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Encyclopedia > Charles Herbert
Charles Herbert

Charles Herbert was a prolific American film and TV child actor of the 1950s and 1960s.
Date of birth: December 23, 1948
Birth location: Culver City, California
Birth name: Charles Herbert Saperstein
Notable role(s): "Philippe Delambre" in
The Fly,
"Buck Zorba" in
13 Ghosts

Charles Herbert, (born Charles Herbert Saperstein on December 23, 1948, in Culver City, California, USA), was a prolific American film and TV child actor of the 1950s and 1960s. Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... See TV (disambiguation) for other uses and Television (band) for the rock band European networks National In much of Europe television broadcasting has historically been state dominated, rather than commercially organised, although commercial stations have grown in number recently. ... The term child actor is generally applied to a child acting in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began his or her acting career as a child; to avoid confusion the latter is also called a former child actor. ... December 23 is the 357th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (358th in leap years). ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. ... The Fly is a 1958 American science-fiction/horror film, directed by Kurt Neumann. ... (Redirected from 13 Ghosts) Promotional poster for Thir13en Ghosts Thir13en Ghosts (Also known simply as Thirteen Ghosts or 13 Ghosts) is a 2001 horror / thriller movie, directed by Steve Beck. ... Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. ... Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... See TV (disambiguation) for other uses and Television (band) for the rock band European networks National In much of Europe television broadcasting has historically been state dominated, rather than commercially organised, although commercial stations have grown in number recently. ... The term child actor is generally applied to a child acting in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began his or her acting career as a child; to avoid confusion the latter is also called a former child actor. ...


Before reaching his teens, Herbert was renown by a generation of movie-goers for an on-screen broody, mature style and wit that enabled him to go one-on-one with some of the biggest names in the industry and his appearances in a handful of films in the sci-fi/horror genre have garnered him an immortality there. In six years he appeared in 20 Hollywood features. ...


Herbert supported his family from the age of 5 and went from being one of the most desired and highest paid child actors of his time to one of the multitude of performers Hollywood "discarded" upon reaching maturity.


His situation and the lifetime of damage it created for him have only recently come to light.

Contents


Biography

Charles Herbert, as Billy Spensser, converses with his "father" in The Colossus of New York (1958).
Enlarge
Charles Herbert, as Billy Spensser, converses with his "father" in The Colossus of New York (1958).

Early beginnings

"I just happened to be riding on a bus while on a shopping trip with my mother, Pearl, one day, and a gentleman who was a talent agent in Hollywood, named Cosmo Morgan, saw me talking and must have thought I was cute or something. He gave me his card, which I immediately tried to give to the bus driver! That’s basically how it started", stated Herbert in a recent interview. [1]


Career

Blue-eyed and freckle-faced, his first job was at age 4 on Half Pint Panel, which was a TV show back in 1952. The Long, Long Trailer (1954) was to be his first movie, just after appearing in the stage production of On Borrowed Time at the Rancho Theatre. Auditioning with some 40 other kids, they picked Herbert only to cut him out of the movie. 1954 ad for New Moon Mobile Home Company, promoting both their trailers and the film The Long, Long Trailer was a novel by Clinton Twiss from the 1950s about a couple who buy a new travel trailer home and spend a year traveling the United States. ...


This period was highlighted with a celebrated performance at age 8 for his role as a blind child on an episode of Science Fiction Theater (1956). Airing December 22, 1956, The Miracle Hour is about a man that never gives up hope that his fiance's blind six-year-old son will not have to spend the Holidays in darkness. It starred Dick Foran and Jean Byron, along with Herbert. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


What was to follow included roles in such popular and cult films as View From Pompey's Head (1955), The Night Holds Terror (1956), These Wilder Years (1956), with James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), The Colossus of New York (1958) and The Fly (1958). A cult film is a movie that attracts a small but devoted group of obsessive fans or one that has remained popular over successive years amongst a small group of followers. ... James Cagney was part of the Legends of Hollywood USPS stamp series. ... Barbara Stanwyck (July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) was an American film/television actress. ... Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 movie starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday about the famous October 26, 1881 gunfight in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. ... The Fly is a 1958 American science-fiction/horror film, directed by Kurt Neumann. ...


