Margaret O'Brien, TV
TV Gives Margaret O’Brien Chance To Get Out Of The Awkward Age By WILLIAM EWALD United Press Staff Correspondent NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (UP)-The cornballest of all the cornball images ever manufactured by the movies may well have been the one of Margaret O'Brien, standing lone, solemn - eyed and straw- hatted, within the mamoth hollow of a train station. It was, oh sob, a heart-tugger. It is an image that Miss O'Brien a lady pushing 20. regards now with some distaste. It is an image that TV is helping her to bury. ‘ One of the most difficult things about having been a child actress is trying to convince people that you are no longer a child,” said Miss O'Brien as she fluttered her dark lashes at a plateful of manicotti. She had been rehearsing for a “Kraft Theatre” opus, “Come to Me,” which will be beamed out tonight. She said she was hungry. Out of Awkward Age ‘The wounderful thing about TV.” she said between forkfuls, “is that it has given me a chance to get out of the awkward age —something the movies couldn’t do for me. No movie producer could really afford to take a chance at handing me an adult role. “But TV has changed all that —and all within the past few weeks. It started with a ‘Suspicion’ show at the beginning of the season in which I played a wom- ! an. Then there was a ‘Playhouse 90’ and a ‘Climax’ in which I played wives. In this ‘Kraft’, I jget another chance to act — I’m | playing an ugly sister who’s not ¡quite right in the head. “I'm far more fortunate than j the child movie stars who came ; before me—and all because of j TV, Shirley Temple never had anything like TV to make that j transition to adulthood. Neither ¡did so many others.” Miss O’Brien, who won an Academy Award at seven and who earned $5,000 a week at the peak of her career, looks back with some detachment on her roles in such flickers as “Meet me in St. Louis." “Journey for Margaret” and “Jane Eyre.” She did the! straw-hat bit in “Music for Millions.” “In terms of my career, I think being a child actress is half good and half bad,” she said as she worked through some garlic bread. “It’s harder to get people to accept the fact you’re older, but it's good because it helped me as an actress. “People think because I started at four-and-a-half I was a born actress. But there's no such thing as a born actress. You have to jyork to be any good. I can remember as a child the endless hours and hours of rehearsal just to get a scene or even a line right.” She ordered brandy pudding and tea for dessert and tackled both with dainty gusto. “Regrets? No, I have no regrets at all about spending my childhood as an actress. My mother made sure that I played with the other kids in the neighborhood and I got the same kind of allowance that they did. MARGARET O’BRIEN Fernado Lamas, who has costarred with Ethel Merman in the stage musical, “Happy Hunting,” will be a guest star on “The Patrice Munsel Show” on ABC Dec. 6 .