Jimmie Dodd as a Mouseketeer on
The Mickey Mouse Club, circa 1956
|Born||James Wesley Dodd
March 28, 1910
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||November 10, 1964
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ruth Carrell (1940–1964; his death)|
James Wesley Dodd, better known as Jimmie Dodd (March 28, 1910 – November 10, 1964), was best known as the MC of the popular 1950s Walt Disney television series The Mickey Mouse Club, as well as the writer of its well-known theme song, "The Mickey Mouse Club March." A slowed-down version of this march, with different lyrics, became the alma mater that closed the show.
Dodd had some early film roles in The Three Mesquiteers series of westerns. Coincidentally, he performed in two unrelated series whose names were plays on "musketeers". He made his first screen appearance in the 1940 William Holden film Those Were the Days! in a minor role. He also appeared in many theatrical films in the 1940s and 1950s, often uncredited. He appeared with John Wayne in the war film Flying Tigers (1942) and with Harry Carey in China's Little Devils (1945), another film involving the Flying Tigers. He also played the taxi driver in the MGM film Easter Parade (1948), starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. Dodd had a small, but important part in the Mickey Rooney hit Quicksand (1950). Two of his films were biographies of baseball players: The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), in which Jackie Robinson played himself, and The Winning Team (1952), in which future president Ronald Reagan portrayed pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. He played a taxi driver again in Phffft (1954).
Television other than The Mickey Mouse Club
In addition to his small role in Adventures of Superman, mentioned above, Dodd appeared as a deputy in the 1955 episode "Sontag and Evans" of the syndicated television series Stories of the Century. The segment was based on the California train robbers Chris Evans and John Sontag.
The Mickey Mouse Club
The Mickey Mouse Club aired each weekday. Dodd always wore "Mouseke-ears", played his "Mouse-guitar", and sang self-composed songs. His tunes contained positive messages for kids. In addition, among his other musical contributions is a song that a generation of kids has used for nearly a half century to spell "encyclopedia". He performed a regular segment on the show singing "Proverbs Proverbs they're so true"...and then would expound on a Proverb from the Bible and give an explanation of its value in everyday life. He wrote some themes for Zorro and performed songs in several of his movies. The original Mouseketeers, frequent guests at the Dodd home for backyard barbecues and sing-alongs, said Dodd treated them as part of his own extended family.
Dodd died of cancer on November 10, 1964, in Honolulu, Hawaii, aged 54. Cheryl Holdridge was the last Mouseketeer to see Dodd alive. Holdridge visited Dodd in his final hours because she and her new husband Lance Reventlow had flown to Hawaii for their honeymoon. They came to the hospital before Dodd died. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.
- Jimmie Dodd at the Internet Movie Database
- "Stories of the Century: "Sontag and Evans", February 8, 1955". IMDb. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- Profile, legends.disney.go.com; accessed March 27, 2018.
- Original Mickey Mouse Club website; accessed March 28, 2015.
- "Jimmie W. Dodd (1910 - 1964) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15.