Herbert Alonzo "Lon" McCallister Jr. (April 17, 1923 – June 11, 2005) was an American actor. According to one obituary, he was best known for "playing gentle, boyish young men from the country." Another said he "had an ingenuous appeal that made him a favourite of family audiences, and was particularly at home in outdoor settings featuring dogs and horses. Ultimately his perennial boyishness and slight stature became a handicap for more mature roles."
From the film Stage Door Canteen (1943)
Herbert Alonzo McCallister, Jr.
April 17, 1923
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||June 11, 2005 (aged 82)|
Born in Los Angeles, Lon McCallister was the son of a real estate broker. He attended Marken Professional School, which trained children for show-business careers and began appearing in movies at the age of 13. He had uncredited appearances in Let's Sing Again (1936) and Romeo and Juliet (1936), directed by George Cukor who, gave McAllister a large close up, and became a friend. 
He was uncredited in Stella Dallas (1937), Souls at Sea (1937), Make a Wish (1937), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Judge Hardy's Children (1938), Lord Jeff (1938), That Certain Age (1938), Little Tough Guys in Society (1939), The Spirit of Culver (1939), Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), Babes in Arms (1939), First Love (1939), and Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President (1939).
McCallister could also be glimpsed in Susan and God (1940), Henry Aldrich for President (1941), Dangerously They Live (1941), Always in My Heart (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Spy Ship (1942), Night in New Orleans (1942), That Other Woman (1942), Gentleman Jim (1942), Quiet Please: Murder (1942), Over My Dead Body (1942), The Hard Way (1943), and The Meanest Man in the World (1943). Columnist Hedda Hopper called him "the cutest boy the movies have hauled up out of obscurity since Mickey Rooney."
At 20, he appeared in the World War II morale booster Stage Door Canteen, where he played a star struck serviceman with theater actress and producer Katharine Cornell. The Los Angeles Times said he stole the film with "his bashful smile and winning ways".
McCallister leapt to fame playing the lead as Sparke in the horse-racing tale Home in Indiana (1944), also starring Walter Brennan and Jeanne Crain. This led to a contract with 20th Century Fox. He followed it with Winged Victory (1944) but then his career momentum was interrupted by war service.
Growing only to 5'6" he found it difficult to find roles as an adult. He appeared with Edward G. Robinson in 1947's The Red House and had the star role in Thunder in the Valley (1947), and supported June Haver in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948).
He had the lead in Sam Katzman's A Yank in Korea (1951) and a Western, Montana Territory (1952). However he was mostly seen in TV: Tales of Tomorrow ("Verdict from Space"), "The Last Man on Earth", ("Enemy Unknown"), The Ford Television Theatre ("My Daughter's Husband"), Schlitz Playhouse ("Operation Riviera"), and Footlights Theater ("My Daughter's Husband"). His last feature film was Combat Squad (1953).
After retirement, he still appeared in two television series, as Coley Wilks in the 1961 episode "The Hostage" of the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams, and as Willie in the 1963 episode "Triple Indemnity" of the CBS sitcom, The New Phil Silvers Show. In 1963 he said, "I"m happy. I'm doing what I want."
In a 1992 interview, McCallister said: "Being a movie star was great, but I never considered doing it for a lifetime. I wanted to be myself, to go where I pleased without causing a traffic jam. I've succeeded in this, and I'm happy."
|1936||Let's Sing Again||Orphan||Uncredited|
|1936||Romeo and Juliet||Minor Role||Uncredited|
|1937||Souls at Sea||Cabin Boy||Uncredited|
|1937||Make a Wish||Summer Camp Kid||Uncredited|
|1938||The Adventures of Tom Sawyer||Schoolboy||Uncredited|
|1938||Judge Hardy's Children||Uncredited|
|1938||That Certain Age||Billy||Uncredited|
|1938||Little Tough Guys in Society||Uncredited|
|1939||The Spirit of Culver||Cadet||Uncredited|
|1939||Confessions of a Nazi Spy||Uncredited|
|1939||Babes in Arms||Boy||Uncredited|
|1939||First Love||Boy at School||Uncredited|
|1939||Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President||Johnny||Uncredited|
|1940||Susan and God||Party Guest||Uncredited|
|1941||Henry Aldrich for President||Student||Uncredited|
|1941||Dangerously They Live||Newsboy||Uncredited|
|1942||Always in My Heart||Boy||Uncredited|
|1942||Yankee Doodle Dandy||Call Boy||Uncredited|
|1942||Spy Ship||Telegram Messenger Boy||Uncredited|
|1942||Night in New Orleans||Boy in Car||Uncredited|
|1942||That Other Woman||George Borden|
|1942||Gentleman Jim||Page Boy||Uncredited|
|1942||Quiet Please, Murder||Freddie, the Stack Boy||Uncredited|
|1942||Over My Dead Body||Jimmie|
|1943||The Hard Way||Bud - Call Boy in Montage||Uncredited|
|1943||The Meanest Man in the World||Bellboy||Uncredited|
|1943||Stage Door Canteen||California Jack Gilman|
|1944||Home in Indiana||'Sparke' Thornton|
|1944||Winged Victory||Francis William 'Frankie' Davis|
|1947||The Red House||Nath Storm|
|1947||Thunder in the Valley||David MacAdam|
|1948||Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!||Daniel 'Snug' Dominy|
|1949||The Big Cat||Danny Turner|
|1949||The Story of Seabiscuit||Ted Knowles|
|1950||The Boy from Indiana||Lon Decker|
|1951||A Yank in Korea||Andy Smith|
|1952||Montana Territory||John Malvin|
- Obituaries: LON MCCALLISTER Anonymous. Variety; Los Angeles Vol. 399, Iss. 5, (Jun 20-Jun 26, 2005): 44.
- OBITUARY: LON MCCALLISTER ; Actor of perennial boyishness: [First Edition] Vallance, Tom. The Independent 1 July 2005: 47.
- LON McCALLISTER, 82 The Globe and Mail 1 July 2005: S.7.
- Lon McCallister, 82, Hollywood Actor of the 40's: [Obituary (Obit)] New York Times 22 June 2005: 17.
- DRAMA AND FILM: McCrea to Act Doctor Role in Field Story Laughton Will join Cast of 'Dragon Seed;' Lon McCallister Set for Film at 20th Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 10 Aug 1943: 11.
- "The SCREEN". The Mercury. CLVIII (22, 780). Tasmania, Australia. 4 December 1943. p. 12. Retrieved 30 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Hollywood REPORTS". Lithgow Mercury (CITY ed.). New South Wales, Australia. 13 January 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 30 December 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Drama: Bruce Bennett Obtains Scientific Subject; Lon McCallister Gets Break Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 20 Sep 1951: A9.
- "Lon McCallister". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Lon's Back as Silvers' Guest Star Chicago Tribune 10 Nov 1963: w13.
- Mann, William (2001). Behind the screen: how gays and lesbians shaped Hollywood, 1910–1969. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-03017-1.
- Obituary: Lon McCallister: Child and teen actor: 'the cutest boy the movies hauled up out of obscurity' Bergan, Ronald. The Guardian 9 July 2005: 21.