Clothing and Costumes Worn by Child Actors: O

Figure 1.--This is photograph Barret Oliver that was taken in the mid-1980s from some kind of promotionial show. He looks to be wearing OP cord shorts with tube socks. OP shorts and tube socks were commonly worn by American boys in the 1970s and 80s, but this style was rarely depicted in movies and tlevision.

Information about child actors also provodes a great deal of fashion information. Both clothes these children wore as well as the costumes they wore in their films and shows provide much valuable information. These childrens often dressed very fashionably so information about them provides insights into contemprary fashions. The costumes they wore in films also provides useful information--although it must be treated more cautiously. HBC is preparing an alphabetical listing of child actors in movies, plays, and television.

O'Brien, Austin - (US, 1981- )

Austin first appeared to the public in the Schwarzenegger bomb, "Last Action Hero" (1993). He seems to prefer longish hair which appears to be becoming more popular. I saw an interview with him a Cannes and he was having the time of his life. You could tell he was really taken with Arnold. He was really unaffected, but at 11 old enough to be aware of what was going on. He had a really disarming smile. His next movie was "My Girl2" (1994) where he replaces McCauly Culkin whose father was demanding huge sums. He said of the hours he spent practicing kissing with his co-star, 13 year-old Anna Chlumsky, "I'd rate it somewhere between a good experience and a terrible experience."He also made a dinosaur video for younger kids, "Prehysteria" (1994).

O'Conner, Donald - (US, 1925- )

Popular 1940s-50s film star, Donald O'Conner, was the son of circus performers turned Vaudevillians. Donald joined them as an infant. He performed as a child in movies when he was about 11 years old (1936-37). He performed briefly as a child (1937-39), before returning to Vaudeville. His films include: "Melody for Two" (1937), "Sing You Sinners" (1938), "Sons" of the Legion" (1938), "Men with Wings" (1938), "Tom Sawyer--Detective" (1938), "Unmarried" (1939), "Night Work" (1939), "Boy Trouble" (1939), "Million Dollar Legs" (1939), "Beau Geste" (1939), "Death of a Champion" (1939), and "On Your Toes" (1939). I haven't seen many of his films. He played Huck in "Tom Sawyer--Detective" (1938). He had some stylish costumes in "Beau Geste" (1939), wearing a smart sailor suit and a knee length suit with long stockings. He was about 14 at the time, I wonder if he objected. I assume that as he was looking older by 1940, he had trouble finding child parts so returned to Vaudeville until launching his more notable teenage/adult career in 1942.

O'Keefe, Paul - (US, 1951- )

I never much cared for Ed Sulivan's "Tost of the Town", but I recall a remarkable performance by Paul O'Keefe when he was about 6 years old and totally unknown. I believe it was 1957. I think he had a hint of an Irish accent. He gave an unpolished, but stunning rendition of "Ole Donegal" in which he letter perfect ran through all those Irish names. At the end he was so pleased with himself that he litterally threw himself in the hands of I assume his father who was just standing off camera. Paul was dressed up in a bow tie, longing probably gray short pants, and long stockings. We at first thought that they were knickers, but they are probably shorts. The bow tie must have been green, perhaps even the shirt. What I don't understands is the black long stockings. We at first thought that they were worn to give a nostalgic Irish look. The only thing is that the Irish were not especially known for wearing long stockings. The Irish in America wore long stockings, because it was an American style, but long stockings were not widely worn by boys in Ole Donegal. Irish styles were very similar to British styles and boys commonly wore knee socks. Paul is much better known for playing Patty Duke's insufferable little brother on the "Patty Duke Show" (1963-66). I didn't find him to be one of the more interesting child stars. He has rather pleasant memories of the show and became close friends with Patty. He was about 12 years old when the show began. I don't remember any particularly interesting scenes and the show of course focussed on Patty. . He always wore long pants. He still is active in show business. He plays and writes music and appears in Off Broadway.

O'Neal, Tatum - (US, 1963- )

Tatum, of course, is a girl, but I thought she was cute an interestingly often dressed as a boy. Her big hit was 'Paper Moon' with her father. She battled with drugs as a teenager and young adult whih almost destroyed a promising movie career. She now seems to have pulled her life together. She finally married John MacEnrow of all people. It would be hard to recognize her as an adult. Her brother Griffin also did some acting.

O'Neal, Griffin

Griffin was the brother of Tatum. His film career never matched that of his sister, but he was a creditable little actor. He starred in the The Escape Artist (1982).

Oliver, Barrett

Barett was a very competent child actor in the 1980s. I was taking by how nicely he played his part in "The Never Ending Story" (1984). He was also good in "Darryl" (1985). His other movies include "Cacoon" (1985) and the Disney movie "Spot Marks the X" (1986). He has been on many television shows, including "Twilight Zone" and "Highway to Heaven." The photograph here shows him in some kind of promotion (figure 1). OP shorts and tube socks were commonly worn by American boys in the 1970s and 80s, but this style was rarely depicted in movies and tlevision. Notice that his shirt is tucked in, something that boys at that time rarely did. It is presumably tucked in because it is some sort of promotion, probably a retail advertisement.

Oliver, Michael - (US, 1982/4?- )

Cute little fellow who starred in the "Problem Child" films. He has seven brothers and sisters, one is a half brother to Danny Ponce who appeared in "Valerie"/"The Hogan Family." As a result of the success of "Problem Child," Michael's mother demanded more money at the last minute for "Problem Child II." The studio caved in and agreed as they couldn't recast on such short notice. When the film faired poorly, the studio refused to continue the high payments and sued for the extra money they had paid back. Michael said in an interview, "I don't understand why they are suing me."

Ostrum, Peter - (U.S.?, 19??- )

Peter Ostrum beautifully played Charlie Bucket in "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory" (197?). The film was based on the eponymous book written in 1964 by Roald Dahl. I do not know much about Peter. This is the only film I know that he made. I don't think he liked acting. He was, however, very good in this film. I understand that he is now a bovine and equine vet in Glenfield, New York.


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Created: October 18, 2000
Last updated: 9:40 PM 3/26/2011