You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

David Holt

Former child actor, musician, songwriter

Former child actor David Holt died in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. of heart failure. He was 76.

Holt was known for his role as the bratty Sidney Sawyer in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and as Elizabeth Taylor’s older brother in “Courage of Lassie.”

He later became a jazz musician and songwriter. Holt broke into show business when he wangled an audition with humorist Roy Rogers as a 5-year old dance school student. His family moved west, and Holt and his mother made the rounds of casting calls in the same car with Shirley Temple and Jane Withers. Holt was promoted as the “male Shirley Temple” but, despite several solid roles, was never able to attain that kind of stardom. He appeared in “The Big Broadcast of 1936,” “Beau Geste” and “What’s Cookin’?” He also had roles in “The Human Comedy” and “Pride of the Yankees.”

As a composer, he wrote numerous jazz albums, many featuring Pete Jolley. His song “The Christmas Blues,” which he co-wrote with Sammy Cahn, was heard on the soundtrack of “L.A. Confidential.”

He is survived by his brother Ricky, who played a baby in “Gone with the Wind,” and his sister Betty, who was briefly under contract to Paramount in the mid-’30s. He is also survived by four children and seven grandchildren.

More Scene

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content