Margaret O’Brien and the Case of the Stolen Oscar
Back in the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thought it would be cute to award child actors and actresses diminutive “Junior Oscars”, officially called Academy Juvenile Awards, to honor their performances. Only a dozen child stars earned a Junior Oscar, beginning with Shirley Temple in 1934 and ending 26 years later after Hayley Mills was awarded her pint-sized statuette in 1960.
In between, young actress Margaret O’Brien was awarded her Academy Juvenile Award. The year was 1944 and the six-year-old actress was presented the award for her role as Tootie, the younger sister of Judy Garland’s character in Meet Me in St. Louis. But ten years later, the Junior Oscar was stolen from O’Brien’s house. In this series of colorized photographs, we will look at the career of Margaret O’Brien, the theft of her Junior Oscar, and the happy ending that took place 50 years later.