Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Sunday, 8 June 2008 13:18 UK

Wonderful Life child actor dies

Bob Anderson (right) with HB Warner in It's A Wonderful Life
Bob Anderson (right) acted with HB Warner in It's A Wonderful Life

Bob Anderson, who played the young George Bailey in classic Christmas film It's A Wonderful Life, has died at the age of 75.

Anderson was 12 when director Frank Capra cast him as Jimmy Stewart's youthful counterpart in the 1946 film.

He was seen during flashbacks to the adult character's childhood.

He stopped acting in the 1950s and moved behind the camera, rising from second assistant director to production manager on movies and TV shows.

During his acting years, he also appeared in the 1940 Shirley Temple film Young People and 1945's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

After giving up acting, he served in the US Navy as a photographer on aircraft carriers during the Korean War.

On the 50th anniversary of It's A Wonderful Life in 1996, Anderson told the Los Angeles Times about filming a scene where his character was slapped by a drunken pharmacist, played by HB Warner.

"He actually bloodied my ear," he said. "My ear was beat up, and my face was red and I was in tears.

"At the end when it was all over, he was very lovable. He grabbed me and hugged me, and he meant it."

In 2006, It's a Wonderful Life topped a list of the 100 most inspirational films compiled by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Wonderful Life tops US film list
15 Jun 06 |  Entertainment


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