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Hollywood Stars (October 1957)


By Dick Callahan

Jim MacArthur’s star has been rising fast, now that his first picture, Universal-RKO’s The Young Stranger has saturated the country’s exhibition outlets. Polls report him high on the list of young personalities who have caught the public’s fancy. Jim is currently engaged in filming his second picture, Light in the Forest, for Walt Disney. The story, about a white boy who is brought up by Indians in pioneer America, appealed to him most of the many scripts offered him since the success of Young Stranger.

Jim definitely plans to continue his acting career. He still has his five-year contract with RKO, but as he is studying at Harvard from September to June, he cannot work again for RKO until next Summer. His contract allows him to work only during Summer months, per his own request, and since RKO, which has greatly curtailed production, had no assignment for him this year, he was free to pick the best script available elsewhere.

Jim is very practical and level-headed for 19. In addition to acting, he has an interest in magazine publishing aimed at a teen-age audience. He does interviews for the magazine, and says his firm is out to do some good for the teen-agers in addition to making reasonable profits. Jim’s idealism, though, is filtered through with a realistic outlook. In no way a sentimentalist, Jim fundamentally likes people and wants to help them in any way he can. He feels his association with the publishing venture gives him this kind of chance. He has determined ideas about a variety of subjects, on all of which he talks with great intelligence and common sense. And one has the feeling in talking to him that he will fight hard, but fight clean, for the things in which he believes.

Jim has always been conscious that he is the bearer of a distinguished name -- that of his late father, Charles MacArthur, famed writer. And he is deeply proud of his mother, Helen Hayes, who is one of his chief inspirations. Jim was greatly heartened by the fine reviews of his first picture, in which his own authentic talent was hailed in unequivocal terms. For unlike the children of some other famed parents, Jim never tried to coast on a name, always wanted to make the grade in his own right, and he has done so with a vengeance. Quiet and gentlemanly in his behavior, Jim took his studies at Harvard very seriously in his Freshman year, and three years hence, when that distinguished seat of learning gives him his sheepskin, it will be one of the proudest days of his life. Actor, student, businessman -- and right regular guy -- that’s Pal Jimmy.

Joyce Bulifant, James MacArthur, Kim Hunter, Jim Daly

John Frankenheimer, James MacArthur

Helen Hayes, James MacArthur

James MacArthur

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