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Tommy from Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life shares recollections performing in 1946 film classic

Film poster advertising Capra's 1946 classic It's A Wonderful Life
Liberty Films
Film poster advertising Capra's 1946 classic It's A Wonderful Life

Back in 1946, six-year-old Jimmy Hawkins played the role of Tommy in "It’s a Wonderful Life." Decades later the film was voted the most inspirational movie of all time by the American Film Institute.

When it hit silver screen for Christmas season in 1946, the movie was a box-office flop and lost $500,000, even though it was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Join Hawkins as he recalls his role as Tommy and shares insights about Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and other cast members.

He also talks about his subsequent roles as a teen heartthrob on the Donna Reed Show.

Hawkins starred in the first Elvis movie "Girl Happy," and subsequent work as a producer. During the course of his career, Hawkins starred in or produced more than 500 movies and television shows.

Hawkins also shares the secret of the belated success and cult-like love of "It’s a Wonderful Life" that didn’t commence until the 1970's when someone forgot to renew the copyright.

This show was originally broadcast December 18, 2017 and is reposted as a “best-of-the-best” podcast in celebration of Journeys of Discovery’s 32nd anniversary producing on-air and digital media podcasts featured on KCBX and the NPR Podcast Directory.

Funding for Journeys of Discovery provided by Nashville's Big Back Yard economic initiative focused on rural communities in the southwest quarter of Tennessee and the Shoals Region of Northern Alabama.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryiHeartRadioApple Podcast.

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.