Bob Anderson will forever be remembered for playing the young James Stewart in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
Bob’s father, Gene, was an assistant director and production manager in Hollywood .His uncles were directors William Beaudine and James Flood.
At the age of seven, Bob first appeared on screen in Shirley Temple’s YOUNG PEOPLE. He had some uncredited roles in the early 1940’s then won the role of young George Bailey in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
Young George always wanted to travel.
The famous scene where young George saves the druggist Mr.Gower from putting poison by mistake into a prescription. George refuses to deliver the prescription and Mr. Gower hits him.
( Mr.Gower has been drinking after getting the shattering news that his son has been killed in the war.)
Bob later said that H.B.Warner actually blooded Bob’s ear when he slapped him, though the elderly actor hugged him afterwards.
It is Mr.Gower who, at the end of the film, collects money to help George.
With Thomas Mitchell as ‘Uncle Billy’.
”I wish I had a million dollars. Hot dog!”
Despite an excellent performance, the classic film did not lead to other leading roles. Bob had minor roles in THE BISHOP’S WIFE, KIDNAPPED and SAMSON AND DELILAH.
Bob, behind Cary Grant in THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947).
Bob, as the young Zachary Scott in RUTHLESS (1948).
Bob’s character again saves someone from drowning – in this film, Ann Carter.
Raymond Burr appeared briefly in RUTHLESS, playing Bob’s father .
On two occasions, Bob was in films directed by his uncle, William Beaudine – KIDNAPPED (1948) and BORN TO THE SADDLE (1953).
From the 1950s, Bob worked behind the scenes, as an assistant director and production manager, like his father. He worked up till 1993, including TV series, THE TIME TUNNEL, POLICE WOMAN and WONDER WOMAN.
Bob served in the Navy during the Korean War as a photographer on aircraft carriers.
Bob wrote the foreword for Stephen Cox’s book, “It’s A Wonderful Life, A Memory Book.”
Bob said, “It was nice to know that after slugging it out with the studios as a production guy for more than 30 years, people remembered my on-camera work when I was young, and that they appreciated my performance.”
Bob made an appearance on NBC’s Today show in 1997. Would love to see it.
The small town of Seneca Falls, New York claims to be the inspiration for Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls and in 2010, local resident Chris Podzuwelt started a museum devoted to the classic film.There is now an annual festival ( the next one is December 5th to the 9th).
Guests at the 2018 festival will include Karolyn Grimes who played ‘Zuzu’ and Jimmy Hawkins who played ‘Tommy Bailey’, plus Frank Capra’s granddaughter ,Monica and Mary and Tony Owen, children of Donna Reed.
This truss bridge in Seneca Falls resembles the famous bridge in the film when George Bailey meets Clarence.
Although Frank Capra had been in Seneca Falls in the early 1940’s, he said that Bedford Falls was a collection of small towns.
I came across this lovely picture of H.B.Warner and his son in 1927.
H.B. Warner (1876 – 1958) was born in London.
Roscoe Karns (1891-1970) and his son Todd Karns (1921-2000) who played Harry Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Roscoe Karns had a long career as a character actor in Hollywood , and Roscoe and Todd appeared together in the TV series, ROCKY KING, DETECTIVE (1950-1954) – with Roscoe as Rocky King. Must catch an episode on You Tube.