Vic Mizzy, Mary Small and other entertainers comfort a soldier injured on the battlefield in WWII. When we were putting this documentary together we had the chance to speak with Joe Frankin who gave me this quote: Eddie Cantor used to say you know, you go to a grocery store you gotta pay for the milk, you go to a meat market you gotta pay for the liver, but entertainers, they don’t get paid, they get asked all the time to do benefits…and anybody who called Eddie Cantor or Mary Small for a benefit… they were there!
Making this documentary has given me the great opportunity to know H. Kevin Miserocchi, who is the Executive Director of the Tee and charles addams foundation in New York. Kevin was instrumental in helping me develop this story and guide it to the place where it is now and we are eternally grateful to him, not just for his friendship and help with this project, but for his commitment to the legacy of charles addams. Thanks, Kevin! Be sure to check out the foundation at http://www.charlesaddams.com/
Many thanks to Stephanie for sharing this picture of Mary Small taken from a family picnic sometime in the early 2000′s. There are not many pictures like this of Mary Small and so we’re lucky to have it.
In this clip from The Little Girl with the Big Voice, Mary Small describes what it was like growing up as a child star in the 1930′s. As she says in the film “So you see a child, particularly a girl in those days in the theater, there are two things to look at, you’re suppressed because you cannot play with kids your own age, which is a natural desire, and you are watched over so carefully that you feel like you’re doing something wrong… and you really just want to go rollerskating.”
One of the coolest things I got to do for The Little Girl with the Big Voice was interviewing Rudy Vallee’s widow, Eleanor Vallee. This really gave me an opportunity to capture a primary resource who knew intimately the way Rudy Vallee operated and the great champion he was of other performers, like Mary Small, to whom he handed her first big break. Thanks, Eleanor for this gracious interview!
Here’s a still from Radio Days which we couldn’t use in our documentary, The Little Girl with the Big Voice. I’m still waiting on a response from Woody Allen that I sent over a year ago asking who inspired this character. I am almost certain it is a composite of Mary Small and Baby Rose Marie, but who knows? Hopefully Woody will see the film one day and let us know!