Donn Gift was a child actor who appeared in several movies in the 1940s and 1950s, such as The Yearling, Fighting Father Dunne, and The Happy Years. He was known for his charming and innocent persona, and his friendship with other young stars like Claude Jarman Jr. and Dean Stockwell. He died in a car accident in 1979, at the age of 45.
A Life of Stardom and Struggle
Donn Gift was born as Donald Eugene Gift on December 14, 1933, in Danville, Illinois. His parents were Raymond and Helen Gift, who ran a grocery store. He had two brothers, Raymond Jr. and Robert. He showed an early interest in acting and singing, and joined a local theater group.
In 1945, he moved to Hollywood with his mother and brother Robert, who also wanted to be an actor. He signed a contract with MGM and changed his name to Donn Gift. He made his film debut in Man Alive, a comedy starring Pat O’Brien and Adolphe Menjou. He then landed a major role in The Yearling, a drama based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. He played Fodderwing Forrester, a crippled boy who befriends Jody, the son of a poor farmer in Florida, played by Claude Jarman Jr.
Donn Gift continued to work in films, such as The Enchanted Valley, Fighting Father Dunne, and The Happy Years. He also appeared on television shows, such as The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Superman, and The Roy Rogers Show. He was praised for his natural and expressive acting, and his ability to handle both dramatic and comedic roles.
However, as he grew older, his career began to decline. He had trouble finding roles that suited his age and talent, and he faced competition from other young actors. He also suffered from personal problems, such as alcoholism, depression, and marital issues. He married and divorced three times, and had two children, Donn Jr. and Debra.
A Death of Mystery and Misfortune
On July 8, 1979, Donn Gift was driving his car in Los Angeles, when he collided with another vehicle. He was severely injured and taken to a hospital, where he died shortly after. He was 45 years old. The cause of the accident was not clear, and there were no witnesses or survivors.
His death was barely reported by the media, and many of his fans and friends did not know about it until much later. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
Donn Gift cause of death was a tragic end to a life that had so much potential and promise. He was a child star who charmed and entertained millions of people, but who also struggled and suffered in his adulthood. He was a talented and versatile actor, who never got the recognition and respect he deserved. He was a human being who had dreams and hopes, but who also had flaws and failures. He was Donn Gift.