Also, Houseboat (1958), Man in the Net (1959), with Alan Ladd, The Five Pennies, Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) and 13 Ghosts (1960), where producer/director William Castle gave him top billing at the age of 12 in order to secure his services. Houseboat is a 1958 romantic comedy starring Cary Grant, Sophia Loren & Harry Guardino. ... Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 - January 29, 1964) was an American film actor. ... The Five Pennies was a semi-biographical 1959 film starring Danny Kaye as cornet player and bandleader Red Nichols. ... (Redirected from 13 Ghosts) Promotional poster for Thir13en Ghosts Thir13en Ghosts (Also known simply as Thirteen Ghosts or 13 Ghosts) is a 2001 horror / thriller movie, directed by Steve Beck. ... William Castle (April 24, 1914–May 31, 1977) born William Schloss, was an American film director, producer, and actor. ...


Herbert's final feature film and starring role was in The Boy and the Pirates (1960), produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon (Mr. B.I.G.), the master of giant monster films, co-starring his daughter Susan. Herbert and Susan Gordon had previously worked together in The Man in the Net (1959), the hospital scene in The Five Pennies (1959) and a TV pilot episode entitled The Secret Life of John Monroe (aka The Secret Life of James Thurber). The 30-minute unsold pilot aired as the "Christabel" episode of Alcoa/Goodyear Playhouse, June 8, 1959. Very rarely seen, The Boy and the Pirates was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as a Midnite Movies double DVD set with the more recent Crystalstone (1988), on June 27, 2006. A recent interest in "pirate movies" was precipitated by Walt Disney Company's theatrical release of Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, on July 7, 2006. Bert I. Gordon (born as Bert Ira Gordon, September 24, 1922 in Kenosha, WI) is an American film director. ... The Five Pennies was a semi-biographical 1959 film starring Danny Kaye as cornet player and bandleader Red Nichols. ... All DVDs - replicated (factory pressed), recorded (burned), video, audio, data, or otherwise — are DVD-ROM discs, though many refer to a DVD-ROM as a pressed data disk only. ... Alternate meanings: Disney (disambiguation) The Walt Disney Company (also known as Disney Enterprises, Inc. ... Johnny Depp (born John Christopher Depp II on June 9, 1963) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor, known for his affinity for strange character roles. ...

Houseboat (1958), Herbert's favorite of his films, cast him with Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Mimi Gibson and Paul Peterson.
Enlarge
Houseboat (1958), Herbert's favorite of his films, [1] cast him with Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, Mimi Gibson and Paul Peterson.

During his peak he was performing non-stop with multiple projects completed each year. By 1959 Herbert had achieved a lofty place among the most desired and highest paid child actors of his time, making nearly $1650 per week. He had established for himself both the reputation and the nickname of "One-Take Charlie." Of his acting style, one reviewer has described Herbert as "Sincere, accurate, ever over-annunciated at times, like a storybook character come to life. An extraordinary child actor by any standard. Herbert’s intense emotive quality is very much of the method acting school, highly unusual in such a young performer." [2] Houseboat is a 1958 romantic comedy starring Cary Grant, Sophia Loren & Harry Guardino. ... Cary Grant Archibald Alexander Leach (January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986), better known by his screen name, Cary Grant, was a British-born American film actor. ... Loren in De Sica’s Two Women, 1960 Alfred Eisenstaedts portrait of Sophia Loren, September 16, 1966. ...


Herbert's work had him opposite such major talent as Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, David Niven, Vincent Price, Johnny Carson, Donna Reed and Ross Martin, all of which he has high praise for their treatment towards him. "Anybody who is in that category (a well-known actor) who is nice to the children is a nice person. 'Cause I worked with some who were not. Children and animals are not big favorites with movie stars." [1] Cary Grant Archibald Alexander Leach (January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986), better known by his screen name, Cary Grant, was a British-born American film actor. ... Loren in De Sica’s Two Women, 1960 Alfred Eisenstaedts portrait of Sophia Loren, September 16, 1966. ... David Niven was the second unofficial James Bond. ... Vincent Price on Broadway as Mr. ... For the article about other people by the name, see John Carson John William Johnny Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American actor, comedian and writer best known for his iconic status as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. ... Reed in Its a Wonderful Life Donna Reed (January 27, 1921 - January 14, 1986) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... Ross Martin (March 22, 1920 - July 3, 1981) is an American actor most known for playing Artemus Gordon in the western TV series The Wild Wild West. ...


