Welcome to the Donnie Dunagan website. It’s been quite a thrill to recently learn that so many people were interested in hearing from me so many years after my brush with show business. As a child I had the good fortune to be involved in a couple of films that are considered classics and are still popular with audiences today. But after that brief time in the movies, my life took a very different turn, leading to a 25-year career in the Marine Corps. I didn’t discuss my Hollywood days with many people over the years. I kept that aspect of my childhood a rather private, but cherished, part of my life. While in the military, my reasons for keeping quiet were obvious. Having my fellow Marines find out that I was once Bambi was something I thought it best to avoid.I wasn’t exactly proud of those curly locks of hair I had in my films, either, and didn’t want to invite any teasing on that front. The studios used a curling iron on my hair every morning, and how I hated those curls! I was a normal rough and tumble kid and didn’t like looking like such a cutie-pie. Also, growing up in San Antonio and Memphis, my accent may have seemed a little out of place as Basil Rathbone’s son in Son of Frankenstein. The scene in the movie where I enter and announce, “We-ell, hel-loo!” in my little Southern drawl, appearently stuck with many of the movie’s fans because I am often asked to add that line to the inscription when I sign autographs.
|I had the pleasure of meeting Donnie Dunagan a few years ago at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville, KY. This was in 2006, and Donnie had just started doing the convention circuit at that time. Donnie had not made any movies since he was a child actor, and in fact had put that part of his life well behind him until my pal, Tom Weaver, tracked him down for an exclusive and extensive interview for the book “Earth vs. the Sci-fi filmmakers.” Tom is one of the best writers in the business, bar none, and after talking with Donnie for a while he convinced him there are lots of folks who would be very interested in hearing his stories of his time in Hollywood.|
It’s very rewarding to find that movie fans remember me and some of my films fondly and are interested in making contact with me as I am practically the “last man standing” from those now-classic movies. Luckily, I remember a lot from those days and my work at RKO, Universal and Disney. My exceptional memory was one of the reasons I ended up working in movies at such a young age. I have treasured memories of Mr. Disney and of actors like Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone and Bela Lugosi. I am extremely proud to have been a part of such a beautiful and beloved family classic as Walt Disney’s Bambiwhich has touched several generations of children and their parents and I’m sure will continue to do so for generations to come.I’m also finding out what an impact those old horror movies like Son of Frankenstein had on the monster fans who grew up seeing them on TV. Even though many of them are now middle-aged men and women with important careers, they never forgot that magic feeling they got from watching those spooky old pictures Universal used to crank out in the ’30s and ’40s. They own them all on DVD today and love learning any new bit of information about them.
It’s a constant joy to talk to people who have such a love and appreciation for movies that I was a part of. It makes a fellow feel pretty lucky. Thanks to all you wonderful fans for visiting my website. If you want to know more about my life after the movies, you’ll find more info in the biography section. You can also view photos from my film scrapbooks in the gallery section and purchase autographed material from the online store. And please check the news section for announcements of upcoming appearances and events of special interest to all fansAppreciatively,