September 20, 1951 |
San Gabriel, California
|Years active||1958 - 1966|
Gina Gillespie (born September 20, 1951) is a former American child actress who had a brief but extensive career in television and film during her childhood and youth.
Her parents, Herbert Gillespie and Rean Tibeau, a former vaudeville dancing couple originally from Saskatchewan, immigrated from Montreal, Canada to Alhambra, California during October 1942. Several years later, they moved to San Gabriel, where Gina was born. Gina has three older sisters, two of whom were also child actors, and two younger brothers. When her sister Darlene Gillespie was hired as a Mouseketeer in 1955, the family relocated to Burbank, where Gina Gillespie grew up attending Roman Catholic schools.
Gina Gillespie first appeared on television in 1956, on an episode of The Mickey Mouse Club, where she and her sisters, Patricia, Darlene and Larrian, sang as "Talent Roundup Winners". Her first acting role was on an episode of the CBS anthology series General Electric Theater, hosted by Ronald Reagan in March 1958. That same year, she would appear on Suspicion, two episodes of The Loretta Young Show, and make her film debut in Andy Hardy Comes Home.
On September 23, 1958, she was cast in the series premiere, "The Ferris Wheel". of the syndicated television series, Rescue 8, starring Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries. Jeanne Bates played Gillespie's mother, a woman recently released from a mental institution. The mother and daughter are trapped at the top of a Ferris wheel. Rand Brooks guest stars in the episode as Tom Hickey.
Gillespie acted in two films, It Happened to Jane and Face of a Fugitive, and a television series during early 1959, before she landed a role as a series regular on NBC's Law of the Plainsman with co-stars Michael Ansara and Robert Harland in 1959-1960 season. She played the character of "Terry 'Tess' Wilkins", an orphan who is saved from being killed by outlaws by Apache U.S. Marshal Sam Buckhart, Ansara's character on the series.
For the next two years Gillespie would appear on episodes of eleven different series, before making her final film appearance, in the 1962 production of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. Gillespie played the part of Joan Crawford's character Blanche Hudson as a young girl.
Throughout the mid-1960s, Gina Gillespie would continue to be in demand as a featured player or guest star on television. She performed on Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Laramie and The Fugitive among others, before landing a regular role as younger daughter "Mimi" in the sitcom Karen, during the 1964-65 television season. Her last known acting role was in a 1966 episode of NBC's Laredo.
Like many child stars, Gillespie's acting career ended when she reached her early teens. She graduated from Providence High School in Burbank, attended university, then worked as a legal secretary for thirteen years. She then passed the California Bar exam and became an attorney.
- Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958) ... as Cricket Hardy
- Face of a Fugitive (1959) ... as Alice Bailey
- It Happened to Jane (1959) ... as Betty Osgood
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) ... as Blanche Hudson in 1917
- The Mickey Mouse Club: 1 episode (1956) ....as Gina Gillespie
- General Electric Theater: 2 episodes (1958–60) ....as Bonnie/Bessie
- Suspicion: "Fraction of a Second" (1958) ....as Actress
- The Loretta Young Show: 2 episodes (1958) ....as Suzy/Margie
- Rescue 8: "The Ferris Wheel" (1958) ....as Actress
- Playhouse 90: 2 episodes (1959–1960) ....as Cathy Patrick/Laura
- Law of the Plainsman series regular (1959–60) ....as Terry 'Tess' Wilkins
- The Slowest Gun in the West TV movie (1960) ....as The Daughter
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: "A Taste for Lobster" (1960) ....as Hermione
- Wagon Train "The Albert Farnsworth Story" (1960) ....as Peggy O'Toole
- Harrigan and Son: "Mother Was a Nightclub Singer" (1960) ....as Linds
- The Brothers Brannagan: "The Baby Sitters" (1960) ....as Girl
- Stagecoach West: "By the Deep Six" (1960) ....as Actress
- Shirley Temple's Storybook: 2 episodes (1960–1961) ....as Madeline/Pippi Longstocking
- The Aquanauts: "Niagara Dive" (1961) ....as Lisa
- Lock-Up: "Jennifer" (1961) ....as Jennifer Vaughan
- Thriller: "Mr. George" (1961) ....as Priscilla
- Tales of Wells Fargo: 2 episodes (1961) ....as Carol Butler/Cindy Croydon
- Dr. Kildare: 2 episodes (1961–1962) ....as Actress/Little Girl
- The Outlaws: "The Sisters" (1962) ....as Bridget
- Ben Casey: "To a Natural and Grand Finale" (1962) ....as Actress
- Laramie: "Fall into Darkness" (1962) ....as Kathy Frances
- The Eleventh Hour: "My Name Is Judith, I'm Lost, You See" (1963) ....as Sally
- The Fugitive: "The Witch" (1963) ....as Jenny Ammory
- The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters: "The Day of the Picnic" (1964) ....as Little Girl
- The Great Adventure: "Plague" (1964) ....as Ellen Howard
- Karen series regular (1964–1965) ....as Mimi Scott
- Laredo: "The Deadliest Kid in the West" (1966) ....as Kim 'Missy' Mabry
- ""The Ferris Wheel" on Rescue 8, September 23, 1958". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved January 29, 2013.