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A teen idol in the late 1950s and early 1960s thanks to his starring role on "The Donna Reed Show" (ABC, 1958-1966), Paul Petersen experienced the heights and depths of fame in a brief but tumultuous career that inspired him to become an advocacy leader for the rights of child actors. A performer on screen from the age of eight, he was one of the original Mouseketeers on "The Mickey Mouse Club" (ABC, 1955-59) before landing the role of Jeff Stone on "Donna Reed." The show's popularity made him an object of affection for young girls, who also helped to foster his modest pop music career. However, when the series ended, he found it near impossible to find work. The suicide of a fellow child actor from the period gave Petersen the impetus to launch A Minor Consideration, which called attention to the plight of many former child performers while ensuring the safety and well-being of those currently in the business. For his work in that field, Petersen became the leading voice for the care of young talent in Hollywood.
TEEE ( 2008-01-09 )
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Born William Paul Petersen 23 September 1945 in Glendale, CA. He began performed at age eight as a mouseketeer. Appeared in such movies as The Monolith Monsters(1957) and Houseboat(1958) with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. Hit it big at age 12 as Jeff Stone, the son on the Donna Reed Show 1958-1966. He was so popular it spun off into singing careets with such hits as "She Can"t Find Her Keys," "Keep Your Love Locked", "Lollipops and Roses" and "MY Dad". When the Donna Reed show ened so too was the roles for Paul. He gave it all up and enrolled in college and started writing, earning degrees in English and history. His biggest accomplishment was in form A Minor Consideration, which is an outreach organization that oversees the emotional, financial and legal protection of kids and former kids in show business. A Minor Consideration is a child-actor support group and it has had a tremendously positive and profound effect in Hollywood. Paul ia rightfully considered "the patron saint of former child actors."
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