STAGE NAME: Lassie Lou Ahern
RESUME on Internet Movie Database
OTHER STAGE NAMES: "Ahern Sisters" during Big Band Era
BIRTH NAME: Lassie Lou Ahern DOB: June 25, 1920 BIRTH PLACE: Los Angeles, CA (Moved to Culver City in 1921)
DOD: February 15, 2018 PLACE OF DEATH: Prescott, Arizona CAUSE OF DEATH: Complications related to flu
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Little Harry in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1927)
AWARDS: Photoplay Award for Best Child Actress of the Year (For her performance in Uncle Tom's Cabin)
SPECIAL SKILLS: Vocalist, Dancer, Ballet, Tap, Acrobatics, Rope Spinning, Hand Balancing
MEMORABILIA / ENDORSEMENTS:
Buster Brown Shoes, Sunkist Oranges, Jean Carol Frocks
"The Lassie Lou Classics" clothing line was made by Jean Carol Frocks and was available at all major department stores.
Lassie Lou & her sister Peggy Lenore traveled the USA on a promotional tour for nine months modeling the collection at department stores.
Live Performer & Traveling Act: From 1932-1939 Lassie Lou & her sister traveled the USA & Canada billed as the "Ahern Sisters," performing at the finest supper clubs & hotels.
Performances included various styles of dance, violin, piano, tumbling, acrobatics, roping and singing.
TV Actress: Made appearances on several television shows such as Hour Magazine, Gary Collins Show (Semi-regular), The Vicki Lawrence Show, The Mike & Mattie Show, The Jim Bullock & Tammie Fay Baker Show.
Choreographer & Dance Teacher to the stars: Lassie Lou taught classes for 35 years at Ashram Health Spa in Malibu Canyon as well at many other places throughout Southern California.
MOVIE NOTES FROM LASSIE LOU:
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN (1927)
The question I am asked most is "why is a girl playing Little Harry, Eliza's child?" The producers and director had seen many boys and tested some for months and months. They were not satisfied with any boy they saw. My agent called my father and said, "Fred, why don't you take Lassie Lou over to Universal Studios and try out for the part of Little Harry in Uncle Tom's Cabin? Get her a suit and have her use your name, Freddie, and see what happens." I did as my agent said and stood in line for several hours waiting to be seen.
When I went in to see the director, Mr. Pollard, he asked me my name and I said Freddie Ahern. He told me that it was a very difficult role and demanded some crying because I would be taken away from my mother. "Can you do that?" he said. I turned my back and thought for a minute and swung around holding my arms out to Margarita Fisher who plays Eliza in the film, and was Mr. Pollard's wife. I started crying my heart out, "Mama, mama, help!" Miss Fisher jumped out of her chair, came over and picked me up in her arms and went back to her chair sitting me on her lap. Mr. Pollard looked at me and looked at me. Then he took me and put me on his lap. He thought for a few minutes and said, "You're not a boy are you?" I was scared to death because my father was sitting in the corner of the room. I looked at my father and saw that he had a slight smile on his face, so I looked at Mr. Pollard and shook my head. "No," I said. He then said, "Well! What is..." suddenly he got up out of his chair and set me down. He then walked to the door, stuck his head out where there was still a long line of boys and said, "Thank you all for coming, we have found our Little Harry."
While making "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at Universal Studios, they were shooting a film on the lot called "Surrender." Once again, there was a heavy dramatic scene in the film that called for crying.
Seemingly, they had auditioned many little girls and had not found anyone able to do the scene. I was on the set of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and someone (I do not know who) thought of me and suggested that maybe they could steal me off the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" set to do this difficult scene. The next thing I knew, the A.D. of "Surrender" came over on my set and carried me off to the "Surrender" set to see the director. As "Surrender" was a picture about the Jewish peoples struggles the director asked me if I was Jewish. I looked at him and said, "No" and moving my hands around quite fast said, "but I can make all the motions." The entire crew just howled.
WORKING WITH WILL ROGERS
I had made several movies with Mr. Rogers, and he was wonderful to me. My mother said that he was very fond of me, and he used me whenever there was a part for a little girl in his films. When we finished one of the films, the casting director came over to my mother and me and said thank you, but that it was a shame that Lassie Lou isn't a blonde as Mr. Rogers next movie required that his child be a blonde. Just at that minute, Mr. Rogers came up and heard what the casting director had said. He grabbed his chest, in a very dramatic way, and said "Nobody told me the wig department burned down." Consequently, a very lovely blonde wig was fitted on my head and I made his next movie. Bravo!! Mr. Rogers.
Lassie Lou took early retirement in 2005, at the young age of 85, and moved from Los Angeles, CA to Arizona. She is enjoying her retirement, her family and having a ball with the "Red Hat" ladies.
Special thanks to Lassie Lou Ahern and Cary & Carol Brent for all the great photos & information!
FEBRUARY 15, 2018
I am sad to announce that Lassie Lou Ahern has passed away at the age of 97. I had the pleasure of creating a museum webpage for her on my website. She gave me pretty much all of the information and photos that you see here. It was an honor to get to know her and learn about her film career. She will be greatly missed.
UPDATE ON LASSIE LOU AHERN FROM JEFF CROUSE
SEPTEMBER 10, 2016
Star Lassie Lou Ahern has suffered from a series of age-related medical problems recently, which at age 96 is not unusual! Her family, wanting to ensure that she is safe and has around-the-clock care, has made the difficult decision to place her in a nearby adult retirement/care facility. Being independent all of her life, she was naturally gloomy about the move.
I think it would boost her spirits tremendously if people who would be interested to do so sent her a card or letter. She always loves to receive fan mail -- it really makes her happy.
**SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM LASSIE LOU AHERN**
MAY 20, 2016
Lassie Lou wanted to let everyone know that she has been keeping her self very busy. She has done several phone interviews with some college film departments. Recently, she just finished filming an interview for a DVD with Jeff Crause at Henderson College. As well, had an interview with Yavatie College in Phoenix.
She is looking forward to her 96th BIRTHDAY this June 25th!
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