Clothing and Costumes Worn by Child Actors: T

Information about child actors also provodes a great deal of fashion information. Both clothes these children wore as well as the costumes they wore in their films and shows provide much valuable information. These childrens often dressed very fashionably so information about them provides insights into contemprary fashions. The costumes they wore in films also provides useful information--although it must be treated more cautiously. HBC is preparing an alphabetical listing of child actors in movies, plays, and television.

Temple, Shirley - (US, 1929- )

Shierley Temple was the most famous child actor of all time. She virtually single handedly save a studio and provided a little cheer in the dark days of the Depression. Her mother was her guiding light. She was with her every minute, helped her learn her lines (especially before she could read), and coached her during the shootings. When ever Shirley had to be bubbly, her mother would whisper, "Sparkle, Shirtley Sparkle". She was always well prepared for her parts and in the process of learning her lines would know the lines of the actors appearing with them. During rehesals she would someuimes correct them if they made a mistake--but in an innocent sort of way, not wih a marty-pants attitude. Shirley was a box office sensation and for several years during the 1930s her films had larger earnings than the major adult film stars, bith men and women. The famous child actor appeared in a large number of movies. Several of the films are pertinent to HBC because boys also appeared to them. As Shirley was often cast as an orphan, there were smartly dressed boys in her film but they provide some insights as to how children dressed in the 1930s. She often wore very short dresses. I'm not sure how common these short dresses were when she began wearing them in the 1930s, but they certainly became popular after her films appeared as did her trademark curls. Her films were pretty smaltzy, but I must say she was very genuine and natural--totally unlike the kids you commonly see on TV nowadays. Many think her films too sugary today, but almost no one really dislikes Shirly.

Figure 1.--Keith Thibodeaux was chosen to play Little Rickey on "I Love Lucy" because he was a drumming prodigy. He father was smitten by show busuiness and woulkd dress him up in short pants suits for his performances.

Thibodeaux, Keith - (US)

Keith Thibodeaux played Little Ricky in I Love Lucy" At the time he was probably the most well known boy in America. Today while manty recall Little Rickey, few if any remember the name of the boy who played him. He was a sweet little guy, about 5-8 years old when he worked on I Love Lucy. Given the popularity of the show, he was one of the most widely seen TV kids. He was personally picked by Lucy and Desi after play drums with Desi. His role was very disappointing and he never had interesting lines or situations that I recall. He was often dressed up, but never in shorts. I have seen publicity shots, however, of him wearing a striped blazer, bow tie, nice dressy flannel shorts with Lucy. Keith joined the show in 1956 and played Little Ricky for 4 years. He remembers terrific rows between Ricky and Desi on the set and apparently had trouble learning his lines. Lucy even had the boy hypnotize to help his learn his lines better. He didn't know it at the time, but now resents Lucy having it done. He has some fond memories of Lucy. He once stayed over at Lucy's to celebrate Desi Jr.'s birthday and there was a terrific fight. Desi Jr. told him not to worry as it happened all the time. After the show he played Johnny Paul on the Andy Griffith Show. After that, however, he never got any parts. He developed alcohol and drug problem, but is now a born again Christian. He says he suffered emotional trauma on the set.

Thomas, Henry - (US)

I remember Henry Thomas best for his superb performance as the older brother in "Misunderstood" (1982). The film shows some dressy, but informal clothibf styles worn in the early 1980s. Henry didn't wear shorts like his little brother. Of course he is best known for his part in "ET" (19 ). His other movies include "Cloak and Dagger" (1984) and "The Quest" (1986) which was a real disappointment.

Thomas, Jonathan Taylor - (US, 1982?)

Jonathan first worked as a model and in commercials. His first TV series was Kevin on "The Bradys." He is best known for playing the middle son, Randy, on "Home Improvement." He plays a rather cheeky role, typical bratty TV kid--although the show is often quite well done. He has emerged as the most successful of the three brothers and become rather a hear-throb for pre and younger teens. He has branched out into movies, providing the voice for young Simba in the "Lion King" (1995?) and playing in "Tom Sawyer" (199?) and "Man of the House" (199?). Jonathan is a straight-A student who collects sports cards, plays computer games, and listens to rap music. He also reads, fishes, skis, and plays soccer and basketball. He has an older brother, Joel. He would like to write and direct movies.

Tucker, Jerry - (US, 1925- )

Jerome H. Schatz was born in Chiczago, Illijnois (1925). He became a child actor from h\an early age, billed as Jerry Tucker. He is best known for playing "rich kid" in the Hal Roach "Our Gang" short commedies beginning 1931. Short asfterwards he got the role of Buster in the Marie Dresler film, "Prosperity" in 1932. He had long curls like the rich kid stereotyoe. He appeared as one of Mother Peep's children in the Roach film "Babes in Toyland" which featured the popular Laurel and Hardy in 1934. He continued with the "Our Gang" shorts through 1938 and ebnded his filn vareer in 1939. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. After the war he pursued a career with RCA.


Navigate the Boys' Theatrical Pages:
[Return to the Main child actor page]
[Return to the Main movie page]
[Return to the Main play page]
[Return to the Main television page]
[Child actors M] [Child actors N] [Child actors O] [Child actors P] [Child actors Q] [Child actors R] [Child actors S] [Child actors T] [Child actors U] [Child actors V] [Child actors W] [Child actors X-Z]

Navigate the Historical Boys' Clothing Website
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Cloth and textiles] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: October 19, 2000
Last updated: 1:55 AM 3/28/2010