Dickie Moore

Dickie Moore


Also Known As
Dick Moore, John Richard Moore Jr., Dickey Moore
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
September 12, 1925


A cherubic boy with pronounced dimples, Dickie Moore was a prolific child actor in features from the late 1920s through the 1950s in such films as "Blonde Venus" (1932), "Sergeant York" (1941) and "Heaven Can Wait" (1943) among his hundred-plus titles. Moore hit his stride at age seven, when he appeared in over 20 films, including "Oliver Twist" (1932), for which he played the title role...

Family & Companions

Jane Powell
Actor, singer. Star of MGM musicals of the 1940s and 50s.


A cherubic boy with pronounced dimples, Dickie Moore was a prolific child actor in features from the late 1920s through the 1950s in such films as "Blonde Venus" (1932), "Sergeant York" (1941) and "Heaven Can Wait" (1943) among his hundred-plus titles. Moore hit his stride at age seven, when he appeared in over 20 films, including "Oliver Twist" (1932), for which he played the title role, and numerous "Our Gang" shorts. Like many juvenile actors, his career slowed as he reached his teenaged years, though there were occasional choice parts, like the courageous "Kid" in "Out of the Past" (1947). He also co-produced and starred in an Oscar-nominated short film, "The Boy and the Eagle" (1949), but by the 1950s, he had abandoned acting for public relations, which kept him active for several decades. Moore's long, successful and turmoil-free life stood in stark contrast to the countless stories of child actors whose lives crumbled into disarray after their stars had dimmed.

Born John Richard Moore, Jr. on Sept. 12, 1925 in Los Angeles, he made his screen debut at 11 months as the infant Francois Villon in 1927's "The Beloved Rogue," a historical adventure vehicle for John Barrymore. Numerous uncredited turns as juveniles in backgrounds followed before he began working his way up to featured player in the early 1930s. He endured the rough treatment that was part and parcel of being a child actor in the industry at that time - Moore was nearly beaten by Cecil B. De Mille after sassing the director on the set of "The Squaw Man" (1932) - and methodically worked his way into the American moviegoers' consciousness by virtue of countless screen appearances. In 1932 alone, he appeared in over 20 films, including "Blonde Venus" as Marlene Dietrich's son, and a year's worth of appearances in Hal Roach Studio's "Our Gang" series of shorts. The following year, Moore graduated to lead in Monogram's low-budget adaptation of "Oliver Twist" (1933), which launched his star status in earnest, giving his "Our Gang" co-star Jackie Cooper - then the biggest male child star of the moment - a serious run for his money.

Moore's breathless schedule continued throughout the 1930s, encompassing everything from A-list pictures like "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1935) and "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937), both starring Paul Muni, to weepy programmers like "My Bill" (1938), in which his faithful son rewarded widowed and perpetually put-upon mother Kay Francis with a windfall inheritance. By the end of the decade, however, Moore's star was on the wane. He amassed a handful of appearances in quality films at the dawn of the 1940s, most notably in "Sergeant York" (1941) as Gary Cooper's young brother, and Ernst Lubitsch's "Heaven Can Wait" (1943) as the spoiled teenaged version of Don Ameche's penitent spendthrift. Moore also entered into the history books as the first actor to kiss Shirley Temple onscreen in "Miss Annie Young" (1942).

During World War II, Moore served in the military and attended college, eventually graduating with a degree in journalism. He enjoyed a few more plum roles in the 1940s, most notably as The Kid, who saves Robert Mitchum's skin from a ruthless killer in the noir classic "Out of the Past" (1947). Two years later, he earned an Oscar nomination as producer and star of "The Boy and the Eagle" (1949), a live-action short about a handicapped boy who developed a relationship with a wounded bird. Moore's movie roles soon petered out, and he moved to television and serials like "Cody of the Pony Express" (1950), which cast him as a teenaged Buffalo Bill Cody. His final screen credit came as Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart in an episode of the anthology series "Omnibus" (CBS/NBC, 1952-1961) in 1957. He was 32 at the time, and had been in 100 features over the course of three decades.

Unlike many of his peers and subsequent child actors, Moore was able to flourish in his post-stardom years. He became part of Actors Equity and edited their in-house magazine before joining their public relations department. In 1964, he formed his own public relations firm, Dick Moore Associates, and later produced industrial films. In 1984, he conducted a series of interviews with former child actors for a book titled Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (But Don't Have Sex or Take the Car). To his surprise, over half of his subjects had struggled with serious issues in their adult years, including alcoholism and emotional issues. One of the few interviewees who had survived her time in Hollywood relatively unscathed was Jane Powell, whom he married in 1988. The couple remained active in New York theater well into their eighth decades.



