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Jackie Butch Jenkins

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Years active  1943–1948
Name  Jackie Jenkins

Role  Child actor
Parents  Doris Dudley
Jackie Butch Jenkins wearing a suit and a tie with a little girl in front of him.

Full Name  Jack Dudley Jenkins
Born  August 29, 1937 (1937-08-29) Los Angeles, U.S
Movies  National Velvet, My Brother Talks to Horses, The Bride Goes Wild, Little Mister Jim, Summer Holiday
Similar People  Juanita Quigley, Anne Revere, Doris Dudley, Clarence Brown, Donald Crisp
Died   August 14, 2001 (aged 63) , Asheville, North Carolina, United States

Nationality   American

Jackie coogan on the kid

Jackie "Butch" Jenkins (August 29, 1937 – August 14, 2001) was an American child actor who had a brief but notable film career during the 1940s.


Jackie Butch Jenkins smiling and wearing a jacket.

Jackie coogan tribute


Jackie Butch Jenkins with a smiling face.

Born Jack Dudley Jenkins in Los Angeles, the son of actress Doris Dudley, Jenkins made his film debut at the age of six in The Human Comedy (1943) as Ulysses Macauley after an MGM talent scout saw him playing on a Santa Monica beach and admired his high spirits. His performance as Mickey Rooney's younger brother (The Human Comedy) was well received and Jenkins was cast in a succession of films.

He was given star billing for the 1946 film Boys' Ranch. Inspired by the real-life ranch in Texas, which provided a home and education to underprivileged boys, MGM promoted the film as a successor to Boys Town (1938). It co-stars James Craig who also appears in Jenkins' first film, The Human Comedy, as well as in his next film, Little Mr. Jim. Jenkins' other films include National Velvet (1944), Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945), My Brother Talks to Horses (1947), The Bride Goes Wild (1948) Summer Holiday (1948), and his final film Big City (1948).

Jenkins was one of several popular child actors at MGM during the early 1940s, and was educated at the studio's school along with other youngsters under contract to the studio such as Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien, Claude Jarman Jr. and Darryl Hickman. He was regarded as a "scene-stealer" and was notable among the studio's child stars for not being conventionally "cute". 

He was described by film writers Sol Chaneles and Albert Wolsky as "an audience favourite as an all-American boy [with a] space between his teeth, freckles and a tousled mop of hair – a marked contrast to the pretty children who usually appeared on screen." Pauline Kael wrote approvingly of his effectiveness as a performer, saying that his appearance as a five-year-old who enjoys waving at trains in The Human Comedy helped elevate the film, while his performance in National Velvet made him "the little brother of everyone's dreams". In 1946 exhibitors (movie theater owners) voted him the second-most promising "star of tomorrow".

Later life and death

Jackie Butch Jenkins with a serious face and wearing a black suit and a tie.

Jenkins retired from acting at the age of eleven, after he developed a stutter, and as an adult recalled his film career fondly and without regret. He did state, however, that he had not particularly enjoyed acting and had never expected to make a career of it. Later described as a "businessman-outdoorsman", Jenkins established a successful career away from Hollywood and lived for many years in Dallas, Texas, before moving to western North Carolina in the late 1970s. There he built a home "on the side of a steep mountain", where he resided with his third wife, Gloria. On August 14, 2001, he died at age 63 in Asheville, North Carolina.


1948 Big City
Louis Keller (as Butch Jenkins)
1948 The Bride Goes Wild
1948 Summer Holiday
Tommy Miller (as Butch Jenkins)
1948 My Old Town (Short)
Boy watching gopher (uncredited)
1947 My Brother Talks to Horses
Lewie Penrose
1946 Boys' Ranch
'Butch' Taylor
1946 Little Mister Jim
Little Jim Tukker (as Butch Jenkins)
1945 Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood
'Butch' Jenkins (uncredited)
1945 Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
Arnold Hanson
1944 National Velvet
Donald Brown (as Jackie Jenkins)
1944 An American Romance
Thomas Jefferson Dangos - Age 6
1944 Reward Unlimited (Short)
1943 The Human Comedy
Ulysses Macauley (as Jack Jenkins)
1976 That's Entertainment, Part II (Documentary) (performer: "The Stanley Steamer")
1948 Summer Holiday (performer: "Our Home Town", "The Stanley Steamer" - as Butch Jenkins, uncredited)
1943 The Human Comedy (performer: "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night" (1853) - uncredited)
Archive footage
2006 Private Screenings (TV Series)
Arnold Hansen - Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
- Child Stars (2006) ... Arnold Hansen - Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (uncredited)
1944 Twenty Years After (Short)


Jackie "Butch" Jenkins