Roses were the central feature of Roddy McDowall's English garden - a place|
he enjoyed sharing with his many friends and loved ones. How fitting that
Roddy's dedication to the organization he supported passionately throughout
his life is honored in the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Roddy McDowall
Star of film, stage, radio and television, Roddy was also a respected and
published photographer and writer. In 1940, Roddy's father sent 12-year-old
Roddy, his mother and sister to the United States, for safety and to escape the
Blitz - the German bombing of London.
Roddy was already a veteran of 18 films on England, when he and his sister,
Virginia, performed a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream onboard the
ship that was to bring them to New York. The young McDowall's picture was
taken immediately upon arrival in America and published in The New York
Times. An enterprising fellow from Fox Studios saw Roddy's photograph in the
newspaper and knew the search for a young boy to portray "Huw Morgan"
in How Green Was My Valley was over. The McDowall family did not stay in
New York; they were immediately put on a train bound for Hollywood, and
Roddy's American acting career began.
In 1942, at the tender age of 14, Roddy - accompanied by his sister, Virginia
- was invited to the Motion Picture & Television Fund Country House and
Hospital by then President, Jean Hersholt. This inspirational visit heralded
Roddy's lifelong commitment to MPTF and the entertainment industry he
loved. For the rest of his life, this adored man motivated many people to
contribute to and support this organization:
"It is my fervent hope that the younger members of our industry - in
all areas - will make it their business to become involved with the
purpose, accomplishments, necessity and kindness of the Fund, and
develop the need to carry it forward with the same benevolent spirit
into the next century."