A NUTTY NUT
NEWS NETWORK EXCLUSIVE
Lyn Interview 1992
Text by Mike David
Jacquie Lyn, the child co-star with L&H in
1932's, "Pack Up Your Troubles", talks with Laurel and Hardy author Scott
MacGillivray at the Sons 1992 Las Vegas Convention. This is one of
our favorite audio interviews because of the very charming story that
Jacquie tells about what Stan Laurel did for her on the set of the Boys'
second feature film.
Jacquie discusses her connection with Lois
Laurel. She also explains how she gradually lost her English accent, about
her work in a couple Our Gang films and about why they had to use
glycerine tears for her crying scene in "Pack Up Your Troubles".
Finally, Jacquie gives her reaction to the
"craziness" and "high spiritedness" of the Sons convention.
The Telegraph 6th April, 2002
JACQUIE LYN, who has died aged 73, enjoyed a
short but memorable career in Hollywood; she made her debut in films aged
three, and retired when she was seven.
She made only a handful of films, but worked with some of the industry's
most popular names of the time, including Laurel and Hardy, Elissa Landi
and the Our Gang kids.
Her most famous picture, Pack Up Your Troubles (1932), directed by George
Marshall and starring Laurel and Hardy, is considered by many to be the
comic duo's finest film. The highlight is when Jacquie Lyn tells the story
of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to Laurel, who is trying his best to
keep awake; and who, when Jacquie Lyn starts adopting voices for each of
the characters in the story, looks around the room in wonder, guessing
where the voices are coming from.
Jacquie Lyn (the stage name was derived from her first name) was born
Jacqueline Duffon at East Finchley, London, on September 3 1928, and spent
her early years in nearby Oatlands Park. The family came from Surrey; her
grandmother ran a tea shop at Weybridge.
In 1930 her father, a naval officer, died after contracting pneumonia, and
on the call of her mother's relatives Jacquie and her surviving parent set
sail for America, settling at Brentwood, California. At a lunch party,
Jacquie's mother was introduced to the cowboy star Tim McCoy. He took one
look at the cheeky, blue-eyed blonde playing with her dolls and suggested
Mrs Duffon take her daughter to see the producer Hal Roach (Roach was
famous in Hollywood for employing child actors with no previous
Jacquie made her film debut soon afterwards, playing Tonia in Allan Dwan's
Wicked (1931) with Elissa Landi and Victor McLaglen. This was followed by
The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932); directed by Michael Curtiz, this
tells the story of an unmarried mother (Ann Dvorak) and the various
unscrupulous men with whom she has a habit of falling in love. Jacquie
played one of her children. After her success in Pack Up Your Troubles
(1932), Jacquie played in two of the Our Gang shorts.
In one of them, Free Wheeling (1932), she shows off her clipped English
tones. While riding in a "taxi" pulled by a mule, she waves to her driver
(Spanky McFarland) and says: "Spanky, don't you think we're going rather
fawst?" In this film she also has a pet monkey, of which she later
recalled: "I hated that little monkey - he was always pulling at my hair."
Birthday Blues (1932) teamed her with Dorothy "Echo" De Borba and Edith
Prosperity (1932) was Jacquie Lyn's farewell appearance. It had its comic
moments, but the plot - centred on a small town stricken by the Depression
- was too close to home for cinema audiences searching for escapism.
In 1933 Jacquie's mother married again. Her stepfather quickly took
control of Jacquie's business affairs, becoming her manager and agent,
even though his knowledge of the industry was minimal. When he walked into
the offices of Louis B Mayer at MGM, demanding the studio give the child
star more films and double her salary, Mayer was furious and showed him
the door. The following morning the termination of her contract arrived in
There were two further minor film roles, after which she retired. She was
seven years old.
After graduating from High School, she attended UCLA but stayed for only
three terms after accepting a marriage proposal from Martin Woll, a
banker, in 1949.
For the next 40 years, Jacquie Lyn lived in pleasant obscurity, bringing
up five children and looking after her family. It was not until 1991, when
her son Michael gave her a videotape of Pack Up Your Troubles, the cover
of which pictured her perched on Stan Laurel's knee, that she realised
that people were searching for her.
The tape also included 16mm home footage of Jacquie playing with Laurel's
daughter Lois, who also made an appeal for Jacquie Lyn to get in touch
with Laurel and Hardy enthusiasts. It took some prompting from her family,
but in January 1992, Jacquie relented. "These pictures were made so long
ago," she said at the time, "I had no idea anyone would be interested in
Film conventions followed. When she walked on stage at a film festival at
Hollywood, she received a standing ovation. "I was overwhelmed," she said.
"The room was packed with fans of Laurel and Hardy all clapping and
cheering. They were genuinely pleased to see me. I had tears in my eyes
when my old boss, Hal Roach, now 100 years old, came over to greet me and
held my hand."
She is survived by her husband of 52 years and their five children.