RODDY McDOWALL:  One of the hottest youngsters in pictures today whose part as the youngling in How Green Was My Valley was easily the outstanding sub-teen age job of last year.

BIRTHPLACE:  London, 13 years ago, of simple, middle-class folks.

APPEARANCE:  Small, slight build, he has a sensitive, well-bred face with plain but expressive features. Brown hair, big brown eyes which bore right through you and a slow, shy smile.

EARLY DAYS:  Was very shy and his mother clapped him into the Hanover Academy of Art to cure him of his self-conciousness. Dramatics played an important part of his "cure." Roddy took to it immediately and displayed such talent that the school awarded him an honorary acting certificate, the first time one was ever given to an eight-year-old. He won elocution lessons and rolled up five medals, six loving cups and four certificates for dramatics.

START:  Roddy's mother wanted to make something of her son and heir's talent, so she took him around to the London film companies until he began getting parts. He did a dozen small roles and got the basis of his juvenile experience.

BIGGEST THRILL:  The time he worked in This England which was filmed in London by the rockets' (Nazi) red glare. The bombing in England was at its height, and several times Roddy and the cast had to run for shelter in the midst of a scene.

TURNING POINT:  When the McDowalls packed up and left for America after Mrs. McD. suffered a nervous relapse. They weren't in New York more than four months when Roddy's mother read that Darryl Zanuck was looking for a juvenile to whom he could entrust the all-important role of Huw in How Green Was My Valley. She contacted the studio, recounted Roddy's imposing record at Hanover plus his London film work and wouldn't let go until Roddy was promised a screen test. After that, the role was in the bag.

HOBBY:  Roddy has a Herculean hobby for a small boy. He's working on a huge map of a fictitious universe which he invented five years ago. He named it Fidelis, and he's always adding new countries and cities to the amp, which is a blueprint measuring 18 by 18 feet, with 50 countries laid out in detail. Each country has its own capital, counties, rivers, etc. Lately Roddy has been working on the floor plans of his public buildings — palaces, cathedrals, museums, and the like. All this takes time, of course, and time is something Roddy is a bit short on these days, due to the ever-increasing demands on the part of producers for his services.

PERSONALITY:  Serious and very thoughtful for a youngster, with a quiet sense of humor. He wants more than anything else in the world to be a great actor. Doesn't want to be a handsome lover type when he grows up, but a character actor like Spencer Tracy or Walter Pidgeon, his two favorites.

Roddy's father and sister Virginia are very
proud of the young actor's screen triumphs

Audiences wept over Roddy in How Green Was
My Valley
.  Left, a scene with Walter Pidgeon.
Below, another touching moment

MOVIE ALBUM Magazine   December 16, 1942

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