Meglin Kiddies

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Meglin Kiddies was a well-known troupe of acting, music and dance performers, consisting of children up to the age of 16. (AKA: The Meglin Professional Children's School, The Meglin Dance Studio, Meglin's Dance School and Meglin's Wondrous Hollywood Kiddies).

Background[edit]

The troupe was started by Ethel Meglin in 1928. Meglin was a Ziegfeld girl in feature films.[1] Director/actor and Slapstick Keystone King Mack Sennett was supportive of the formation of the troupe's studio. Sennett donated a Meglin Kiddie studio building sign and assisted in securing an operations location on his lot.[2] The Johnny Grant Building[3] at 7018-7024 Hollywood Blvd once housed the Meglin Dance Studio on its second floor.

One of the most successful child stars of all time, Shirley Temple, was once a Meglin Kiddie dancer. Producers from Educational Studios recruited her from the Meglin Kiddie studio.[4] "Charles Lamont, a director from Educational Studios visited the “Meglin Kiddies” and chose Shirley, hiding under the piano, for a part in a movie that the studio was about to make."[5]

Superstar Judy Garland was a Meglin Kiddie also.[6] Garland's mother, Mrs. Gumm, played the piano at the Meglin Kiddie studio to help pay for Garland's singing and dancing lessons there.[7] The film debut of Judy Garland was in Meglin Kiddie short films.[8] Garland also performed with the Meglin Kiddies over the radio, and live at theaters such as: Shrine Auditorium, Pantages Theatre (Hollywood), and Loew's State Theater in Los Angeles, California.[9]

In the 1950s, the Meglin Kiddies had a television show.

Ethel Meglin retired in 1962, along with the studio and dance troupe.[1]

Movies[edit]

  • Reg'lar Fellers (1941) --Billy Lee's Band --Associate Producer: Ethel Meglin
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) --Munchkin child actors and dancers
  • Maytime (1937) --Children In Maypole Number
  • Roarin' Lead (1936) --Dancers
  • Too Many Parents (1936) (uncredited) --Themselves
  • In Love with Life (1934) --Floor show performers at the Kiddie Kabaret
  • Show Kids (1934)
  • The Land of Oz (1932) --Production company and actors/dancers (Film adapted from the book, Land of Oz)
  • The Big Revue (1929) --AKA "The Meglin Kiddie Revue" & AKA "The Starlet Revue" --with Judy Garland (Francis Gumm & Sisters)[10]

Notable Meglin Kiddies[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Scott, A. O. "Ethel Meglin filmography". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  2. ^ Cary, Diana Serra (1978). Hollywood's Children. Texas: Southern Methodist University Press. ISBN 0-87074-424-0. 
  3. ^ "The Johnny Grant Building". Hollywood Historic Site Walk web site. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  4. ^ "More About Shirley". The Official Shirley Temple Web Site. 
  5. ^ Mckenzie, Loretta. "Shirley Temple's Childhood". Loretta's Shirley Temple Dolls. 
  6. ^ "Who were the Meglin Kiddies?". Kansas Wizard of Oz 'N More Store. 
  7. ^ Cary 1978:202
  8. ^ Brogan, Scott. "About Judy". The Judy Room. 
  9. ^ Brogan, Scott. "1922-1939 Timeline". The Judy Room. 
  10. ^ Brogan, Scott. "The Gumm Sisters/Garland Sisters Early Short Subjects". The Judy Room. 

External links[edit]