Obit of the Day: 13 Years, 48 Films
Edith Fellows looks rather distraught. As well she should. The child star who began working at films at age six and was out of Hollywood by 19 had a difficult young life. She was pushed into stardom by her maternal grandmother, who seemed to be living vicariously through Edith. Fellows, whose mother abandoned her as an infant, would star in 48 films in her thirteen year career mainly cast as a spoiled brat. She worked with some of the greatest performers of the 1930s and 40s including Bing Crosby, Claudette Colbert, Tom Mix, W.C. Fields, and Rita Hayworth. Her favorite role was as the eldest daughter, Polly Pepper, in the Five Little Peppers series.
In the mid-1930s, having attained some level of success, Fellows’ mother showed up and sued for custody. Fellows chose to stay with her domineering grandmother, since she was, at least, a known quantity, After the custody battle ended, Fellows’ money was placed in a trust in the hopes of protecting it. When she went to retrieve the money after turning 21, the $150,000 she expected to find was in actuality $900. She always blamed her mother for somehow taking her savings. (OOTD would suspect the grandmother but who am I to talk?)
Fellows had a successful Broadway career as an adult and was seen in several television series through the 1990s. (Her complete filmography can be found here.) Her daughter, Kathy Fields became an actress herself. Fellows’ son-in-law was David Lander - “Squiggy” from Laverne & Shirley. Their daughter, Natalie Lander, is a voice actress who does a lot of video game work.
Edith Fellows was 88.
(Image courtesy of startwins.com)