The Lost Boy: The Tragedy of Peter Pan’s Bobby Driscoll

Anything Articles, history, research

Disney’s Peter Pan celebrates it’s 70th anniversary this year. But what many people don’t know is the tragic story of its lead actor…

The Lost Boy: The Tragedy of Peter Pan’s Bobby Driscoll

Find the second star from the right and fly straight on till morning. Those are the instructions given to Wendy Darling, Michael and John by Peter Pan as they fly off to Neverland, a place with no rules, no grown-ups, nothing but magical forests and endless adventures. Home to the boy who never wants to grow up.

This year, Disney’s Peter Pan is celebrating its 70th anniversary. It is one of Disney’s most successful animated movies of all time and has inspired different sorts of merchandise, amusement park rides and video games.

But what many people don’t know is the tragic story of Peter Pan’s voice actor, Bobby Driscoll. It’s a story that reflects on many child stars today. Child stars have great success in movies, tv shows and are recognised everywhere…until they grow up. And while there have been some who have successfully transitioned from child stars to adult roles, other have not been as fortunate. Bobby Driscoll’s story is only one of them.

Bobby Driscoll

Born an only child in 1937, Bobby Driscoll started his acting career at five with a small role in the family drama Lost Angel (1943). His role only lasted 2 minutes but it was enough for him to land the role of Al Sullivan in The Fighting Sullivans (1944).

Alongside Luana Patten, Driscoll was one of the first two actors placed under contract with Walt Disney, and quickly landed roles in Song of the South (1946) and So Dear to My Heart (1948). His success continued into 1950, starring in Treasure Island (1950). With a steady workload and recognizable talent, Driscoll received an Academy Juvenile Award in 1950 (which in an ironic twist of fate, was lost in a house fire years later).

Bobby Driscoll receiving his Academy Juvenile Award

Driscoll was on the rise when he landed the lead role in Disney’s latest animated movie Peter Pan. His co-star, Kathryn Beaumont (who voiced Wendy Darling) remembered him as ‘very lovely. went to his own public school when he was not working. He had normal experiences with his peer group—just as I did.’ By 16, Driscoll seemed to have it all – until he did the one thing that his character never wanted to do; he grew up.

Bobby Driscoll dressed as Peter Pan in Disney Studios

By the time, he had reached his teen years, Driscoll had grown from a cute little boy to a lanky teenager with bad acne – a precursor for child stars of today. By 1953, he had unexpectedly been dropped from Disney Studios, despite having signed a multiple-year contract. Overnight, he had gone from Disney’s Golden Child, to thrown out in the trash. As Hollywood biographer, Marc Eliot explains, ‘When Howard Hughes bought RKO, he, in effect, became the owner of the Disney studio. He controlled the money and he hated Bobby Driscoll. He hated Hollywood kids. He thought they were precocious, weren’t real, and were incredibly annoying. He didn’t want Bobby Driscoll to be with Disney anymore.’

Having been dropped by Disney, Driscoll was left wondering where to go. At 16, he moved to New York City hoping to study acting but ultimately dropping out of UCLA and Stanford. He found some happiness in TV work and tried to settle down with a young woman named Marilyn Jean Rush. They eloped to Mexico five months after meeting, but three years, three kids, two marriages, and two divorces later, their relationship was over.

Moving to Topanga Canyon, Driscoll befriended Beat Generation artist and photographer Wallace Bearman. Driscoll even dabbled in art himself with some his work surviving today. But then he began to dabble in drugs, ultimately getting arrested in 1961 and sent to California Institute for Men. This proved to be the final nail in the coffin for his acting career as he was unable to find any work after his release in 1962. “I had everything,” he said in an interview after his sentence. “Was earning $50,000 a year…working steadily with good parts. Then I started putting all my spare time in my arm. I’m not really sure why I started using narcotics. I was 17 when I first experimented with the stuff. In no time at all, I was using whatever was available…mostly heroin, because I had the money to pay for it.”

Bobby Driscoll under arrest for drug possession

Driscoll seemed to drift in his final years, unable to truly find a place where he belonged. Nobody knows how he ended up alone in a derelict apartment block in 1968 when two young boys discovered a body lying in a cot. Beer bottles and religious pamphlets were scattered around his body but investigators could not find any identification. With nothing to go on, the body was buried in a mass pauper’s grave on Hart Island.

