Clothing and Costumes Worn by Child Stars: Jackie Searl (US, 1920- )


Figure 1.--This image shows Jacki in a suit and nit in a movie costume. I'm not sure when it was made, but he looks about 10 years old which would mean 1930 at the beginningb of his film career. Image courtesy of the MD collection.

Jackie Searl was a child actor in Hollywood films during the 1930s after a radio career beginning when he was only 3 years old. He often played bratty kids. One of his first movie roles was in "Tom Sawyer" (1930), of course as Tom's bratty kid brother Sid. He appeared again as Sid in "Huckleberry Finn" (1931). Often he had only small roles, such as "Strictly Dynamite" (1934) in which he played an obnoxious child actor goaded on my his mother, costumed in a long pants suit. That seems to have been Jackie's specialty. Some of the more memorable fins he appeared in included "Skippy" (1931), "High Gear" (1933), "Peck's Bad Boy" (1934), "Great Expectations" (1934), and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1936). In the 1940s he had some supporting roles and later appeared in TV character parts.

Parents


Childhood

Jackie was born in Anaheim, California during 1920.

Career

Jackie's acting career began when he was 3 years old on the radio which was just beginning to become an important medium at the time. His film career began in 1929 just as the firstvtalkines were being made. He was especially known for playing bratty kids.

1930s Movies

Jackie's first film was "Daughters of Desire" (1929) which I am unfamilair with. One of his first important movie roles was in "Tom Sawyer" (1930), of course as Tom's bratty kid brother Sid. He appeared again as Sid in "Huckleberry Finn" (1931). Often he had only small roles, such as "Strictly Dynamite" (1934) in which he played an obnoxious child actor goaded on my his mother, costumed in a long pants suit. He also played an obnoxious brat in "Peck's Bad Boy" and "Little Lord Fsuntleroy". Some of the more memorable films he appeared in included "Skippy" (1931), "High Gear" (1933), "Peck's Bad Boy" (1934), "Great Expectations" (1934), "No Greater Glory" (1934), and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1936).

Studio Snap Shot

HBC did not intially know who the child actor was in figure 1. We are not sure who he is, but believe that the photograph was taken in the mid-1930s. He wears a rather interesting mixture of adult and childish styles. The boy weaes a rather adult shirt and tie and fancy pair of two-tone shoes. As a boy in the late 1940s I wore two-tone shoes, but in a boyish--not wingtip adult style like this boy. Only his short pants are a juvenile clothing style. A HBC contributor reports that while he does not know thge boys name that, he does remember him playing the imposter boy in Freddy Bartholmew's 1936 version of Little Lord Fauntleroy. In fact, a HBC reader has idenified the child actors in this photo. (This is one of the many useful aspects of the internet, the ability to exchange information.} It looks to a studio shot, rather than a scene from a movie. This would mean that these are the clothes that the children normally wore rather than a film costume.

I doubt if Jacki would be wearing spats in one of their Huck Finn movies together. A HBC reader agrees that this may be just a studio still unrelated to a movie, perhaps to show the two with their on-set tutor. If it can be established that the woman sitting between them is an actress, then the related film can be identified, if that is what the photo represents.


Figure 2.--This appears to be a studio publicity photograph rather than a movie still. HBC estimates that it was taken in the mid-1930s. We are not sure, however, just who the two children are. Note the boy's fancy, rather adult-looking, two tone shoes.

Mitzi Green

Jackie Searl and Mitzi Green appeared in about five movies together. A HBC reader reports that "I did not recognize Mitzi Green looking a tad bit chubbier, but she is about the same age as in the two 1930 movies I own which she appeared in, which were filmed in 1930, dating this photo to no later than 1931. In her most common stills she usually has a very neat appearance and a trademark period hairstyle with bangs very tidy across her forehead, which, being unlike the park bench photo, I did not recognize her at first." Mitzi was born 1920 and died 1969. (She has a couple of great lines in one particular 1930 film. Just before she sings her two songs, Jack Oakie asks her how old she is. She asks, "You mean here, or when I'm on the train?" She then proudly says , "I'm 8 years old." [She looked obviously older.] Oakie responds that she looks older than 8." She replies defensively, "Can I help it if I worry?")

Later Career

In the 1940s he had some supporting roles and later appeared in TV character parts.






HBC





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Created: July 10, 2001
Last updated: 10:23 PM 2/25/2010