Cast (Feature Film)

The Member of the Wedding (1953)
Eight Iron Men (1952)
Wagon Master (1950)
Prudence's brother
Killer Shark (1950)
Cody of the Pony Express (1950)
Tuna Clipper (1949)
Frankie Pereira
Bad Boy (1949)
16 Fathoms Deep (1948)
Dangerous Years (1948)
Gene Spooner
Behind Locked Doors (1948)
Out of the Past (1947)
The Kid
The Song of Bernadette (1945)
The Eve of St. Mark (1944)
Zip West
Sweet and Low-Down (1944)
General "Mogie" Carmichael
Youth Runs Wild (1944)
Georgie Dunlop
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Henry, age 15
Jive Junction (1943)
Peter [Crane]
Happy Land (1943)
Peter Orcutt
Miss Annie Rooney (1942)
Marty [White, Jr.]
The Adventures of Martin Eden (1942)
The Great Mr. Nobody (1941)
"Limpy" Barnes
Sergeant York (1941)
George York
A Dispatch from Reuters (1940)
Reuter, as a boy
The Blue Bird (1940)
The Underpup (1939)
Jerry Binns
Hidden Power (1939)
Steve Jr.
The Gladiator (1938)
My Bill (1938)
Bill Colbrook
The Arkansas Traveler (1938)
Benny Allen
Love, Honor and Behave (1938)
Ted (as a child)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
Pierre Dreyfus
Madame X (1937)
Peter Simonds
One in a Million (1937)
The Bride Wore Red (1937)
Timothy's Quest (1936)
The Little Red Schoolhouse (1936)
Dickie Burke
The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
Joseph Meister
Swell-Head (1935)
Billy Malone
Without Children (1935)
David "Sonny" Cole, Jr., as a child
Peter Ibbetson (1935)
Gogo/Peter, age 8
So Red the Rose (1935)
Middleton Bedford
Tomorrow's Youth (1934)
Junior Hall
In Love with Life (1934)
The World Accuses (1934)
Tommy [Weymouth]
Upper World (1934)
Tommy [Stream]
Gallant Lady (1934)
Deedy [Lawrence]
The Human Side (1934)
Bobbie [Sheldon]
Little Men (1934)
This Side of Heaven (1934)
Oliver Twist (1933)
Oliver Twist
Obey the Law (1933)
Dickie Chester
Gabriel over the White House (1933)
Jimmy Vetter
Man's Castle (1933)
Joie [Crippled boy]
Cradle Song (1933)
Fireman Save My Child (1932)
Herbie, Mascot's pal
Blonde Venus (1932)
Johnny Faraday
Winner Take All (1932)
Dickie Smith
Disorderly Conduct (1932)
So Big (1932)
Dirk, as a boy ["So Big"]
No Greater Love (1932)
Tommy Burns
Deception (1932)
Dickie Allen
The Expert (1932)
The Racing Strain (1932)
Big Shot as a baby
The Devil Is Driving (1932)
Million Dollar Legs (1932)
Willie (Angela's brother)
Union Depot (1932)
Little boy
Three Who Loved (1931)
Sonny Hanson
Star Witness (1931)
Ned Leeds
Manhattan Parade (1931)
Aloha (1931)
Junior Bradford
The Squaw Man (1931)
Little Hal
Husband's Holiday (1931)
Philip [Boyd]
Seed (1931)
Johnny Carter
Son of the Gods (1930)
Passion Flower (1930)
Object--Alimony (1928)
Jimmy Rutledge, Jr.

Cast (Special)

Roddy McDowall: Hollywood's Best Friend (1998)

Cast (Short)

Lincoln in the White House (1939)
Peter Ibbetson - Screen Tests (1935)
Fish Hooky (1934)
Forgotten Babies (1933)
Mush and Milk (1933)
Hook and Ladder (1932)
Birthday Blues (1932)
Free Wheeling (1932)

Life Events


Made screen debut at 11 months as the infant Francois Villon in "The Beloved Rogue"


Became a member of The Little Rascals as 'Dickie'


Appeared in over 20 films including "Blonde Venus" and "Deception"


Played the title character in "Oliver Twist"


First film with Paul Muni, "The Story of Louis Pasteur"


Again acted with Muni in "The Life of Emile Zola"


Cast as Gary Cooper¿s young brother in "Sergeant York"


Became first actor to kiss Shirley Temple onscreen in "Miss Annie Rooney"


Produced and starred in Oscar-nominated short "Boy and the Eagle"


Final screen credit, as Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart on an episode of CBS/NBC anthology series "Omnibus"


Formed his own public relations firm Dick Moore Associates


Published the book Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (But Don¿t Have Sex or Take the Car)


Appeared in documentary "Shirley Temple: America's Little Darling"


