940s films including "Anchors Aweigh," "Gentleman's Agreement" and "Deep Waters."

"Not great fun, no. It was work," Stockwell, 76, explained in a recent telephone interview to promote his appearance at next weekend's third annual Wizard World Toronto Comic Con.

"It was six-days-a-week work, and I'd have to work at least eight hours a day and I'd have to fit three hours of schooling in somewhere through the day, in minimum 15-minute segments. So if the assistant director said, 'Go to school' after we'd finish a shot, I'd go in there and I'd have to stay in there 15 minutes, and they'd be waiting at the door for me to come out and block the next shot. So it meant zero education.

"I had one wonderful teacher who really realized that it was ridiculous and impossible to try to teach school to a child under those circumstances, so we played Gin Rummy and it was great. I learned more from that than anything else."

Stockwell did, however, learn performing skills from some showbiz icons early in his career, when he was a curly-haired cutie under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

While playing a runaway child in 1945's "Anchors Aweigh," for instance, Stockwell shared the screen with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

"I kind of remember a little bit of contrast between them because Gene was much more involved in what he was doing and I think he felt a little threatened by a child being involved, because there's an old adage among actors: Don't ever work with animals or kids because they steal the scenes," Stockwell said from his home in Taos, N.M., where he creates collage artwork.

"But Frank was not that way at all. He couldn't care less. He was very warm and very nice to me."

Stockwell has since appeared in dozens of films and TV series, including 1988's "Married to the Mob," for which he received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.