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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.”

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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!

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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!

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The Little Girl With The Big Voice- photo stills – 2014