In fact, the discovery of Driscoll’s death would not be discovered until a year later, when his mother, Isabelle, who had not seen her son in years, tried to get in contact. A fingerprint match at the New York City Police Department would reveal Bobby Driscoll’s death at just 31 years of age. News of his death would only come to light in the 1970s, due to the re-release of Song of the South. From one of the most recognized stars of his generation, to being just a brief news report, is a tragic fall for this young man who once had it all.

Bobby Driscoll in his final years

Bobby Driscoll is immortalized as one of the most tragic child stars in Hollywood history. He was truly a Lost Boy who after being cast aside by the movie industry, couldn’t find a place where he really belonged. Even now, he is still lost on Hart Island; the whereabouts of his grave are unknown as the burial records between 1961 and 1977 were lost in a fire.

The story of Bobby Driscoll has proven to be a cautionary tale for the child stars of Hollywood today. One minute you can be the most adored little star, then the next, you can be cast aside for the next big thing.

Perhaps Driscoll described his downfall best in his own words: “I was carried on a silver platter—and then dumped into the garbage.” But thanks to bringing Peter Pan onto our screens and into our childhood memories, many believe that Bobby Driscoll has emerged from the garbage heap. Hopefully now, he has finally found the second star to the right and has flown on to eternal peace.

Experience on Erasmus: Europe Excursions

erasmus, travel

To be perfectly honest, there are truly no words to describe all of the places that I was fortunate enough to visit during my time on Erasmus. So what I am going to do, is show some of the photos that I took.

I went to several different places while on Erasmus, some of them being places that I’d never even heard of. These are only a few of the photos I took, but every place was fantastic.

Beautiful Bonn….

Captivating Cochem…

Amazing Amsterdam…

Noble Nancy…

Stunning Strasbourg…

Kindred Koblenz…

Luxurious Luxembourg….

Mesmerizing Metz…

Sensational Saarbrucken…

Serene Saarburg…

My Pictorial Postcard Collection…

I count myself extremely lucky that I was able to visit so many places that year. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to visit a lot more.

A Tale as Old as Time that Will Never Grow Old for Me

Anything Articles, Life Experiences

Here’s my experience watching my favorite Disney movie as a musical at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre! Let’s just say that it was definitely a night to remember…

Sometimes, when I take walks, I like to walk down the Grand Canal Dock. There’s always something about the water that just draws me in. I am convinced that I was a mermaid in my past life.

One day, when I was walking down past the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, I saw the posters of shows coming to the theatre. I looked through them with interest and then I saw one I knew immediately that I wanted to see.

Beauty and the Beast

Four words, one story, one movie that has been part of my life for years. When I was little, I played the Disney movie continuously, played the soundtrack on my morning walks, and collected as many dolls and figurines as I could relating to Belle and the Beast. When I played the Kingdom Hearts Playstation game, I was delighted to see that there was a level in the Beast’s Castle. I think that was my favorite part of the game, aside from the actual Disney castle.

When I saw that the musical was coming to Dublin, I knew that I wanted to go. But then a little something happened that caused me to put everything on hold. A little thing called the coronavirus pandemic. Once I saw how long Ireland was going to be stuck in isolation, I knew that there was no point in even trying to get tickets to the show. What was the point? All shows were canceled for the foreseeable future.

Two years later, and with the coronavirus now just a small part of society, I saw that Beauty and the Beast was coming back to the Bord Gais. And I knew immediately that I was going. It took a bit of time as getting tickets proved to be more difficult than I thought (popular demand!) but I ultimately managed to get two tickets for myself and my friend Silvia.

I knew exactly what I was going to wear the night of the show. It was easy: a few months prior, I’d bought a gorgeous t-shirt depicting the stained glass window at the end of the movie. I knew it was perfect.

On Thursday 15th December, we got ourselves ready, made sure the tickets were safe on my phone and the two of us walked from our home to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Although I admit, a couple of times we did question why we chose to walk because it was absolutely freezing!

Silvia and I arrived and we managed to get into the theatre no bother. To see the show illuminated on the building thrilled me. I knew it was going to be an amazing night.

Before the show, I warned Silvia that she was not to hold me back at the merchandise stall. And to her credit, she didn’t! I walked away from the stall with two programmes, a tote bag, a beautiful book necklace, a magnet, a keychain and a gorgeous hand mirror. (The mirror was a gift from Silvia to say thank you for getting the tickets and inviting her to the show. How lovely was that?) It wasn’t too long after we finished at the stall, that we found our seats and the show began!

