Monday • December 18
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Paul Petersen AKA Jeff Stone
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Torchy's guest this week is Paul Petersen, who played Jeff Stone on the big hit TV series, The Donna Reed Show. For some of you nostalgia experts you will remember that Paul was also a Mouseketeer for about 6 minutes. He unfortunately got fired because his mischief-making was not tolerated at the Disney Studios. But that did not stop him as Paul became a real professional by all standards of the entertainment industry. Even today he heads up an advocacy group called A MINOR CONSIDERATION that helps former child actors.
Episode Segments:
 
Baby Boomers Talk Radio: Paul Petersen
Paul discusses his work with A Minor Consideration, which is an advocacy group that helps child actors.
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Links to Related Websites:
A Minor Consideration
A Minor Consideration is a non-profit foundation created to provide guidance and support for young performers, past, present and future. With an emphasis on education as well as advocacy for legislation designed to ensure that young performers actually receive the monies they earn, AMC is on-call to assist parents and their professional children on a no-cost basis. Additionally, members of AMC are always available to help with the tricky transition issues that prove to be so troubling for many child performers. We’ve “been there, done that.” Our lessons were earned, not imagined.

Official Paul Petersen Website
Former child star, pop singer, writer, spokesman and child rights activist. Paul Petersen has many talents.

Experience Paul's many faces and share some personal memories of a career that started at age 9.


Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Paul Petersen
Petersen began his show business career at the age of ten as a Mouseketeer on the Mickey Mouse Club. He appeared in the 1958 movie Houseboat with Sophia Loren and Cary Grant, but achieved stardom playing teenager Jeff Stone from 1958 to 1966 on the ABC family television sitcom The Donna Reed Show. Throughout eight seasons and decades of reruns in syndication, The Donna Reed Show became part of American popular culture and, in 1997, Petersen was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for his role on the series.

After The Donna Reed Show ended, Peterson had a small role as Tony Biddle in the 1967 musical film The Happiest Millionaire & also appeared in many guest roles on television. With the fame he achieved on The Donna Reed Show, Petersen received recording offers and had hit record singles with the songs "She Can't Find Her Keys" (also introduced on The Donna Reed Show), "Amy," and "Lollipops and Roses." In 1962, the sentimental teen pop song, "My Dad", was performed on The Donna Reed Show with Petersen singing the tune to his on-screen father, actor Carl Betz. Released as a single in the same year, it reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also recorded for Motown/Tamla throughout the 1960s releasing such singles as "Chained" and "A Little Bit For Sandy".

After his years as a child actor, Petersen returned to university and obtained a degree in literature. He went on to write sixteen adventure novels.

Petersen's authorship began after he met David Oliphant, a New York publisher visiting Los Angeles. His first novel concerned car racing. Thereafter, he created a Matt Helm-type hero, Eric Saveman, also known as "The Smuggler." In one year, Pocket Books published eight of his Smuggler novels, earning Petersen $75,000.

In 1977, Petersen's autobiography entitled Walt, Mickey and Me: Confessions of the First Ex-Mouseketeer was published.

He is currently a board member of the Donna Reed Foundation and works for the Donna Reed Festival, which takes place annually the third week of June in Reed's hometown of Denison, Iowa. He also currently serves on the board of directors of Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), a national media performers AFL-CIO union based in Los Angeles.

In 1990, following the suicide of former child star Rusty Hamer, Petersen founded a child-actor support group, "A Minor Consideration", to improve working conditions for child actors and to assist in the transition between working as a child actor and adult life, whether in acting or in other professions.


Learn More About Paul at his Official Website