Monday, September 17, 2012

Child star and longtime resident, James Bristow

Mr. Bristow was born in Santa Monica on May 19, 1931 to Mrs. Frances Bristow. He was notably the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. G.B. McCarroll of  Santa Monica. His grandmother, Beatrice McCaroll founded the first African-American women's Masons group in Santa Monica and helped establish the first African-American chapter in Hawaii.

Mr. Bristow attended school at St. Anne's, Garfield Elementary, and graduated from Santa Monica High School. He worked on the Pier for the Harbor Department, at Point Dume Elementary School as a custodian and in Culver City at the pool, known as the Natatorium. Mr. Bristow worked for 7 years at the University of San Francisco Medican Center's laundry function.

Mr. Bristow recalls being in 5 films as a young child living in Santa Monica:

- Parole Fixer (1940) was written by J. Edgar Hoover as an expose of the U.S. parole system, with Anthony Quinn appearing in the cast

- The Lady's From Kentucky (1939) is about a good-natured gambler who falls on hard times, starring George Raft. He recalls working with actress of film and television, Louise Beavers on this film. 

-  2 Snickerdoodles productions with Billy Barty (dates unknown)

- One other film (title unknown)

When The Lady From Kentucky opened on May 17, 1939 at the Cristerion Theater in Santa Moncia, James "Jimmy" Bristow's performance was noted to be acclaimed by critics. (Evening Outlook, Wednesday, May 17, 1939, p. 16, microfilm). Below is the photo of Jimmy that appeared in the Evening Outllook at age 7 in the announcement of the film showing in Santa Monica.