I am the sort of person who has watched Beauty and the Beast repeatedly for years. I have listened to the soundtracks religiously. I have a video on my On This Day channel dedicated to the movie! You can definitely say that I was really excited for the show!

At the start of the show,there was a wonderful tribute to the late Angela Lansbury who voiced Mrs. Potts in the original film. It was her voice reciting the introduction to the story. To hear her voice say ‘For who could ever learn to love a beast?’ was such a moving tribute to the late great actress.

So what can I say about Beauty and the Beast as a musical? What word can truly describe it?






Maybe…all of the above? I think that’s just about right!

Let’s talk about the performances. Courtney Stapleton as Belle did an amazing job, she really captured the character and the emotions of Belle wonderfully. With her naturally curly hair and reading glasses, she showed everybody in the audience that anybody can be their own Belle if they really want to be. And I have to be upfront and honest and say that I fell in love with Shaq Taylor as the Beast. His dark sultry voice sent chills down my spine. His solo of If I Can’t Love Her was just…ooh. Yes, I know I must sound like a giggly schoolgirl but he was amazing.

I have to say though, it was Alyn Hawke as Lumiere and Nigel Richards as Cogsworth who really stole the show, they were hilarious together. In every scene they were in, they had me in stitches. Their work in the big performance of Be Our Guest was just out of this world! I also enjoyed watching Tom Senior as Gaston and Louis Stockil as Lefou together, but I think they didn’t get enough stage time. But Tom Senior did a fine job with Me, he gave me plenty reasons as to why I don’t want a Gaston in my life, thank you very much!

In retrospect, I already knew that Beauty and the Beast was going to be an amazing show. I just did not expect it to be as amazing as it was. I am really happy that I finally got to see it. It’s a musical that I have always wanted to see and I’m really thrilled that I finally did.

My dear Silvia thanked me for inviting her along to the show; she had only ever watched Beauty and the Beast in Spanish prior to this so this was her first time hearing the music in English. But she absolutely loved it! She said to me as we went home that we’re now going to have to watch all of the versions of Beauty and the Beast together! You don’t hear me complaining about that!

Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale that has been around for over two centuries. This movie has been an aspect of society for over thirty years. It’s certainly a tale as old as time, but it’s a tale that will never grow old for me! If you’re fortunate enough to have this musical arrive at your closest theatre, you should definitely take the time to go and see it. It’s definitely worthwhile!

P.S. I’m finishing off this article with a link to my On This Day video, talking about the first release of Beauty and the Beast in 1991. It’s nothing fancy or anything like that, but I’m happy I did it anyway!

Me, Myself and My Life Online

Anything Articles

After watching the movie Not Okay…I have to admit, I feel a lot better about my status on the world wide web.

Hello. My name is Eidhne. The answer is no. I don’t get stared at in the street. I don’t have a big following on Instagram. I’m not a verified TikTok star. I don’t have a thousand friends on Facebook. I don’t get called out on Twitter. Aside from a few that I actually can consider friends, nobody really gives a damn what I do. And you know something?

I prefer it that way.

We live in a society where everybody is competing to see who can get the most likes on Instagram, and who has the most friends on Facebook. Social media is continuing its quest to consume all of mankind. In my teenage years, I admit, I was the sort of person who was desperate to get some form of attention online. I’d write posts, upload photos, share links, send out multiple friend requests, all in an attempt to get noticed online. Looking back on it, I think I was really desperate for someone – anyone – that I ‘friended’ on Facebook, would reach out and become a real friend.

I’m just after looking on my Facebook page. I don’t post on there anywhere near as much as I used to. At the moment, I’m currently sitting at 599 ‘friends.’ How many of these friends actually interact with what I post online? Only a few. But they are the few that actually do care about me.

Back when I was a teenager, I was desperate to be recognized. I tried everything, acting, singing, performing. I’d post photos online all the time, make status updates every half an hour, but the attention would only last for a short while before it would disappear. Once it went, I would be left wondering what I’d have to do next to get a bit more attention. I’d be staring at my Facebook page, scrolling through the posts, comparing the amount of likes I got to the ones received by others. It was maddening.

I guess, at some point in our lives, we all want to be just a little bit popular.

If I could speak to my sixteen-year-old self, I’d say to her that popularity isn’t everything. The ‘friends’ you have on social media, are not real friends, not really. It is better to focus on real life rather than the next big thing on Facebook. Those who are really your friends, are the ones who actually spend time with you, do things with you. They don’t just interact over a computer screen.

