Help Child Star Tommy Cook with Medical Bills
Who hasn't enjoyed spry, curly-haired actor Tommy Cook? As a child, Tommy's most famous roles happened during his nascent career in serial adventures. He came on the feature film scene in the role of young Indian boy, Little Beaver alongside western good guy 'Don 'Red' Barry' in the Adventures of Red Ryder (1940) and followed that portraying Kimbu, the young jungle boy, alongside Frances Gifford's heroine Nyoka in Jungle Girl (1941).
After appearing in a couple of short films for MGM and RKO, Tommy auditioned for and won the role of Little Beaver in the 12-chapter "Red Ryder" cliffhanger at Republic. He also played the role on radio, and over the years racked up a prolific score of performances in the medium, starting with "Arch Obler's Plays", and subsequently appearing as Alexander Bumstead on "Blondie", Junior on "The Life of Riley", as well as roles on "Ozzie and Harriet", "Lux Radio Theater", "Mercury Theater on the Air", and "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar". On-screen, he continued in both highly visible and unbilled parts. The former included active roles in "Good Luck, Mr. Yates" (1943); "Hi, Buddy" (1943); as Kimba, the Leopard Boy in "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman" (1946) with Johnny Weissmuller and Brenda Joyce; a Filipino in "American Guerrilla in the Philippines" (1950) starring Tyrone Power; and played a lead delinquent in the film "The Vicious Years' (1950), for which he won a Photoplay Award for "Outstanding Performance." He's also had voice-over roles on animated series such as Kid Flash on "The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure", Augie on "The Funky Phantom" and Biff on "Jabberjaw".
Now, at 93 years of age, Tommy is asking for your help.
Due to drastic and unfair changes in the SAG-Aftra Union Health Plan, nearly 12,000 senior union members are being eliminated from health coverage, which union leadership once touted would ‘be financially sustainable for all members for years to come’ and would ‘strengthen the overall financial health of the plan while ensuring comprehensive benefits for all participants.' Their words in quotes.
So, due to their age, the same performers who loyally paid their dues throughout their careers have now been completely abandoned by the pension plan and a health plan.
And, Tommy Cook is one of them.
A lawsuit has been filed, Tommy one of the plaintiffs, alleging wrongful and illegal age discrimination, partly because participants 65 and older have such a vested interest in their pension. To date, no ruling has been handed down. (See: Ed Asner’s Lawsuit Against SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, online.)
Meanwhile, Tommy's medical and insurance bills continue to pile up. On top of this, he must undergo much needed eye surgery in June. He trusted and counted on his union to be there at this time of life. He's basically been told to get lost.
So surely after all the years of enjoying that infectious smile and dynamic acting style, you can find it in your hearts to help one of the good guys out. Any amount will help, and all will go to paying Tommy's medical and insurance bills.
We're counting on all you nice folks, and Tommy thanks every last one of you in advance.
Still flashing that smile!
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