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elite houseboats
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What ever happened to the three children who were in the film Houseboat with Cary Grant n Sophia Loren?

Mimi Gibson .... Elizabeth Winters

Mini biography

One of the hardest working child actresses of the 1950s, Mimi Gibson earned over $100,000 (in 1963 dollars) from appearances in 35 movies and over 100 Television Shows. Her mother took Mimi and her sister to Los Angeles after her father´s death when she was a baby. Her mother lived off her acting income. When Mimi turned 18 she found out that all her earnings were gone. At the age of 20 she had become very angry and upset. She skipped getting a college degree and got married to get away from her mother.

She reconciled with her mother a few years later but the experience has bothered her ever since. She is presently active in the Screen Actor´s Guild and A Minor Consideration and has pushed for revisions in Coogan´s Law that assures actors retain a substantial portion of their inc
She is presently active in "A Minor Consideration", Paul Petersen, her co-star in "Houseboat" (1958) formed this child actor support group in 1990.

She appeared in two movies with child star Sandra "Sandy" Descher, "My Pal Gus" (1952) and "The Bottom of the Bottle" (1956) and in three movies with child star Charles Herbert, "The Monster That Challenged the World" (1957), "No Down Payment" (1957) and "Houseboat" (1958).

Paul Petersen .... David Winters

He's been through practically the worst that can happen to a former child star when the Hollywood tide suddenly turns and one is no longer a part of the neat elite. Unlike others, however, such as Anissa Jones, Rusty Hamer and Dana Plato, he survived. As a result, actor Paul Petersen today is THE most dedicated advocate in protecting both present-day child stars and shunned one-time celebrity tykes alike. Paul formed A Minor Consideration, a child-actor support group back in 1990, and it has had a tremendously positive and profound effect in Hollywood.

It started out much differently for Paul back in the 50s. Born in 1945 in Glendale, California, he had an enthusiastic stage mother who pushed him into the business. He began performing as an eight-year-old as one of the original "Mousketeers" on the "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1955. He also appeared in such movies as The Monolith Monsters (1957) and Houseboat (1958) opposite the likes of Cary Grant and Sophia Loren before scoring big at age 12 as Donna Reed's son on her popular sitcom. With Carl Betz as his highly practical doctor dad and Shelley Fabares as his older pretty sister, the foursome became the ideal nuclear family for late 50s/early 60s viewers. Paul and his alter-ego Jeff Stone literally grew up on the show. By his teens, the good-looking, dark-haired lad had become a formidable heartthrob. Fan clubs sprouted up everywhere. So popular were both Paul and Shelley that they spun off into recording careers, groomed to become singing idols despite their modest voices. She scored with the #1 hit "Johnny Angel" and he had a few minor hits with "She Can't Find Her Keys," "Keep Your Love Locked," "Lollipops and Roses" and "My Dad."

The fun ended, however, after the show's demise in 1966. His All-American teen typecast didn't fit the bill as the dissonant Vietnam counterculture took hold. His acting attempts as a serious young adult also went nowhere. Audiences still saw Paul as Jeff Stone. Roles in A Time for Killing (1967), Something for a Lonely Man (1968) (TV) and Journey to Shiloh (1968) came and went. Guest parts on "The Virginian" and "The FBI" did nothing to advance him. What he could scrape up were such outdated roles as "Moondoggie" in a revamped Gidget TV movie.

Lost and abandoned, Paul eventually was forced to give it all up and went through a period of great personal anguish and turmoil. Wisely, he enrolled at college and started writing adventure novels (penning 16 books in all). For 10 years he ran his own limousine service. His biggest accomplishment to date, however, has been to give back selflessly to an industry that unceremoniously dumped him. In essence, A Minor Consideration is an outreach organization that oversees the emotional, financial and legal protection of kids and former kids in show business. Among the issues Paul deals with are better education, and stricter laws regarding a 40-hour work week. For those who have "been there, done that" and are experiencing severe emotional and/or substance abuse problems, he offers a solid hand in helping them find a renewed sense of purpose. Today, Paul is rightfully considered "the patron saint of former child actors."
IMDb mini-biography by
Gary Brumburgh / Spouse
Rana Jo Platz (27 December 1992 - present)
Hallie Litman (1974 - 1988) (divorced) 2 children
Brenda Benet (27 June 1967 - 1970) (divorced)

He has one daughter born in 1987 from a brief affair.

Was allegedly fired from "The Mickey Mouse Club" (1955) by Walt Disney himself for "conduct unbecoming"--for bad behavior. One incident included punching the casting director in the stomach for being called a "mouse" one too many times.

Mickey Rooney was the main influence on Paul to get him to leave Hollywood after his career crashed and burned and getting an education. He eventually earned college degrees in English and history.

Served the United Nations as a delegate for the World Safety Organization, and represented 300,000 film workers as Vice President of the Hollywood Entertainment Labor Council.

He, Shelley Fabares and James Darren recorded a "Bye Bye Birdie" album in the 1960s.

His real-life mother and his TV mother, Donna Reed, were, in fact, both born in Iowa, in adjoining counties, the same year, 1922.

