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Tommy Kelly (1925 - 2016)

Everett Collection / Mary Evans/Ronald Grant

Tommy Kelly (1925 - 2016)

Tommy Kelly, the child actor best known for starring as Tom Sawyer in the movie "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," has died at 90, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Tommy Kelly was born in the Bronx, New York in 1925. He began his acting career at the age of twelve when he was selected to play the role of Tom Sawyer in the 1938 movie "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," an adaption of Mark Twain's classic novel. Around 25,000 boys auditioned for the role. It is said that the famous producer David O. Selznick personally chose Kelly for the starring part.

He also played the lead role in Peck's "Bad Boy with the Circus" later that same year.


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He had a small role in the classic movie "Gone with the Wind." He played the crying boy in the band in Atlanta. He played the lead role in the B movie "Military Academy" in 1940. As he grew older, he had small parts in various movies. His last role was in the 1950 movie "The Magnificent Yankee."

Kelly enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Europe during World War II. Afterwards, he became a high school teacher and counselor. He later became a Peace Corps administrator in Liberia and served as superintendent of international schools in Liberia and Venezuela.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Susie, and his six children.

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