Starring screen roles in the 1950s soon evaporated and Herbert was relegated to TV appearances in the 1960s. Growing into that typically awkward teen period, he was forced to subsist on whatever episodic roles he could muster up, including bits on Wagon Train (1957), Rawhide (1959), The Twilight Zone (1962), The Fugitive (1963), Family Affair (1966) and My Three Sons (1966). A wagon train is a long chain of wagons, each moving together and forming a line. ... Rawhide was a television western series about cattle drives that aired on CBS from 1959-1966, which starred Eric Fleming and launched the career of Clint Eastwood, who played Rowdy Yates. ... The Twilight Zone original opening The Twilight Zone was an anthology series created (and often written) by its narrator and host Rod Serling. ... The Fugitive is an American network television dramatic series (ABC, 1963-1967) starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent man falsely convicted for his wifes murder and sentenced to death. ... // Family Affair Family Affair was a situation comedy television series that aired on CBS from September 12, 1966 to September 9, 1971. ... My Three Sons was a television series sitcom that ran from September 29, 1960 to August 24, 1972. ...


Herbert's career amassed 20 feature films, over 50 TV shows and a number of commercials during his youthful 14-year span.

I'm a big movie fan, I always have been, but I've never been a big science fiction fan. It's the only category of movies I'm not a fan of. . . I love comedies, I love dramas, action . . .For some reasons, science fiction and horror movies have never been [appealing] to me. Maybe it's because of all the work I did in it![1]

— Charles Herbert

Personal life

He was the bread winner of his family at age 5. His father had a heart condition and could not work and his mother was her husband's caregiver. "I didn’t come from a wealthy family, or from a family that lived that type of lifestyle", said Herbert. [1]


Because of the studio attitude towards child actors of the time, Herbert has a keen interest in the child actors of today. "I lost a lot more than the financial things. Financial things are way down the list for me. The way that it’s set up in Hollywood is, I did 50 TV shows, the 20 movies, the commercials, ALL of that stuff . . . and when I turned 21, zero was put away in the bank for me. It was not that way for every (kid actor): If you signed a long-term contract, like for instance if you did Lassie or The Donna Reed Show or something, they put away like five percent for you. But if you were not on a long-term contract, ALL of the money you earned for the movies, for ALL the TV things, went to your guardians, and your guardians could do with it whatever they saw fit." The only money put away for him until age 21 from his TV and film earnings was $1,700. [1] Lassie filming on location in Florida photo courtesy State Archive of Florida Lassie, a Rough Collie, is the worlds most famous dog [1] and a fictional character who has starred in (or, more properly, in variations been the subject of) many movies, TV shows, and books from 1938 through... The Donna Reed Show was a situation comedy which aired on ABC from 1958 to 1966. ...

Charles Herbert and Vincent Price during their climatic "spider web scene" together in 1958s The Fly.
Enlarge
Charles Herbert and Vincent Price during their climatic "spider web scene" together in 1958s The Fly.

Describing his studio education as "non existent", Herbert attended public schools (Melrose, Bancroft, Fairfax High). "My parents made that mistake, without malice; they were not too familiar (with the problems that child actors face)." He made up the story that he had a twin brother—-that it was not him his classmates were seeing in movies and on TV. Referencing his role in the sci-fi movie classic The Fly, he says, "Back in those days, the very few people who did know I was an actor, when they were kidding me they’d go, Help me, help me, help meeee!"... [1] Vincent Price on Broadway as Mr. ... The Fly is a 1958 American science-fiction/horror film, directed by Kurt Neumann. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Fairfax High School is a Los Angeles Unified School District high school located in Los Angeles, California, USA, near the border of West Hollywood in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. ... The Fly is a 1958 American science-fiction/horror film, directed by Kurt Neumann. ...


"Herbert was always happiest and at his best when he was performing. A talented actor, he felt secure and confident when the cameras rolled, but like many child actors, he faced difficulties adjusting to the real world beyond the controlled environment inside the studio walls. The career of a child actor often creates a profoundly troubling lack of identity at a difficult time, just after he has lost his commercial value"[3] and the onset of puberty.


