Dickie Moore
Moore in 1944
John Richard Moore Jr.

(1925-09-12)September 12, 1925
Los Angeles, California, U.S
DiedSeptember 7, 2015(2015-09-07) (aged 89)
  • Actor
  • producer
  • writer
  • businessman
Years active1927–1957
Pat Dempsey
(m. 1948; div. 1954)
Eleanor Donhowe Fitzpatrick
(m. 1959; div. 1978)
(m. 1988)

John Richard Moore Jr. (September 12, 1925 – September 7, 2015) was an American actor known professionally as Dickie Moore, he was one of the last surviving actors to have appeared in silent film. A busy and popular actor during his childhood and youth, he appeared in over 100 films until the early 1950s. Among his most notable appearances were the Our Gang series and films such as Oliver Twist, Blonde Venus, Sergeant York, Out of the Past, and Eight Iron Men.


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Moore with Spencer Tracy in Disorderly Conduct (1932)
Dickie Moore in 1932

John Richard Moore Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Nora Eileen (née Orr) and John Richard Moore, a banker.[1] His mother was Irish, and his paternal grandparents were from England and Ireland.[2][3]

He made his film debut in 1927 in the silent film The Beloved Rogue, where he portrayed silent film star John Barrymore's character as a one-year-old baby. At the time of his death, Moore was one of the last surviving actors to have appeared in silent film. He quickly gained notable supporting roles. He had a significant role as Marlene Dietrich's son in Josef von Sternberg's drama Blonde Venus (1932). He also appeared with Barbara Stanwyck in So Big (1932), with Walter Huston in Gabriel Over the White House (1933) and with Spencer Tracy in Man's Castle (1933).

Besides appearing in a number of major feature films, he was featured as a regular in the Our Gang series during the 1932–1933 season. Although he only played in eight Our Gang films, in those films he played an important role as the leader of the gang. He left the series after one year to play in more feature films. In addition to his Our Gang work, Moore is most remembered for his portrayal of the title character in the 1933 adaptation of Oliver Twist.

In 1935, he played the historical role of Joseph Meister in The Story of Louis Pasteur. In 1941, he portrayed the brother of Gary Cooper in the war drama Sergeant York under the direction of Howard Hawks. He is also famous for giving Shirley Temple her first romantic onscreen kiss, in the film Miss Annie Rooney.

Moore served in the United States Army during World War II. Later, he was less successful as a teenage actor and young adult and he often had to play in B-movies such as Dangerous Years during the 1940s. One of his last notable film roles was in Out of the Past (1947), in which he portrayed Robert Mitchum's deaf young assistant, "The Kid". Moore played his last role as a young soldier in Eight Iron Men (1952).

He later performed on Broadway, in stock and on television. He went on to teach and write books about acting, edit Equity News, and produce an Oscar-nominated short film (The Boy and the Eagle), and industrial films. He retired from acting in the late 1950s.[4]

In 1966, after battling alcohol and drug addictions, he founded a public relations firm, Dick Moore and Associates, which he ran until 2010.[5]

Personal life

Moore was married three times. His first marriage was from 1948 to 1954 to Pat Dempsey. The couple had one child, Kevin Moore.[6] His second marriage was in 1959 to Eleanor Donhowe Fitzpatrick. His third and final marriage was in 1988 to Jane Powell, to whom he remained married until his death in 2015.

Later life

Moore in 1998

In 1984, Moore published Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (But Don't Have Sex or Take the Car), a book about his and others' experiences as child actors.[7] Moore owned a public relations firm, Dick Moore and Associates. Founded in 1966, it existed for 44 years. From 1988 until his death in 2015 Moore was married to the actress Jane Powell. The two met when Moore interviewed Powell for Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.[8] The couple lived in Manhattan and Wilton, Connecticut.[9]

In March 2013, Powell reported that Moore had arthritis and "bouts of dementia".[10]


Moore died at a hospice in Wilton, Connecticut on September 7, 2015, five days before his 90th birthday.[11][12] He was cremated.[13]



  1. ^ Parish, James Robert; Leonard, William T. (January 29, 1976). Hollywood Players: The Thirties. Arlington House. Retrieved January 29, 2018 – via Internet Archive. John R. and Nora Eileen (Orr) Moore
  2. ^ "Archived copy". FamilySearch. Archived from the original on 2020-07-04. Retrieved 2015-09-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Wilson, Victoria (November 12, 2013). A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907–1940. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439199985. Retrieved January 29, 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Child stars". Elyria Chronicle Telegram. October 18, 1984. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Bergan, Ronald (September 15, 2015). "Dickie Moore obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Colker, David. "Dickie Moore dies at 89; leading child actor of movies' golden age". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Twinkle, twinkle, little star: but don't have sex or take the car. OCLC 10779338. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)
  8. ^ Lawler, Sylvia (1986-10-16). "Jane Powell Finally Has Learned How To Get Off The Treadmill". The Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  9. ^ Thomas, Nick. "Wilton's Jane Powell, 80 years young", p 1B, The Wilton Bulletin (and other Hersam Acorn newspapers), September 10, 2009.
  10. ^ "A date with Jane: Jane Powell remembers Fred Astaire". The Phoenix. March 21, 2013. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  11. ^ Robb, David. "Dick Moore Dead: Former Child Star Was 89". Deadline. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  12. ^ Weber, Bruce (2015-09-10). "Dickie Moore, Child Actor Known for a Screen Kiss, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  13. ^ Wilson, Scott (17 August 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9780786479924 – via Google Books.