"The realization of this exhibit, is a dream come true," remarks Donelle Dadigan (President and Founder of The Hollywood Museum). "We have wanted to honor these, often unsung, young heroes and pioneers of entertainment for some time. Especially, as most of them have been such dedicated supporters of the Hollywood museum."
Dadigan, hosted an eclectic list of current/former child stars (some reuniting with other cast members for the first time in years) and other VIP guests for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as they preview the "Child Stars - Then And Now" exhibit, which will be open to the public through December.
"The Hollywood Museum's new "Child Star's - Then and Now" exhibit is beyond words, a must see," commented actor and current AMC President, Scott Schwartz. "Opening night was amazing with over 25 former and current child performers attending was a heartwarming tribute to Paul Peterson's over 50 years in showbiz and his never ending, tireless work for child labor laws."
Among the star studded crowd were familiar faces with pop culture status including, Academy Award winner Margaret O'Brien (MGM/Meet Me In St. Louis), Larry Mathews (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Tommy Cole (The Mickey Mouse Club) Jeremy Miller (Growing Pains), Jon Provost (Lassie), Marta Kristen (Lost In Space), Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie), Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman), Radames Pera (Kung Fu), Jerry Supiran (Small Wonder), Rachel Greenbush (Little House on the Prairie), Jeanne Russell (Dennis the Menace), Brian Part (Little House on the Prairie), Mason Reese (Commercial star), Scott Schwartz (The Toy/A Christmas Story), Kathy Garver (Family Affair), Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone), Lisa Loring (Addams Family), Ellen Latzen (Fatal Attraction), Keith Coogan (Adventures in Babysitting/Jackie Coogan's grandson), Erin Murphy (Bewitched), David Bloch-Mandel (Bewitched), Hunter Payton (A to Z), Romi Dames (Hanna Montana), Lisa Trusel (Days of Our Lives), Kym Karath (Sound of Music),
Claudia Lamb (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), Ava Cantrell (Haunted Hathaways), Aedin Mincks (A.N.T. Farm), Tara-Nicole Azarian (Nerdtabulous), Nicholas Azarian (Nerdtabulous), Joey Luthman (Strings/Astroid Clover/GH), Elise Luthman (Short Girls Club), Rodney Allen Rippy (Commercial actor), Zachary Haven (Bastards), Carsen Warner (Kirby Buckerts), Oussama Mellouli (3x Olympic Medalist), Carolyn Hennesy (True Blood/GH), Ilene Graff (Mr. Belvedre), Leeza Gibbons (America Now), Judy Tenuta (Comedienne) Kate Linder (Y&R), Steven Wishnoff (OZ), Ro Brooks (The Have and Have Nots), Vincent De Paul (The Bay), Leonard Maltin (Film Critic) and current EMMY nominee Patrika Darbo (Acting Dead). As well as Barry Livingston, Stan Livingston and Dawn Lynn (of My Three Sons), and AMC President Emeritus Paul Petersen (Donna Reed Show), who explained the mission of A Minor Consideration (AMC), by saying, "The members of A Minor Consideration...accomplished talents as their work demonstrates...are the most improbable agents for needed change you can imagine. Each of us has learned that there is no time-limit on Fame.
We are all in Trivial Pursuit. Children in the Entertainment Business are exempt from federal child labor laws, and have been since 1938 and the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Kids who deliver newspapers are also exempt. So, too, are kids who work in agriculture ... and sports. Who better to speak for these children than genuine former kid stars whose work is obvious to anyone who listened to music, watched a TV show, or went to the movies? We will never get our childhood's back, but we are dedicated to making things better for today's working children...all of them. We have been making steady progress these past 25 years. Now, a younger generation of former kid stars has accepted the responsibility of taking A Minor Consideration into the future. I cherish their commitment. The goals are straight-forward: National uniformity in the work rules for children regardless of jurisdiction. International standards for all children engaged in the entertainment industry...the protection of their income, standardization of their work environment including education, and automatic set-asides for a portion of their income ... the Coogan Law should and must be national."
An extraordinary number of items have been collected for the museum's exhibit that includes: Costumes worn by Darla Hood in "Our Gang/The Little Rascals" (as well as Petey the dog's collar), Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" and childhood costumes she wore with The Gumm Sisters, Shirley Temple's costume from "Curly Top," Margaret O'Brien's Oscar® for MGM's "Meet Me In St Louis," costumes from the TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," a Roddy McDowall costume from "Lassie, Come Home," signed Mickey Mouse Ears and Funicello books and other Mickey Mouse Club memorabilia. Items worn by "Baby" Rose Marie and Darby Hinton's rifle and coon skin cap from "Daniel Boone." Morgan Brittany's shoes as Baby June in "Gypsy," a costume worn by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons on "Modern Family," and Scott Schwartz costumes from "The Toy." The shoes worn by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, of "Harry Potter" fame, while placing their hands and footprints in the Chinese Theater forecourt, as well as items, props and costumes from the child stars of "Little House on the Prairie," "Lost In Space," "Lassie," "My Three Sons," "Kung Fu," "Family," "The Waltons," "Bewitched," "The Lucy Show," "Make Room for Daddy," "The Birds," and numerous other nostalgic items from both the past and current productions that starred talented youth from the past to present day.
"What a night!," says America's most famous TV bad girl, Alison Arngrim. "I was already very excited and deeply touched by the Hollywood Museum's decision to honor the contributions of child actors to the entertainment industry, but I hadn't realized how moved I would be to finally see "Little House on the Prairie" honored in a museum. When I saw my iconic wig and wheelchair, the Nellie doll and all the other memorabilia side by side, with my award for "Character Most in Need of a Timeout", along with Rachel, (Baby Carrie) Greenbush's dill and scripts and call sheets, I was absolutely floored. As hilarious as many of my items were, I found myself almost moved to tears. Here, finally, were my and Rachel's memories of all the work we did as children, being honored with respect in a museum in the heart of Hollywood, the city where we grew up. And now this weekend all of us who grew up together, will gather to raise money for A Minor Consideration, the organization that fights to protect working children like ourselves."
The weekend to follow will bring over 50 child stars together at The Hollywood Museum for as Autograph show, being produced by Nite of Dreams (www.niteofdreams.com) that will benefit A Minor Consideration (AMC), a non-profit, tax-deductible foundation formed to give guidance and support to young performers, Past, Present and Future.
MUSEUM INFO: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776
ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028 REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
TICKETS: Museum $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students w/ID and $5 Children under 5
FOLLOW THE MUSEUM:
Photo Credits: Bill Dow, courtesy of The Hollywood Museum
1.) Larry Mathew (Ritchie Petrie/The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Donelle Dadigan (Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum) stand next to items on loan from Mr Mathews
2.) Donelle Dadigan posses on the red carpet with Barry and Stanley Livingston, real life and reel life brothers (Ernie and Chip Douglas/My Three Sons)
3.) Jeanne Russell (Margaret Wade/Dennis the Menace) and Steve Nycklemoe of the Hollywood Museum
4.) Donelle Dadigan and Jon Provost (Timmy Martin/Lassie) pose with items in exhibit
5.) Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson/Little House ..., Paul Petersen (Jeff Stone/The Donna Reed Show), Donelle Dadigan, Jon Provost (Timmy Martin/Lassie), Margaret O'Brien (MGM Academy Award Winner) and Councilman Mitch O'Farrell.
6.) Erin Murphy (Tabitha/Bewitched), Donelle Dadigan and Kym Karath (Gretl Von Trapp/Sound of Music)
7.) Keith Coogan gives thumbs up to Grandfather Jackie Coogan's The Coogan Bill