"Once a song-and-dance man, always a song-and-dance man."                                                                                                            James Cagney  

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I was born in Kentucky to former Vaudeville dance team
Howard and Dorothy Babin, who performed as
"Dot and Dash."  ============>>>>

  I showed an early affinity for dancing, singing
and play acting to the radio and the player piano. 

We moved to Los Angeles when I was 3 and I started ballet and tap classes and involuntarily wearing truly bizarre outfits (to the left) and leaning against things that did not exist like Buster Keaton.



My first professional job was in 1948 at age 5. We lived in Pasadena, California and I made $25.00, which was pretty good for a kid in that era, wearing top hat and tails and doing imitations (James Cagney, Eddie Cantor, etcetera) in a Vaudeville song and dance act at the Pasadena, CA Civic Auditorium ["Home of Saturday Night Vaudeville"] for a Policeman's Benefit. 

At Pasadena Civic Auditorium in 1948.

I played several roles on the radio show "The Enchanted Lady (including Prince Charming, Buster Beetle and the evil laughing frog!) as well as the child lead, Chris Martin, on the radio show "Dr. Paul", Tiny Tim in Dickens' "The Christmas Carol" on "Stars Over Hollywood" and began winning various modeling awards such as "Best Boy Model" and "Most Photogenic Boy."

Parents on left, me, and my grandparents out on the town at Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom's Club.

PRINCE CHARMING GIG (another YUK costume)

I AM THE CITY SLICKER VS. THE SHORT COUNTRY KID ON THE RIGHT  IN QUEEN FOR A DAY 1950. Some of my scenes were with the great character actor Darren McGavin.

By 1949 I added films, TV, Theatre and commercials to the radio, live performances and modeling.



Early credits


Chef Boyardee (Radio) Kid's Voice, "Oh boy, it's Chef Boyardee!" (2 years)

General Mills (TV) Space Patrol (Director Dik Darley, who did the MMC first season too.)

Cheerios (TV) The Lone Ranger (on horseback with the late Clayton Moore as the Ranger, then me eating Cheerios) >>>etc.



The Willow and I  Pasadena Playhouse, 1949 with George Nader and Ann Doran (James Dean's mom in Rebel Without A Cause.).

The Pied Piper  Pasadena Playhouse, directed by playhouse founder Gilmore Brown, with Earl Holliman.

The Strawberry Circle  Pasadena Playhouse, East Wing, my first stage lead at age 8.

Various other Los Angeles stage venues such as THE BLISS HAYDEN THEATRE.



Yank In Korea    I played Lon McAllister's son.

Queen For A Day     Feature version of the popular TV show, with Darren McGavin; Leonard Nimoy's first film as a young adult!

M    American remake of the Peter Lorre German film, this one directed by Joseph Losey.

The Greatest Show On Earth    Best Film Oscar. Director: Cecil B. de Mille, starring Jimmy Stewart, Betty Hutton, Chuck Heston and hordes of others. 

Apache  Look for an unrecognizable blond kid wearing dark makeup, a black, pageboy wig with a feather in the headband and -  mukluks?!    

Hans Christian Andersen    Director: Charles Vidor, starring Danny Kaye. I am related to Hans on my mom's Danish side.



The Colgate Comedy Hour  12 episodes, 1950-1954 starring Eddie Cantor, Bob Hope, Martin & Lewis, Abbott & Costello, Donald O'Conner etc.

The Ruggles  Recurring role, Oliver Quimby: wealthy, intellectual neighbor kid -a bit like Marty on the MMC "Spin and Marty".

The Donald O'Connor Show    2 episodes, dancing with Don in one outing.

The Alan Young Show    2 episodes, before "Mr. Ed".

The Roy Rogers Show     "The Minister's Son."

The All Star Revue Starring Ed Wynn  Western sketch with kids and Ed. Tough guy Lonnie scares Ed, but is thwarted.

The Range Rider    First TV Guest Lead as the title character, also at 8 - "The Holy Terror."

Father Knows Best  1955, right before signing the Disney contract. And MORE.



The Enchanted Lady    A weekly children's radio show that ran for 2 years on KAGH, Altadena, CA, 1948-50.

Stars Over Hollywood    I played Tiny Tim on the national broadcast of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." 

Dr. Paul    Popular CBS radio soap; I played the child lead, Chris Martin, for over 100 shows, 1950-53.    

     Visit The Lonnie Burr Collection of radio scripts and performances at the Thousand Oaks, CA Library - one of the largest collections of radio in the U.S..
23 of my  radio scripts and 19 recorded performances, all aired on over 500+ stations, and related material.

<<<< 1949 with my first dance partner


>>>>>>> 1950 with my third and best early partner, BJ Kunkel. [I moved around a lot.]. We reconnected online and  Beej sent me this western shot recently. 

Modeling at age 6. The latest in cowboy fashion! Apparently I only had one western outfit.

Is it me? The hat looks too big, the bat seems too small. Apparently, I am expecting a truly inside curve!

My first play, "The Willow And I", at the Pasadena Playhouse 1949. Ann Doran, on far right right was later James Dean's mom in "Rebel Without A Cause" and Secretary of SAG.








1954, age 11, shortly before the
beginning of the MMC.

copyright 2015 Lonnie Burr

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