Valley Children Get Chance to Shine in Movies

Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree produced some motion picture actors and actresses, almost overnight, This week when Gene Autry’s Flying A productions, currently producing at Pioneertown, hired several local children to play parts in “Dry Gulch at Devil’s Elbow,” a motion picture to be released over television as one of a series.

Damon Wheeler of Joshua Tree, Stephen and Franklin Heard, Kenneth Murcatoris and Sharon Baltazar of Yucca Valley were the aspiring Young thespians. And according to Mrs. Claire Cottrell, childhood supervisor for the present films, Hollywood may have some new discoveries. Damon Wheeler especially proved an able actor with the majority of his speaking lines.

Pat Buttram Colin comedian in the picture, was very funny and impressive in the “barrel” of the stories that he related to the youngsters, finally landing in a barrel and eventually into the hands of the “law” for influencing use with his tall tales outlaws.

The children appeared on Saturday and we’re supervised by Mrs. Cottrell of Joshua Tree, former studio teacher, to see that as minors they were acting in accordance with studio ethics.

The local “stars” will see themselves on television sometime this fall.

June 19, 1952 - The Desert Sun article clipping