Patty McCormack

D.O.B: Aug 21, 1945 |  Brooklyn, New York, USA

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As a testament to her passion and talent, former 1950s pig-tailed moppet star Patty McCormack has remained a consistent presence on film and TV for over five decades. While the lovely and talented blond suffered her share of hard knocks in adjusting to an adult career, she did not fade away into oblivion or self destruct as those child stars before her did.

Biography

As a testament to her passion and talent, former 1950s pig-tailed moppet star Patty McCormack has remained a consistent presence on film and TV for over five decades. While the lovely and talented blond suffered her share of hard knocks in adjusting to an adult career, she did not fade away into oblivion or self destruct as those child stars before her did. Born Patricia Ellen Russo in Brooklyn, New York, to Frank Russo, a firefighter, and the former Elizabeth McCormack, a roller skating pro, the young girl found herself modeling at age 4. Two years later, she had progressed to films with bits in Two Gals and a Guy (1951) and Here Comes the Groom (1951). Soon thereafter she made her Broadway debut (at age 6) in the short-lived play Touchstone starring Ossie Davis. While simultaneously appearing in the live television series Mama (1949) [aka I Remember Mama], the by-now 8-year-old returned to Broadway a second time and created the role that would make her a cult sensation -- Rhoda Penmark, the tiny, braided little demon with murderous intentions in The Bad Seed. Starring Nancy Kelly as her put-upon, overly-trusting mother, the show became a certifiable hit. The two actors were invited to recreate their famous roles in the film version, The Bad Seed (1956), and achieved equally fine results. No child before her had ever been given such a deliberately evil, twisted role and Patty chewed up the scenery with courteous malevolence. Though the film today may come off as extremely stagy and overly mannered to some, its fascination cannot be denied. Audiences took readily to Patty and her wicked ways and the young actress earned both Oscar and Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress nominations. It would be a hard act to follow.