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).
The troupe was started by Ethel Meglin in 1928. Meglin was a Ziegfeld girl in feature films. 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. The Johnny Grant Building 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. "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."
Superstar Judy Garland was a Meglin Kiddie also. Garland's mother, Mrs. Gumm, played the piano at the Meglin Kiddie studio to help pay for Garland's singing and dancing lessons there. The film debut of Judy Garland was in Meglin Kiddie short films. 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.
In the 1950s, the Meglin Kiddies had a television show.
Ethel Meglin retired in 1962, as did the studio and dance troupe.
- 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) Marlow Kiddies
- Dora's Dunking Doughnuts (1933) --Students (Meglin Kiddies Band)
- 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)
Notable Meglin Kiddies
- Scotty Beckett
- Jackie Cooper
- Nola Fairbanks
- Judy Garland
- Farley Granger
- Virginia Grey
- Darryl Hickman
- Dwayne Hickman
- June Lang
- Billy Lee
- Paul Marco
- Ann Miller
- Mickey Rooney
- Melody Thomas Scott
- Shirley Temple
- Jane Withers
- Scott, A. O. "Ethel Meglin filmography". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Cary, Diana Serra (1978). Hollywood's Children. Texas: Southern Methodist University Press. ISBN 0-87074-424-0.
- "The Johnny Grant Building". Hollywood Historic Site Walk web site. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.
- "More About Shirley". The Official Shirley Temple Web Site.
- Mckenzie, Loretta. "Shirley Temple's Childhood". Loretta's Shirley Temple Dolls.
- "Who were the Meglin Kiddies?". Kansas Wizard of Oz 'N More Store.
- Cary 1978:202
- Brogan, Scott. "About Judy". The Judy Room.
- Brogan, Scott. "1922-1939 Timeline". The Judy Room.
- Brogan, Scott. "The Gumm Sisters/Garland Sisters Early Short Subjects". The Judy Room.