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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

JOHNNY DOWNS WAS A VALLEY FIXTURE IN THE 1940s

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY    2012

Johnny Downs - detail from vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2012 - (click on image to enlarge it.)

Johnny Downs nearly became a "has been" actor by the age of 14. As a little boy in the Our Gang Comedies, he played a character named for himself, "Johnny,"  1923 - 1926. Being friends with Valley-based performers such as Bing Crosby and Jack Oakie, help Johnny to find work, especially as a character in the popular "college movies" of the 1940s. His successful role in Republic Pictures' "Melody and Moonlight" released just prior to World War II, almost relaunched his career.

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