Unable to transition into adult roles, Herbert's personal life went downhill as well. With no formal education or training to do anything else and with no career earnings saved, he led a reckless, wanderlust life and turned to drugs. [1]


Recent activity

With no family of his own, it took Herbert nearly 40 years to turn his life around. Clean and sober for 24 months (August, 2006), his films, now reaching new generations of fans via DVD and cable TV, and his appearances at science fiction film festivals and conventions sustain him.[1] All DVDs - replicated (factory pressed), recorded (burned), video, audio, data, or otherwise — are DVD-ROM discs, though many refer to a DVD-ROM as a pressed data disk only. ... Cable television or Community Antenna Television (CATV) (and often shortened to cable) is a system of providing television, FM radio programming and other services to consumers via radio waves transmitted directly to people’s televisions through fixed coaxial cables as opposed to the over-the-air method used in traditional...


He has expressed deep appreciation of the work Paul Petersen's organization, A Minor Consideration, has done for assisting present and former child actors both financially and emotionally. Herbert and Petersen played brothers together in the film Houseboat (1958) starring Cary Grant and Sophia Loren and he guest-starred on Peterson's series The Donna Reed Show four times as David Barker. William Paul Petersen (born September 23, 1945 in Glendale, California) is an American movie actor, singer, novelist, and activist for child stars. ...


Charles Herbert appeared in the celebrity lineup at the 2006 Monster Bash, held June 23-25 at the Pittsburgh (PA) Airport Four Points.

13 Ghosts (1960), starring Charles Herbert in the lead, was released September 11, 2001, in its wide-screen version on DVD.
Enlarge
13 Ghosts (1960), starring Charles Herbert in the lead, was released September 11, 2001, in its wide-screen version on DVD.
The Boy and the Pirates (1960), starring Charles Herbert, as with most children's movie fare, was deserving of its own comic book.
Enlarge
The Boy and the Pirates (1960), starring Charles Herbert, as with most children's movie fare, was deserving of its own comic book.

(Redirected from 13 Ghosts) Promotional poster for Thir13en Ghosts Thir13en Ghosts (Also known simply as Thirteen Ghosts or 13 Ghosts) is a 2001 horror / thriller movie, directed by Steve Beck. ... All DVDs - replicated (factory pressed), recorded (burned), video, audio, data, or otherwise — are DVD-ROM discs, though many refer to a DVD-ROM as a pressed data disk only. ...

Select filmography

See complete Charles Herbert filmography at IMDB
Year Title Role
1954 The Long, Long Trailer Little Boy (Uncredited)
1955 The Bob Cummings Show,
The Silver Tongued Orator (TV)
(Uncredited)
1955 The Night Holds Terror Steven Courtier
1955 The View from Pompey's Head Pat
1956 Ransom! Butchie Ritter, Neighbor Boy (Uncredited)
1956 He Laughed Last Child (Uncredited)
1956 These Wilder Years Small Boy (Uncredited)
1956 The Ford Television Theatre,
The Menance of Hasty Heights (TV)
Billy Carson
1956 Science Fiction Theatre,
The Miracle Hour (TV)
Tommy Parker
1957 The Tattered Dress Johnny Blane (Uncredited)
1957 Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Night the World Ended (TV)
Street Kid
1957 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral Tommy Earp (Virgil's son)
1957 The Monster That Challenged the World Boy with Morty's Cap
1957 Gun Glory Boy (Uncredited)
1957 No Down Payment Michael Flagg (Uncredited)
1958 The Colossus of New York Billy Spensser
1958 The Fly Philippe Delambre
1958 The Reluctant Debutante (Uncredited)
1958 Houseboat Robert Winters
1959 The Man in the Net Timmie Moreland
1959 The Five Pennies (Uncredited)
1960 The Seventh Commandment (Uncredited)
1960 Please Don't Eat the Daisies David Mackay
1960 The Boy and the Pirates Jimmy Warren
1960 13 Ghosts Buck Zorba
1962 The Twilight Zone,
#35 I Sing the Body Electric (TV)
Tom Age 12

