It’s thought this pleasant scene is from the premiere of The Yearling. However, it may be the Academy Awards ¬†of 1947 when Claude was presented an Oscar for the Best Juvenile performance.



words, my next novel in the Summers Run series. The publisher is in a bit of a dilemma in categorizing this one. Is it a:

Young Adult

Young Adult Coming-of-Age

A Literary Work

An Intergenerational Novel

Or should it be classified as General Fiction/Baseball?

The issue arises because Return To Summers Run involves all the above. It should be available later this month or early June through online retailers, from the publisher, or through your local bookstore. It’s being published as a softcover and e-book.

After The Yearling?


This artful angle shot of Claude Jarman, Jr. was likely snapped during or slightly after principal photography on The Yearling was finished. The motion picture was released in the spring of 1947 nationwide after its Los Angeles and New York City premieres.

The Our Gang Years


Here he’s pictured on the right with some of the original Our Gang from the Hal Roach studio. Roach produced the earliest of this popular serial as silent films. Cooper’s lineage included actors and performers, including an uncle, director Norman Taurog, who reputedly threatened young Jackie with shooting his dog if he didn’t cry for a scene. Cooper was nominated for an academy award for his role in Skippy, 1931, at the age of nine, one of the youngest ever. He passed away in May, 2011, after a short illness in his California home.

Jackie Cooper


His career began in the silent screen era and extended clear into the late 1980s when he made his last appearance before the cameras. Television fans will remember him as a naval officer and the lead in the television series, Hennesy, back in 1959-1962. He consulted with fellow actor Claude Jarman, Jr., on the role as Claude was serving in the U. S. Navy at the time the series was under development and stationed in southern California. Cooper remains one of the few child actors with a life-long career in the business as actor, producer, and director. He also served with distinction in the United States Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of captain and was once recommended for advancement to the rank of rear admiral, conditioned upon serving a tour in the Pentagon. Cooper chose film work instead.


was released in 1934. Here he’s shown with Wallace Beery, moviedom’s all-time favorite bungling outlaw, loveable rogue and rascal, and favorite big lug. Beery played Long John Silver and also teamed up with Jackie in The Champ, another trademark Cooper tear-jerker. Despite the studio hype, Cooper did not find Beery endearing nor was the pair, a “team.” He found the scene-stealer “disappointing,” and lent little support to the studio’s hopes the two could convince the public their chemistry on the screen was real and not fabricated.


somewhere on the studio lot, it would appear. The Jarman family located temporarily in Los Angeles after Claude passed his screen test for the part of Jody Baxter in The Yearling. His selection by director Clarence Brown is a story only Hollywood could write. Brown surveyed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of candidates in school rooms all across the South, looking for a boy with both the charisma and intelligence to carry a large portion of this movie. He posed as a building inspector once securing permission of the school’s principal, while looking for a boy that caught his eye as having potential. Imagine such a masquerade today!

Claude was summoned to the principal’s office for his first interview with the understanding he would alert his folks of Brown’s interest and to expect a visit to the home. Reportedly, Claude forgot the meeting and went to the Boy Scouts that evening instead.