Bobby Driscoll

December 15, 2020 0 Comments

Bobby Driscoll was a natural-born actor. Discovered by chance at the age of five-and-a-half in a barber shop in Altadena, CA. and then convincing in anything he ever undertook on the movie screen and on television throughout his career spanning 17 years (1943-1960). Includes such notable movie screen appearances as The Fighting Sullivans (1944), Song of the South (1946), So Dear to My Heart (1948), and The Window (1949), which was not only the sleeper of 1949 but even earned him his Academy Award in March 1950 as the outstanding juvenile actor of 1949. For his role as Jim Hawkins in Walt Disney’s Treasure Island (1950), he eventually received his Hollywood Star on 1560 Vine Street, and in 1954 he was chosen in a nation-wide poll for a Milky Way Gold Star Award (for his work on TV and radio). But all the more tragic, then, was his fruitless struggle to find a place in a pitiless adolescent world after severe acne had stalled his acting career at 16. When his face was no longer charming and his voice not smooth enough to be used for voice-over jobs, his last big movie hit was the voice of animated Peter Pan (1953), for which he was also the live-action model. When his contract with the Disney studios was prematurely terminated shortly after the release of Peter Pan (1953) in late March 1953, his mother additionally took him from the talent-supporting Hollywood Professional School, which he attended by then. On his new School, the public Westwood University High School, on which he graduated in 1955, all of a sudden his former stardom became more burden than advantage. He successfully continued acting on TV until 1957 and even managed to get two final screen roles; in The Scarlet Coat (1955) and opposite of Mark Damon and Connie Stevens in The Party Crashers (1958). His life became more and more a roller coaster ride that included several encounters with the law and his eventual sentencing as a drug addict in October 1961. Released in early 1962, rehabilitated and eager to make a comeback, Bobby was ignored by the very industry that once had raised and nurtured him, because of his record as a convict and former drug addict. First famous… now infamous. Hoping to revive his career on the stage after his parole had expired in 1964, he eventually traveled to New York, only to learn that his reputation had preceded him, and no one wanted to hire him there, either. After a final appearance in ‘Piero Heliczer”s Underground short _Dirt_, in 1965 and a short art-period at Andy Warhol‘s so-called Factory, he disappeared into the underground, thoroughly dispirited, funds depleted. On March 30, 1968, two playing children found his dead body in an abandoned East Village tenement. Believed to be an unclaimed and homeless person, he was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave on Hart Island, where he remains.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: –

Spouse (1)

Marilyn Jean Rush(3 December 1956 – 1960) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Was the first actor to sign long-term deal with Walt Disney‘s animation dept. When found dead, his identity was unknown and he was buried as a “John Doe” in pauper’s grave. A year later, fingerprints finally revealed his identity.
His voice was used for Walt Disney‘s feature Peter Pan (1953) and an actual “acting” performance was filmed, then rotoscoped for the animated character.
One of cinema’s most critically acclaimed boy actors, he won a special Academy Award at age 12 as the “outstanding juvenile actor” of 1949 for his excellent work in the films So Dear to My Heart (1948) and The Window (1949).
Even though his character was animated he was the first boy ever to play Peter Pan. Before then only women played Peter Pan.
Buried in a mass grave on New York’s Hart Island, better known as Potter’s Field. It is unknown exactly where he was buried as the burial records from 1961 to July 1977 were destroyed by a fire.
Even though he was the studio’s first contract player, Disney terminated Driscoll’s second long-term contract (covering seven years) three years early, in 1953, weeks after the theatrical release of Peter Pan. It is generally believed that his severe acne was the reason. This prevented him from playing other feature roles for the studio that would seem to be tailor-made for him, like Johnny Tremain (1957) and The Light in the Forest (1958).
Has a Star on the Walk of Fame at the East side of the 1500 block of Vine Street.
Played the brother of fellow child actor Billy Cummings in two movies in a row: The Fighting Sullivans (1944) and Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944).
In The Window (1949), he plays a boy who finds a body in a deserted Manhattan tenement. Nearly two decades later, his body was found by two boys in a deserted Manhattan tenement.
Confronted a villainous character atop a very high place in two movies in a row: The Window (1949) and Treasure Island (1950).

Despite being one of Disney’s first and most successful child stars, Driscoll has never been enshrined as a Disney Legend.
Appeared under the direction of four Oscar winners (Hamilton LuskeMichael KaninRichard Fleischer and Frank Borzage) and four Oscar nominees (Ted TetzlaffByron HaskinJohn Sturges and Christian Nyby).
Three children: Dr. Daniel Abram Driscoll, Aaren Hope Driscoll Keely, and Katherine Ann Driscoll Grundmeier.

Personal Quotes (8)

(on his rise and fall in Hollywood) “I have found that memories are not very useful. I was carried on a silver platter and then dumped into the garbage can.”
He’s got a great talent. I’ve worked with a lot of child players in my time, but none of them bore the promise that seems inherent in young Driscoll. — Don Ameche
(as a child) “I’m going to save my money and go to college, then become a G-man.”
(on his adolescence) “I really feared people. The other kids didn’t accept me. They treated me as one apart. I tried desperately to be one of the gang. When they rejected me, I fought back, became belligerent and cocky and was afraid all the time.”
(Standing before a California judge in 1961 on his drug addiction) I had everything. I was earning more than $50,000 a year, working steadily with good parts. Then I started putting all my spare time in my arm. I’m not really sure why I started using narcotics. I was 17 when I first experimented with the stuff. In no time at all I was using whatever was available, mostly heroin, because I had the money to pay for it.
A child lives in a world of its own, so, logically, a successful story for children must strike a chord in that world; possibly involve something he would like to do if he had the chance, like fly with his own wings or go down a rabbit hole, but above all, it must be something he can understand. Anything a child understands, chances are he will enjoy. However, everyone seems to enjoy these successful, so-called children’s stories. For instance, you’ll never meet a truthful person who says he doesn’t like movie cartoons, especially a man. Someone said that women were always women, and men were always children. – in the Humboldt Guardian, June 24, 1954
I became a beatnik and a bum. I had no residence. My clothes were at my parents’ [house] but I didn’t live anywhere. My personality had suffered during my marriage and I was trying to recoup it.
I wish I could say that my childhood was a happy one, but I wouldn’t be honest. I was lonely most of the time. A child actor’s childhood is not a normal one. People continually saying ‘What a cute little boy!’ creates innate conceit. But the adulation is only one part of it … Other kids prove themselves once, but I had to prove myself twice with everyone.

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