In addition to playing siblings "Jeff" and "Trisha" on "The Donna Reed Show" (1958), he is the real-life big brother of Patty Petersen.

Board Member for the Donna Reed Foundation, and works at the Donna Reed Festival in Denison, Iowa the third week in June every year.
Personal quotes

"They say children in (the Hollywood acting) industry are protected. Bullshit. Hollywood would save Bosnia before the life of a single child actor."

(about being fired from the MMC) "I was rambunctious and confrontational and undisciplined. Heck, my third-grade teacher said that 'While Paul was one of the smartes boys in his class his behavior is abominable.' And that pretty much explains why I was fired. I didn't know that kid actors aren't supposed to be children."

"I became a child actor because my mom was bigger than I was."

On his work with A Minor Consideration: "People on the 'outside,' people who have not lived the life...'civilians' as we call them...are not equipped to deal with the masterful deceptions of former kid stars. For God's sake, when you don't know what to do with a former child star, call on the only group of people who DO know. We never say, 'I told you so.' We never seek retribution. We do not judge lest we be judged. We simply help."
Where are they now

(December 2001) Paul is still heading up the growing advocacy group, A Minor Consideration, protecting young professionals.

Charles Herbert .... Robert Winters

Charles Herbert was a mildly popular 1950s child actor with a trademark sulky puss and thick, furrowed eyebrows, who was known for his inquisitive kid besieged by alien beings, including a robot, human fly and several house-haunting ghosts. He racked up over 20 films, 50 TV shows and a number of commercials during his youthful rein. He was born Charles Herbert Saperstein to non-professionals on December 23, 1948, in the Los Angeles area. Noticed by a Hollywood talent agent while riding a bus with his mother, Charles began his career at age 4 on a 1952 TV show entitled "Half Pint Panel."

Elsewhere on TV he showed up regularly on series fronted by such stars as Robert Cummings and Gale Storm. This period was marked by amazingly high-profiled performances such as his blind child on an episode of "Science Fiction Theater" (1955). On the feature film front, Charles made an inauspicious debut in the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz comedy The Long, Long Trailer (1954). Although director Vincente Minnelli had handpicked him for the role, his part was completely deleted from the movie. Other tyke roles turned out more positively and in a variety of genres, including the film noir pieces The Night Holds Terror (1955) and The Tattered Dress (1957), the dramas Ransom! (1956) and No Down Payment (1957), and the comedies Houseboat (1958) and Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960). His most recognized genre, however, was sci-fi, and he appeared in a number of films that are now considered classics of that genre. He started off in a bit part as a boy playing tug-of-war with a dead girl's scarf in The Monster That Challenged the World (1957). Up front and center, he came into his own playing the young son of dead scientific genius Ross Martin, whose brilliant brain is transplanted into what becomes the robot-like The Colossus of New York (1958). He loses another dad (David Hedison) to a botched experiment in The Fly (1958), also starring iconic master of macabre Vincent Price. Lastly, Charles headed up the cast in the somewhat eerie but rather dull and tame William Castle spookfest 13 Ghosts (1960). Castle handpicked Charles for the child role and even offered the busy young actor top-billing over the likes of Donald Woods, Rosemary DeCamp, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner and Margaret Hamilton if he would appear in his movie. In this haunted house setting, Castle's trademark gimmick had audiences using 3-D glasses in order to see the ghostly apparitions.

He had another leading role in the fantasy adventure The Boy and the Pirates (1960), then film offers for Charles completely stopped. Growing into that typically awkward teen period, he was forced to subsist on whatever episodic roles he could muster up, including bits on "Wagon Train" (1957), "Rawhide" (1959), "The Fugitive" (1963), "Family Affair" (1966) and "My Three Sons" (1960). By the end of the 1960s, however, Charles was completely finished in Hollywood, having lost the essential adorableness that most tyke stars originally possessed. Unable to transition into adult roles, his personal life went downhill as well. With no formal education or training to do anything else and with no career earnings saved, he led a reckless, wanderlust life and turned to drugs. Never married, it took him nearly 40 years (clean and sober since October, 2005) to turn his life around. During good times and bad, however, he has appeared from time to time at sci-fi film festivals.
IMDb mini-biography by
Gary Brumburgh / Trivia

He was spotted by a talent scout while on a shopping trip with his mother in 1952 when he was only four years old. He made his TV debut on the USA show "Half Pint Panel" shortly thereafter.

Mother, Pearl.

Was the bread winner of his family at age 5. His father had a heart condition and could not work and his mother was her husband's caregiver.

According to Tom Weaver in his 2006 article on Charles in "Classic Images," a sad Jackie Coogan-like chain of events happened to him. The only money put away for him until age 21 from his TV and film earnings was $1,700. It seems that if you signed a long-term contract (i.e., a TV show), they would put away part (approximately 5%) of your savings. Charles, however, never had a long-term contract so all his money went directly to his guardians/parents.

Is deeply appreciative of the work Paul Petersen has done for assisting present and former child actors both financially and emotionally. He and Petersen played brothers in the film Houseboat (1958) starring Cary Grant and Sophia Loren.

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