I now know that popularity is not the most important thing in life. The movie Not Okay has enforced that.

The movie looks at Danni Sanders, a magazine photo editor who wants to make it as a writer. She struggles with her job, having no real friends and – worst of all – no followers on Instagram. In order to impress her influencer crush, Colin, she lies about going on a writer’s retreat to Paris. In order to keep up the lie, Danni creates a fake retreat website, and posts edited photos of herself on her Instagram. Her plan unexpectedly goes belly-up when a terrorist attack takes place in Paris and she is mistakenly believed to be a survivor. Finding herself caught up in a lie, Danni gets the fame and attention that she has always craved but she soon comes to learn that notoriety comes at a terrible price.

On a side note, do you know what it took me to get to Paris for my birthday this year? I went through the channels to prove that I had been fully vaccinated, I searched and booked my flights, my accommodation, I bought my own coach tickets and I got myself to all the locations that I wanted to go to. And I documented everything I did with my camera, because I wanted to show that I travelled to Paris, all by my sweet self! I wanted to actually visit the Palace of Versailles, I did not want to just act like I was there by posting edited pictures of myself on my Instagram account. (Not that I would anyway because I’m terrible at Photoshop!)

Me actually visiting Paris for my birthday.

Watching Danni sink deeper and deeper into her lie in Not Okay, made me realise a few things about searching for fame and attention online. It’s all well and good to make up stories about yourself to try and get a bit of attention online but sooner or later, the truth always comes out. Danni learns this the hard way when she is forced to come clean about her lie and she faces online hatred and slander.

Another thing learned from Not Okay, is that fame and being admired by people who don’t really know you, is not as desirable as simply being a good person for those who actually care. Danni learns this after an uncomfortable sexual encounter with her crush Colin at a party. After leaving, she looks on her Instagram and sees her new friend Rowan playing in a softball game with her trauma support group. Seeing this gives Danni a wake-up call about the company that she keeps and she decides to join the softball game. Danni arrives in a dress and heels and is open about bring not good at sports. Despite this, she ends up having a great time and realises that there are good people out in the world.

In life, I would rather have a quiet night with my friends because I know we would have fun. I’d rather not be stuck in a large party with a thousand people who only see me as an online figure. They could look, like and admire but they’d never really want to know me. Danni comes to this conclusion at the end of the movie, as she attends an online shaming support group. She comes to the realisation that she had a much easier life being nobody than being known for her horrific lies. Sometimes, it is better to be unknown than to be hated in the world of social media.

Ten years ago, I thought that all I wanted was to be internet famous. But after watching Not Okay, I feel a lot better about being one of a million online. I would rather be a nobody with real friends than be famous and not have anybody really care about me.

Social media can have its benefits in terms of keeping memories alive. But do not focus on the amount of followers you have on your Instagram account; if you ever find yourself doing that, always ask yourself how many of them you actually interact with once you log out of your account.

Writing Out My Path In Life

Anything Articles

To write is a form of art. Paper is my canvas. A pen is my paintbrush. For me, to write is to express my emotions, tell a story, reach out to others.

I have always wanted to be able to let my writing do the talking. For a long time, I wondered, how could I do that? Where can I start? A couple of months ago, I found the answer.

On a whim, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to apply for a freelancing position for a website called ScreenRant. It’s a website that provides reviews and stories about movies, games and tv shows. I wondered what it would be like to write for them, so I sent in my application and left it at that.

A couple of days later, I received a response. They asked to test my writing skills by having me write out a review for anything on Amazon. Rising up to the challenge, I chose to write about a Kingdom Hearts Playstation Boxset. It was a good combination of two things that I love: Gaming and Disney!

I sent in my review and waited to hear a response. They got back to me saying they’d had to freeze my application but would keep it on record. I thought ‘Fair enough, it’s not the first time.’

In all honesty, I had forgotten about my application until a few weeks later, when I got another email. They said that they would like to offer me the chance to work as a freelance commerce writer for ScreenRant. I was a bit confused until I remembered my application from before.

In my riddled up mind, I wondered, ‘Is this real?’ I had to analyse everything about it, to be sure. But you know what? I decided to grab the bull by the horns and accept the offer.

And I am really glad that I did.

Now, I can say that I am working as a writer. I write articles and reviews for ScreenRant. It feels amazing to be able to write that. I’m proving that I am able to write anything and it feels great.

I am not saying that I have now officially become a well known writer. But what I can say is that I have made a start. And that really means a lot to me.