Clothing and Costumes Worn by Child Actors: Michael Engelbert d'Hollanderk (Belgium, 1952- )

Figure 1.--This is Petite Michael panning for the camera in Newv York as he prepared for his new American show business career (July 1959). He was hard at work learning English. He is a Belgian boys who had a popular rafio show in Brusseks and Paris. H-bar short pants were apopular style in Europe at the time, especially in Belgium and France. .

Michael Engelbert d'Hollander was born in the Belgian Congo (1952). The family moved back to Belgium, when Micharl was 6 years old,pressunably as the Congo began to move toward independence. Somehow at only 6 years old, he became an instant senation on Brussels radio with his own show, becoming known as Petit Michael. He sang, told stories, read poetry, and gave advise to parents and other children ho sent in letters. As he spoke French, his parents moved his radio show to Paris. The family moved to America, landing in New York to pen up an American show business career for Michael. Here we see him in New York still wearing h-bar short pants, a style popular in Belgium. He quickly picked up English. One press report describes him as speaking with a charming accent like Maurice Chevalier. The press report depicts him as "A lively little boy with two front teeth missing is starting a career in the United States which promises to duplicate his big success in Europe." Michael immeditely began appearing on American television. The plan was to go to Hollywood to make films. And he got a contract with Colombia Pictures, but he mostly did television. He did not get a program on his own, but shot a promo with Joe E. Brown (1962). It was not picked up, but he had many single epidide appearances on established series. One of his first appearances was on 'Dennis the menace' (season 1, episide 27 --May 1, 1960). Dennis (Jay North) and a boy that Mr. Wilson was responsible for (Michael) are left without a babysitter after agreeing to let one sitter sit for the boys cause Mr. Wilson and Henry both end up canceling their sitters. A reader wrires, "I remember that 'Dennis the Menace' episode. ennis episode Michel plays a French boy and he wears a dark short pants suit with dark knee socks. A few years later he appeared on 'The farmers daughter' which I believe was on ABC on Friday night. In 'The farmers daughter' he played the very nerdy son of an Arab Shiek. He wore shorts with knee socks and a sweater. I also remember him in a Dean Martin movie in the mid60s when he was older. By that time he was throughly Americanized and dressed like American boys of that era." Michel appeared on many 1960s TV programs. His stage name became Micharl Petit. He appeared on many of the top rated shows. His only multiple appearnce was on 'Combat!' where he played multiple French boys caught up in World War II. His principal American movie was 'Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte'. There were appearnces on 'The Munsters' and 'The Andy Griffith Show'. His last American TV appearnce was uncredited (1966). After this he seems to have returned to France here he did son TV work.


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Created: 5:34 PM 11/6/20198
Last updated: 6:39 AM 11/7/2019