See also: 1953 in film 1954 1955 in film 1950s in film years in film film Events May 12 - The Marx Brothers Zeppo Marx divorces wife Marion Benda. ... 1954 ad for New Moon Mobile Home Company, promoting both their trailers and the film The Long, Long Trailer was a novel by Clinton Twiss from the 1950s about a couple who buy a new travel trailer home and spend a year traveling the United States. ... // Events November 3 - The musical Guys and Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, debuts. ... The Bob Cummings Show was an American television sitcom which was produced from 1955 to 1959. ... // Events November 3 - The musical Guys and Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, debuts. ... // Events November 3 - The musical Guys and Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, debuts. ... See also: 1955 in film 1956 1957 in film 1950s in film years in film film // Events November 15 - The film Love Me Tender starring Elvis Presley (his first film) opens. ... Ransom! is a 1956 crime drama examining the reactions of parents, police, and the public to a kidnapping. ... See also: 1955 in film 1956 1957 in film 1950s in film years in film film // Events November 15 - The film Love Me Tender starring Elvis Presley (his first film) opens. ... He Laughed Last is a 1956 film by Blake Edwards. ... See also: 1955 in film 1956 1957 in film 1950s in film years in film film // Events November 15 - The film Love Me Tender starring Elvis Presley (his first film) opens. ... See also: 1955 in film 1956 1957 in film 1950s in film years in film film // Events November 15 - The film Love Me Tender starring Elvis Presley (his first film) opens. ... See also: 1955 in film 1956 1957 in film 1950s in film years in film film // Events November 15 - The film Love Me Tender starring Elvis Presley (his first film) opens. ... // Events October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens. ... // Events October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens. ... Screenshot of opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock Presents Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a half-hour anthology television series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. ... // Events October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens. ... Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 movie starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday about the famous October 26, 1881 gunfight in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. ... // Events October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens. ... // Events October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens. ... // Events October 21 - The movie Jailhouse Rock, starring Elvis Presley, opens. ... // Events February 16- In the Money is released on this date. ... // Events February 16- In the Money is released on this date. ... The Fly is a 1958 American science-fiction/horror film, directed by Kurt Neumann. ... // Events February 16- In the Money is released on this date. ... // Events February 16- In the Money is released on this date. ... Houseboat is a 1958 romantic comedy starring Cary Grant, Sophia Loren & Harry Guardino. ... See also: 1958 in film 1959 1960 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film Events The Three Stooges make their 180th and last short film, Sappy Bullfighters. ... See also: 1958 in film 1959 1960 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film Events The Three Stooges make their 180th and last short film, Sappy Bullfighters. ... The Five Pennies was a semi-biographical 1959 film starring Danny Kaye as cornet player and bandleader Red Nichols. ... See also: 1959 in film 1960 1961 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film // Events April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I. Blues August 10 - Filming of West... See also: 1959 in film 1960 1961 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film // Events April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I. Blues August 10 - Filming of West... See also: 1959 in film 1960 1961 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film // Events April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I. Blues August 10 - Filming of West... See also: 1959 in film 1960 1961 in film 1950s in film 1960s in film years in film film // Events April 20 - for the first time since coming home from military service in Germany, Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood, California to film G.I. Blues August 10 - Filming of West... (Redirected from 13 Ghosts) Promotional poster for Thir13en Ghosts Thir13en Ghosts (Also known simply as Thirteen Ghosts or 13 Ghosts) is a 2001 horror / thriller movie, directed by Steve Beck. ... // Events Dr. No launches the James Bond film series, the longest-running motion picture franchise of all time, running more than 40 years. ... The Twilight Zone original opening The Twilight Zone was an anthology series created (and often written) by its narrator and host Rod Serling. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Weaver, Tom. Charles Herbert: So You Wanna Be a Kid Actor. . .?. Classic Images. Retrieved on 2006-08-13.
  2. ^ The Boy and the Pirate. kiddiematinee.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-13.
  3. ^ Parla, Paul (1996). Hollywood Eats Its Children: An Interview with Charles Herbert. Classic Images. Retrieved on 2006-08-13.

2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 13 is the 225th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (226th in leap years), with 140 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 13 is the 225th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (226th in leap years), with 140 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 13 is the 225th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (226th in leap years), with 140 days remaining. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Charles Herbert Little - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (563 words)
Commander Charles Herbert Little RCN, CD, FRCGS (December 11, 1907 - January 10, 2004) was Canadian Director of Naval Intelligence during World War II and an author.
Charles Herbert (Herbie) Little was born December 11, 1907 and raised in Mount Forest, Ontario.
He won scholarships to Upper Canada College (graduating in 1926) and Trinity College, University of Toronto (class of 1930) where he majored in German and played ice hockey, football, and cricket.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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