Junior Miss is a collection of semi-autobiographical stories by Sally Benson first published in The New Yorker. Between 1929 and the end of 1941, the prolific Benson published 99 stories in The New Yorker, some under her pseudonym of Esther Evarts. She had a bestseller when Doubleday published her Junior Miss collection in 1941.
Benson's stories were adapted by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields into a play, directed by Moss Hart, which had a successful run of 710 performances on Broadway from November 18, 1941, to July 24, 1943. Patricia Peardon had the title role of Judy Graves, a teenager who meddles in people's love lives.
In 1945, a film adaptation of the play starred Peggy Ann Garner as Judy Graves. George Seaton directed. Produced by William Perlberg, the 94-minute feature was released by 20th Century Fox on June 16, 1945.
Junior Miss had different runs as a CBS Radio situation comedy. Sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The series was first heard from March 4 to August 26, 1942, with Shirley Temple as Judy Graves. Priscilla Lyon played her friend, Fuffy Adams, "the odd child from the apartment downstairs." Benson and Doris Gilbert were the credited writers. Broadcast on Wednesday evenings, the program cost $12,000 a week to produce.
In the late 1940s, the Junior Miss radio program starred Barbara Whiting, who had appeared in the 1945 film as Fuffy Adams. This series ran from April 3, 1948, to December 30, 1950, sponsored by Lever Brothers. the music was composed and conducted by Walter Schumann. The 1948-50 cast returned for a series in various formats and timeslots from October 2, 1952, to July 1, 1954.
Junior Miss came to television on December 20, 1957, as a production of CBS Television's DuPont Show of the Month. Carol Lynley had the lead role of Judy Graves with Don Ameche and Joan Bennett as her parents and Susanne Sidney as Fuffy Adams. Others in the cast were Diana Lynn, Paul Ford, Jill St. John and David Wayne.