Movie Clip

Million Dollar Legs (1932) -- (Movie Clip) Klopstokia, Goats And Nuts Opening with pace and absurdity, Edward Cline directing for producer Herman J. Mankiewicz from a story by his brother Joseph L. ., we meet George Barbier as Baldwin, top-billed Jack Oakie as his salesman Tweeny and Susan Fleming with Dickie Moore as her little brother, in Million Dollar Legs, co-starring W.C. Fields.
Blonde Venus (1932) -- (Movie Clip) I Wish I Was Someone Else Learning that her ailing husband (Herbert Marshall) is returning healthy from Europe, Helen (Marlene Dietrich) agonizes with her sugar-daddy turned honest boyfriend Nick (Cary Grant), who financed everything, in Josef von Sternberg's Blonde Venus, 1932.
Out Of The Past (1947) -- (Movie Clip) A Secret Man Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) and girlfriend Ann (Virginia Huston) at the lake in their first scene, "The Kid" (Dickie Moore) signals that a visitor (Paul Valentine) awaits at the gas station, early in Jacques Tourneur's Out Of The Past, 1947.
Sergeant York (1941) -- (Movie Clip) What Are We Drinkin' To? East Tennessee, 1916, joining the first scene for Gary Cooper as Alvin York (title character), with his buddies (Ward Bond, Noah Beery Jr.) conversing over a bottle when younger brother George (Dickie Moore), sent by mother, comes to collect him, in Howard Hawks’ Sergeant York , 1941.
Heaven Can Wait (1943) -- (Movie Clip) There Is No Santa Claus Grandad Van Cleve (Charles Coburn) takes the moment to brief son Randolph (Louis Calhern) on what’s happened between his bedridden son and the French maid (Signe Hasso), mom Spring Byington aghast, young Albert (Allyn Joslyn) in support, in Ernst Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait, 1943.
Upper World -- (Movie Clip) Cow-Towing Nitwits Railroad tycoon Alex Stream (Warren William) at home with son (Dickie Moore) and wife Hettie (Mary Astor) who's preparing for a costume party, in Upper World, 1934, from a story by Ben Hecht.
Blonde Venus (1932) -- (Movie Clip) Rather A Long Swim Americans touring the Black Forest, Sterling Holloway as "Joe" and Herbert Marshall as forward "Ed," meet frolicking nymphs led by Marlene Dietrich, then director Josef von Sternberg with deft narrative compression, young Dickie Moore in the wake, opening Blonde Venus, 1932.
Madame X (1937) -- (Movie Clip) Our Next Port Is Glasgow Having fled Paris in shame, we discover that Gladys George (title character) is working as a governess on the Riviera, rebuffing advances of a friend of her employers (William Henry), then rightly realizing that her ex-husband is looking for her, in Madame X, 1937.
Youth Runs Wild -- (Movie Clip) Theft Frankie (Glenn Vernon) and his buddies bungle their attempt to steal tires and Larry (Lawrence Tierney) pays the price, in Youth Runs Wild, 1944.
Star Witness (1931) -- (Movie Clip) Your Brother's Life Witness protection and phone-tracing circa 1931, as Ma (Frances Starr) notices a child missing, Jackie (Edward Nugent) tries to help, D-A Whitlock (Walter Huston) oversees, and thug Jack (Nat Pendleton) hangs up, in Warner Bros.' Star Witness.
Man's Castle -- (Movie Clip) Bill on Stilts Itinerant Bill (Spencer Tracy) has a gig on stilts which gives him the ideal opportunity to deliver on a promise to his young pal Joie (Dickie Moore) in director Frank Borzage's Man's Castle, 1933.


Expert, The - (Original Trailer) An elderly man (Chic Sale) complicates his married son's life when he moves in in The Expert (1932).
Dispatch From Reuters, A - (Original Trailer) An entrepreneur (Edward G. Robinson) builds an international news agency.
Sergeant York - (Re-issue Trailer) Gary Cooper won his first Best Actor Oscar portraying Sergeant York (1941), the pacifist who becomes a war hero.
Youth Runs Wild - (Original Trailer) Teenagers rebel, sassing their parents and dancing to loud music, right in the middle of World War II in the expose Youth Runs Wild (1944).
Madame X (1937) - (Original Trailer) MGM rather shooting the moon in this original trailer for the fourth film version of Madame X, 1937, this time starring Gladys George.
Star Witness, The - (Original Trailer) Chic Sale goes to court to take on "those danged furriners" in the pre-code drama The Star Witness (1931).
So Big (1932) - (Original Trailer) Barbara Stanwyck stars as the long-suffering mother in the first sound movie of Edna Ferber's famous novel So Big (1932).
This Side of Heaven - (Original Trailer) An eccentric family tries to work together when the father is accused of embezzlement in This Side Of Heaven (1934) starring Lionel Barrymore.
Bride Wore Red, The - (Original Trailer) A rare vocal by the star featured in this trailer, Joan Crawford in the story of a chorus girl who crashes an exclusive Swiss resort to snare a rich husband in The Bride Wore Red, 1937, directed by Dorothy Arzner.
Life of Emile Zola, The - (Original Trailer) A famed writer risks his reputation to defend a Jewish army officer accused of treason in The Life of Emile Zola (1937).
Great Mr. Nobody, The - (Original Trailer) Eddie Albert is an accident-prone reporter who stumbles into love and a big story in The Great Mr. Nobody (1941) with Alan Hale, Sr. as "The Skipper."
Fireman, Save My Child! - (Original Trailer) He's a small-town fireman, inventor and baseball star. When Joe E. Brown joins the St. Louis Cardinals, will he hear the cry Fireman, Save My Child! (1932).


Jane Powell
Actor, singer. Star of MGM musicals of the 1940s and 50s.