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FRANKIE DARRO - DOCUMENT SIGNED 02/21/1958 - HFSID 281988

AFTRA membership application signed by former child actor Frankie Darro with his legal name "Frank M. Johnson" in 1958 Document signed "Frank M. Johnson" in blue ink. Blue ink notations and lead pencil marks in unknown hand.

Price: $360.00

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FRANKIE DARRO
AFTRA membership application signed by former child actor Frankie Darro with his legal name "Frank M. Johnson" in 1958
Document signed "Frank M. Johnson" in blue ink. Blue ink notations and lead pencil marks in unknown hand. 2 pages, 6½x9¼, 1 sheet, front and verso. With 6½x3¼ initiation fee receipt carbon copy with perforated left edge stapled at top edge. Feb. 21, 1958. Membership form for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. According to this document, Darro was scheduled to appear in a 1958 episode of Playhouse 90. At a time when most drama anthology shows were only an hour long, Playhouse 90 (1955-1961) stood out with its hour and a-half long length - hence its title. Playhouse 90 stood out for a more important reason, though. The show attracted high-flight talent, including directors John Frankenheimer George Roy Hill and Sidney Lumet, writers like Rod Serling (his Requiem for a Heavyweight first debuted on Playhouse 90 in 1956 and won a total of five Emmy awards and a Peabody Award for Serling) and actors like Charles Laughton, James Mason, Peter Lorre, Kim Hunter, Vincent Price and Boris Karloff. The series was nominated for numerous Emmy Awards and won four, for Best New Program Series, Best Dramatic Series - One Hour of Longer and Best Dramatic Anthology Series. It also won a Peabody Award in 1959. The diminutive Darro (1917-1976), born Frank Johnson, was the son of a husband-and-wife aerial team and almost became an acrobat himself. (He was reportedly afraid of heights, and his father tried to cure him by forcing him to walk a tightrope every day) But his mother had a nervous breakdown while they were in California, and Darro was pressed into service as an actor to support the family. He appeared in almost 180 movies and TV shows between 1923 and 1975, including 26 westerns with Tom Tyler between 1926 and 1929 and eight movies with black comedian Mantan Moreland between 1939 and 1941. Once favorably compared with fellow child actor Mickey Rooney, Darro was a frequent face in serials (including a starring role in the 1935 classic The Phantom Empire, with Gene Autry) and was also frequently seen in Monogram Pictures' Teen Agers and Bowery Boys series. Darroreceived starring roles from 1924 to the mid-1950s. His small frame got him work as a stunt double for other child actors, frequent roles as jockeys and, in 1956, the role of Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet (with voice supplied by Marvin Miller). Later in life, and despite a drinking problem, he opened a bar called "Try Later", which was named after one of the most frequent things he heard when he went looking for acting jobs: "Try later". Lightly toned and creased. Receipt has carbon copy marks and was folded once and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition.

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