Question: What ever became of the youngest sister from the original Little Women movie?


Answer: Actress Jean Parker, who died on Nov. 30, 2005, at the age of 90, played the youngest March sister, Beth, in Little Women (1933). Born Louise Stephanie Zelinska in Montana, her family moved to Pasadena when she was a child. Her father got a job as head chef at the Green Hotel in Pasadena and her mother worked at the MGM set department. Parker apparently shared her artistic inclinations: She was supposedly discovered when MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer's personal assistant spotted her photo next to a contest-winning poster Parker had painted. Parker made her movie debut with a small role in Rasputin and the Empress (1932) and made dozens of films over the next two decades. She also worked on Broadway, where her credits included Born Yesterday (she was the third actress to play dim-witted gangster’s moll Billie Dawn in the original production, following Judy Holliday and Jan Sterling) and Burlesque, opposite Bert Lahr. But less work came her way in the ‘50s; Parker did some television drama and made her last film appearance in Apache Uprising (1966). She was married four times and had one child, a son, with her last husband, actor Robert Lowery. During the ‘70s she worked as an acting coach, but she reportedly became reclusive during the last decades of her life.