I did quite a bit of research on child actors to write WOLF STORM, and even though I never had a desire to act as a child (direct, yes!), it’s fascinating to consider what they go through and how they live their lives. I’ve got a short book list at the end of the post about other fictional movie and tv actors, but first, because I’m thinking about the Oscars today, I went back and did some research on child nominees. No child or teen has ever won the Best Actor award, and only a few have been nominated.
Best Actor Nominee:
Jackie Cooper, 9 years old for Skippy released in 1930
Mickey Rooney, 19 years old for Babes in Arms, released in 1939
Best Actress Nominee:
Keisha Castle-Hughes, 13 years old for Whale Rider, 2003
There have been child and teen winners in the Best Supporting Actress Category:
Tatum O’Neal, 10 years old for Paper Moon released in1973
Anna Paquin, 11 years old for The Piano released in 1993
Patty Duke, 16, The Miracle Worker released in 1962
A 10-year-old actress named Mary Badham was nominated for one of my favorite movies, To Kill a Mockingbird. I thought her portrayal of Scout was just perfect.
Several other children and teens have been nominated for the best supporting actor and actress categories, and the record for the youngest is held by Justin Henry, who was eight when he was nominated for Kramer vs. Kramer, released in 1979
I’ve been trying to find some kidlit fiction with young movie and television actors as main characters, but so far the list is fairly small:
ANNABELLE THE ACTRESS series by Ellen Conford-The series follows Annabelle’s attempts to become an actress, so it isn’t until the third book that she finds a way into a movie shoot.
REBECCA AND THE MOVIES (American Girl) by Jacqueline Greene
MOVIE SHOES by Noel Steitfeild
MIRANDA AND THE MOVIES by Jane Kendall
WOLF STORM by Dee Garretson (that’s me)
TYLER ON PRIME TIME by Steve Atinsky
SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE series by Jen Calonita
If you know of more, please leave a comment and I’ll add to the list.
One of the main resources I used for my research just to get a feel for how children live and work on a movie set location was watching the behind-the-scenes features on the extended edition of The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It was a terrific way what happens when children of different ages and different experiences are put together to act like a family.