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|Also Known As:||Johnnie Whitaker||Died:|
|Born:||December 13, 1959||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Profession:||Cast ... actor|
With his shock of curly red hair and boy-next-door looks, Johnny Whitaker was seemingly omnipresent as an in-demand child star during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Born in Van Nuys, the California native was introduced to acting when he landed a television commercial for a local car dealership when he was three. By the mid-1960s, he'd been the original actor to play soap opera character Scotty Baldwin in "General Hospital" and made his feature film debut alongside Brian Keith in the 1966 Norman Jewison comedy "The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming". Keith liked working with him so much that he arranged for Whitaker to test for the role of Jody Patterson, the six-year-old nephew of his character Bill Davis in the 1966 sitcom "Family Affair". When the show was canceled in 1971, Whitaker quickly transitioned into a number of 1972 Walt Disney film roles-a remake of "The Biscuit Eater", the screwball comedy "Snowball Express", and the action/drama "Napoleon and Samantha". The following year he gave costar Jodie Foster her first on-screen kiss as the title character in a musical adaptation of "Tom Sawyer". He also landed the role of Johnny Stuart in the Saturday morning Sid and Marty Krofft series, "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters". Yearning for a sense of normalcy, Whitaker semi-retired from acting and turned his efforts in adulthood towards missionary work, becoming a computer consultant and a passionate advocate for child actors.
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