Child star Jane Withers, who later gained fame with advertisements, dies at 95


While her success in Hollywood didn’t survive her adolescence, Miss Withers was the rare child actress to enter adulthood with real-world preparedness and money in the bank. Unlike nearly all other parents who refuse to let meal tickets grow and in many cases squander their money, her parents “taught Jane accounting at age seven,” Mr Moore wrote. It was a source of pride for his father, a Goodrich executive, that his salary paid for the family.

Jane Withers was born on April 12, 1926, in Atlanta, to Walter and Lavinia Withers. Her mother, who is a movie fan, chose Jane as the name because she thought it would look good on a marquee. The chubby boy with the Buster Brown haircut was singing, dancing and imitating Greta Garbo when he was 4 years old; He had his own local radio show that was billed as “Dixie’s Dainty Dewdrop.”

The family moved to Hollywood when Jane was 6 years old. After two years of shop modeling and small parts, she starred in “Bright Eyes” as Joy Smythe.

Like Miss Temple, Miss Withers played an orphan in many of her films. In “Paddy O’ Day” (1935), her savior was Rita Cansino – soon to be renamed Rita Hayworth – in her first lead role. In “45 Fathers” (1937), he was adopted by a group of older men.

In 1937, Miss Withers was ranked sixth on movie owners’ list of the Top 10 box-office stars, despite only starring in B movies. And the sale of paper dolls, hair bows, stockings, and mystery novels similar to Jane Withers’ Nancy Drew series made more money than her movies.

Stardom also brought Miss Withers thousands of dolls and teddy bears, many of which were sent by fans. Among those admirers was President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had his wife Eleanor deliver a teddy bear.


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