Mini Tribute: Child Actor Ted Donaldson


Born August 20, 1933, Child Actor Ted Donaldson!

Child actor Ted Donaldson made his screen debut in 1944, at age 11, opposite Cary Grant in the wonderful fantasy film, Once Upon a Time, about a boy, his dancing caterpillar Curly, and a conniving showman (yes, that would be Cary Grant) who would do anything to achieve fame and fortune.  Over the course of Donaldson’s 9-year film career (1944-1953), he appeared in 20 films and shorts including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (as Neeley Nolan) and eight ‘Rusty’ the dog films (as Danny Mitchell).

Ted Donaldson also played Bud (son of Robert Young‘s character) in the radio version of Father Knows Best (1949–1954).


Child actor Ted Donaldson with Cary Grant in publicity still for Once Upon a Time 1944Cary Grant with Ted Donaldson in publicity still for Once Upon a Time 1944

(about Curly the dancing caterpillar to Cary Grant):
“I just don’t wanna sell him, that’s all. Not even for a dollar, not even for two dollars. He’s my pet.” -Ted Donaldson as Arthur ‘Pinky’ Thompson in Once Upon a Time


Father_Knows_Best_Radio_Show_CastThe Radio Cast of Father Knows Best, from left to right: Norma Jean Nilsson (as Kathy), Ted Donaldson (as Bud), Robert Young (as Jim), Rhoda Williams (as Betty), and June Whitley Taylor (as Margaret).  The audition show was called “Meet the Hendersons” (12/20/1948) but by the time the radio show premiered on August 25, 1949, the family name was changed to the one we all know and love “The Andersons.” The show aired on Thursday evenings through March 25, 1954.


Child Actor Ted Donaldson then and nowTed Donaldson then and now (circa 2013)


–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

This entry was posted in Child Stars, Mini Tributes, Posts by Annmarie Gatti and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mini Tribute: Child Actor Ted Donaldson

  1. Betsy Kerner says:

    I enjoy seeing Ted in movies shown on TCM Classics. His acting was realistic like a boy in real life. I’m also very glad Hollywood allowed him to keep his Brooklyn accent. That made him stand out from other child actors of the era. Hope he is well and happy.

    Betsy Kerner

  2. Jim Foster says:

    I am in the process of conducting research and gathering material for an article I’m doing about Ted Donaldson for publication in CLASSIC IMAGES, a monthly magazine devoted to the Golden Age of Motion Pictures. My wish is to interview Ted, but so far I’ve been unable to make contact with him. If anyone out there knows how this might be accomplished, PLEASE let me know. Many thanks.

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