October 19, 1948 |
Renton, Washington, U.S.
Mimi Gibson (born October 19, 1948) is a former child actress. After the early death of her father, her mother took her and her sister to Los Angeles. At only 18 months, she was a popular calendar model, posing with cute animals. By age two she was appearing in movies. During the 1950s and early 1960s she would appear in 35 movies and over 100 TV programs. Her last roles came as a teenage girlfriend in episodes of My Three Sons in the late 1960s.
In 1957 she and child actress Evelyn Rudie played the daughters of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in The Wings of Eagles. Although they had some significant scenes, she and Rudie were not credited. The same year she was in the horror B-movie The Monster That Challenged the World.
In 1958 she had a role as Cary Grant's daughter — with Paul Petersen and Charles Herbert playing her brothers — in the light romantic comedy Houseboat. Sophia Loren co-starred. Gibson said, "I'd like to be remembered for Houseboat." She said "Houseboat was fun, wonderful and I loved it".
They filmed Houseboat for a month on location in Washington, D.C. The actual houseboat was on the Virginia (or south) side of the Potomac River. The scene at the amusement park was filmed at Glen Echo Amusement Park, on the northern side of the river. When the movie was completed, Loren gave Gibson a pendant with a houseboat on one side and "To Mimi from Sophia" on the other. Grant gave each of the children a $50 savings bond, a large sum in those days.
In 1961 she appeared in The Children's Hour, based on the play by Lillian Hellman. Gibson played a schoolgirl at a private school run by Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine. The movie involved accusations of a lesbian relationship between the co-stars' characters and was somewhat daring for its time. She said Hepburn was very nice to the girls, but that "Shirley MacLaine despised kids". She would not even speak to them.
With the end of her child acting career, Gibson's life took a turn for the worse. Her mother had appropriated all the money she earned. Lacking the funds to go college, she made a hasty marriage at age 20. Her life subsequently improved.
In 1999 she testified before a California legislative panel on the need for statutory protection for child actors' earnings. She did this with Paul Petersen, who played her older brother in Houseboat. Petersen has remained a lifelong friend and is the founder in 1990 of A Minor Consideration, a non-profit group devoted to protecting and advancing the interests of child actors. Gibson has also been active in this group.
Today Gibson guards her privacy. She lives on a farm in Soledad, California, happily married, and where she raises goats and llamas.
- If He Hollers, Let Him Go (1968) - Marion
- The Children's Hour (1961) - Evelyn
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) - (voice) Lucky
- I'll Give My Life (1960) - Jodie Bradford
- The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959) - Elizabeth Pennypacker
- The Buccaneer (1958) - Marjorie
- Houseboat (1958) - Elizabeth Winters
- No Down Payment (1957) - (uncredited) Sandra Kreitzer
- The Brothers Rico (1957) - Felici, Little Girl
- The Three Faces of Eve (1957) - Eve (younger)
- Drango (1957) - Ellen Bryant
- The Monster that Challenged the World (1957) - Sandy MacKenzie
- The Oklahoman (1957) - Louise Brighton
- The Wings of Eagles (1957) - (uncredited) Lila Wead
- Courage of Black Beauty (1957) - Lily Rowden
- The Ten Commandments (1956) - Egyptian Girl
- Strange Intruder (1956) - Libby Carmichael
- Rebel in Town (1956) - Lisbeth Anstadt
- Three for Jamie Dawn (1956) - (uncredited) Cindy Lorenz
- World Without End (1956) - (uncredited) Ginny Jaffe
- The Bottom of the Bottle (1956) - (uncredited) Jeanie Martin
- At Gunpoint (1955) - (uncredited) Cynthia Clark
- Lay That Rifle Down (1955) - (uncredited) Terry Fetcher
- The Eternal Sea (1955) - (uncredited) Mary Sue Hoskins
- There's No Business Like Showbusiness (1954) - Katy Donahue (age 4)
- The Egyptian (1954) - princess
- Torch Song (1953) - (scenes eventually deleted) Susie
- Sweethearts on Parade (1953) - (uncredited)
- A Slight Case of Larceny (1953) - Mary Ellen Clopp
- My Pal Gus (1952) - Judy
- Everything I Have is Yours (1952) - Pamela (age 3)
- I'll See You in My Dreams (1951) - Irene (age 3)
- Corky of Gasoline Alley (1951) - Clovia
- Parla, Paul; Charles P. Mitchell (2000). "Mimi Gibson: Unleashing the Monster That Challenged the World". Screen Sirens Scream! Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s. Jefferson, N.C. and London: McFarland. pp. 105–114. ISBN 0-7864-0701-8.