Cora Sue Collins

Cora Susan Collins (born April 19, 1927) is an American former child actress who appeared in numerous films during the Golden Years of Hollywood.

Cora Sue Collins
Cora Sue Collins in 1931
Born (1927-04-19) April 19, 1927 (age 94)
OccupationChild actress
Years active1932–1945
Spouse(s)Ivan Stauffer (1944–1947)
James McKay
James Morgan Cox (1961–?)
Harry Nace[1]

Early life and careerEdit

Cora Sue Collins was born on April 19, 1927, in Beckley, West Virginia. She later moved to Los Angeles, California, along with her mother and older sister.[2] Collins made her acting debut in The Unexpected Father in 1932 at the age of five.[3][4] Her reported salary in 1934 was $250 per week (equivalent to $4,836 in 2020).[5]

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Collins appeared in numerous films including Queen Christina, Anna Karenina, and All This, and Heaven Too. She was often cast as the daughter of the main characters, or as the leading lady in her childhood. She was initially cast as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), but her role was changed to Amy Lawrence because Collins was considered to be too tall for Tommy Kelly.[2] She said that writer Harry Ruskin, 33 years her senior, tried to force her to have sex with him in exchange for a good role at age 16. She refused and told Louis B. Mayer about what had happened, who was nonchalant and dismissive about it.[6] One of her rare leading roles was in the 1945 drama film Youth on Trial, in which she played the juvenile delinquent daughter of a court judge. Her last movie appearance was in 1945, after which she retired from show business at the age of 18.

Personal lifeEdit

Around 1944, Collins married a rich rancher from Nevada named Ivan Stauffer.[7][8] In 1960, robbers stole two mink coats from her home while she was on vacation.[9] Around 1961, she married James Morgan Cox.[10] In a 1996 article, Collins was referred to as Susie Nace and lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Her husband at the time was theatre owner Harry Nace,[11] who died in June 2002 at the age of 87.[12] Having appeared with Greta Garbo in two films, Collins and Garbo remained in contact until Garbo's death in 1990.[2]


Cora Sue Collins as Pearl (in green) in The Scarlet Letter (1934)
Year Title Role Notes
1932 The Unexpected Father Pudge
Smilin' Through Young Kathleen
Silver Dollar Maryanne Martin, as a Girl
They Just Had to Get Married Rosalie
The Strange Case of Clara Deane Nancy at age 4
1933 Picture Snatcher Jerry's little girl
Jennie Gerhardt Vesta at age 6 Uncredited
Torch Singer Sally at age 5
The Prizefighter and the Lady Farmer's daughter Uncredited
The Sin of Nora Moran Nora Moran, as a child
Queen Christina Queen Christina, as a child Uncredited
1934 Black Moon Nancy Lane
The World Accuses Pat Collins
Treasure Island Young girl at the inn Uncredited
The Scarlet Letter Pearl
The Spectacle Maker The little princess Uncredited
Caravan Latzi, as a child Uncredited
Evelyn Prentice Dorothy Prentice
Little Men Daisy
1935 Naughty Marietta Felice
Public Hero No. 1 Little girl Uncredited
Mad Love Gogol's Lame child patient Uncredited
Anna Karenina Tania
The Dark Angel Kitty, as a child
Two Sinners Sally Pym
Harmony Lane Marian Foster
Mary Burns, Fugitive Little girl Uncredited
Magnificent Obsession Ruth
1936 The Harvester Naomi Jameson
Devil's Squadron Mary
Three Married Men Sue Cary
1938 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Amy Lawrence
1939 Stop, Look and Love Dora Haller
1940 All This, and Heaven Too Louise de Rham Uncredited
1941 Blood and Sand Encarnacion, as a child Uncredited
1942 Get Hep to Love Elaine Sterling
Johnny Doughboy Herself
1945 Youth on Trial Cam Chandler
Roughly Speaking Elinor Randall, as a girl Uncredited
Week-End at the Waldorf Jane Rand


  1. ^ Alexander, Linda J. (November 2011). "A Maverick Life - the Jack Kelly Story".
  2. ^ a b c "Child Star Cora Sue Collins Talks Garbo, Garland, and the Day Jean Harlow Came to Her Birthday Party". April 19, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Tiny actress called genius". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 12, 1935. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  4. ^ "She cries her way into movies". The Free Lance-Star. March 31, 1932. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  5. ^ "Cora Sue Collins 7, gets £250 a week deal". The Minneapolis Star. November 28, 1934. p. 10. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "Cora Sue Collins". Image. September 19, 2020. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  7. ^ "Winchell on Broadway". Nevada State Journal. March 9, 1948. p. 7. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "Cora Sue Collins". Allmovie. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". Valparaiso Vidette Messenger. September 17, 1960. p. 4. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  10. ^ Connolly, Mike (March 6, 1964). "Hollywood Mailbag". Amarillo Daily News. p. 49. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  11. ^ "Millionaires, movie stars and heads of states tote Vuitton". The Frederick-News Post. September 9, 1996. p. 7. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  12. ^ "Phoenix theater pioneer dies". The Daily Courier. June 9, 2002. pp. 5A. Retrieved June 27, 2016.

Further readingEdit

  • Dye, David (1988). Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., p. 35.
  • Best, Marc (1971). Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen. South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., p. 35-39.
  • Willson, Dixie (1935). Little Hollywood Stars. Akron, OH, and New York: Saalfield Pub. Co.

External linksEdit