Tag Archives: Dorothy Ann Seese

In Memory– The Last of The Five Little Peppers Part 2 — Dorothy Ann “Dottie” Seese

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In Memory– The Last of The Five Little Peppers Part 2  — Dorothy Ann “Dottie” Seese

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In December of 2016 I wrote a piece about Dorothy A. Seese, who most of you know as  child actress Phronsie in the Five Little Peppers series. My friend had looked after her in her final months and through that period of her emails I felt like I knew Dottie. My friend’s faith is formidable to put it lightly, and I wondered how the two connected. Today as I got another comment on the first story I decided to do some research.

 

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Dorothy in her later years still as beautiful as ever.

“Every time I’ve visited Dottie for the past 8 mos, I’ve always felt it was the last.  I don’t know how she’s holding on.  She says the Lord will take her when He’s ready, not when she’s ready.  But she so wants to join Him and get her glorified body.  The jaundice is really bad, but then it has been for nearly 2 mos now”– My friend’s last email about Dottie before she passed.

So what happened to Dottie?

Through the years Dottie became a Christian conservative who hoped through her writings that things would go back to the constitutional and moral foundations upon which she felt this nation was founded. “Dorothy Anne Seese” (she added an e to her middle name)  was a freelance political writer for Patch Work papers and a regular featured political columnist to several conservative websites. She was based in Phoenix, so it was easy to see how my friend became a good friend to her as they were both strong believers.

There are some photos on ancestry.com but they are private– so I don’t know if they belong to the one super fan she had that my friend had told me about. She had wanted to come to her final resting place but she was ill. I will keep digging.

Two hours later

Just when you think you have found everything — you find two articles that rock the whole bio. Dorothy’s father, Lloyd Seese was convicted of murder in July 1958 and a few days before her boyfriend Lt. James was killed. This all happened in 10 days and it is no wonder she turned to Christianity and became the conservative writer she left a legacy to.

 

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Dorothy’s father

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The Boston Globe
Boston, Massachusetts
02 Jul 1958, Wed  •  Page 23

 

 

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BIRTH

 

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
DEATH Dec 2015 (aged 80)

 

Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
BURIAL Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown, Specifically: Believed to be interred in a cemetery in Arizona
MEMORIAL ID 182358284 · View Source

NAME: Ms. Dorothy Ann Seese
RESIDENT OF: The Sun City Retirement Community of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
BORN: Wednesday, 10 July 1935
DIED: December 2015
C.O.D.: Cancer
AGE: 80 years, 5 months, & ? days
PARENT(s): Mother – Swan (Raised by her Grandmother, after her Mother abandoned her when she was 2 months old, but her Mother reappeared after little Dorothy came into prominence.)
EDUCATION: Liberal Arts degree from UCLA in 1955
OCCUPATION(s): Actress-Child Star – Business Systems Analyst for 15 years – Then for the next 25 years she worked as a legal secretary, a legal assistant, and a paralegal – In 1997 she would became disabled due to a spinal injury after which she retired and moved to Sun City, Arizona

Dorothy Ann “Dottie” Seese

VOLUNTEERISM: USO entertainer during WWII

FUNERAL: January 2016 in Arizona
PASTOR(s) OFFICIATING: Pastor Blau
INTERMENT: Cremains were laid to rest in January 2016

NOTE(s): She was believed to be the last surviving cast member from the movie series, “The Five Little Peppers”.

(The story was told: When Dottie reached the age of 21 she went to claim her wages that were supposed to be held in-trust for her, some $150,000.00 in earnings as a child actor. What she ended up with was a check for $900.00 and change. The rest of her life she believed that her Mother had taken her earnings.)

LIST OF MOVIE CREDITS:
(1) Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1939) as Phronsie Pepper
*She also had a soundtrack of her singing “Happy Birthday” in the movie “Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” (1939) (uncredited)
(2) Five Little Peppers at Home (1940) as Phronsie Peppers
(3) Five Little Peppers in Trouble (1940) as Phronsie Peppers
(4) Out West with the Peppers (1940) as Phronsie Peppers
(5) The Doctor Takes A Wife (1940) as Girl (uncredited)
(6) Meet the Missus (1940) as Millie Lou
(7) Blondie in Society (1941) as Little living across the street (uncredited)
(8)Blondie’s Blessed Event (1942) as Little girl (uncredited)
(9) Let’s Have Fun (1943) as Toni Gilbert
(10) The Virginian (1946) as Jane Woods (uncredited)
(11) The Bounty Hunter (1954) as Ed’s Sister (uncredited)
(12) The Long Gray Line (1955) as an Irish immigrant

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Dorothy Anne Seese – California Birth Index

Name: Dorothy Anne Seese
Event Type: Birth
Event Date: 10 Jul 1935
Event Place: Los Angeles, California, United States
Gender: Female
Mother’s Name: Swan

Citing this Record – “California Birth Index, 1905-1995,” database, Dorothy Anne Seese, 10 Jul 1935; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento

historicalnotes

 

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The Morning News
Wilmington, Delaware
04 May 1940, Sat  •  Page 19

Oddly enough Prince, the Great Dane, does go to the school with the kids but is never seen there or in the rest of the movie.

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The Boston Globe
Boston, Massachusetts
13 May 1943, Thu  •  Page 15

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Image result for meet the missus film

The Bounty Hunter
Ed’s Sister (uncredited)
 1946The Virginian
Jane Wood (uncredited)
 1943Let’s Have Fun
Toni Gilbert (as Dorothy Ann Seese)
 1943Two Weeks to Live
Dorothy (uncredited)
 1942A Bundle of Trouble
Little Girl (uncredited)
 1941Henpecked
Little Girl Living Across the Street (uncredited)
 1940Meet the Missus
Millie Lou (as Dorothy Ann Seese)
 1940Five Little Peppers in Trouble
Phronsie Pepper (as Dorothy Ann Seese)
 1940Out West with the Peppers
Phronsie Pepper (as Dorothy Ann Seese)
 1940The Doctor Takes a Wife
Child (uncredited)
 1940Five Little Peppers at Home
Phronsie Pepper (as Dorothy Ann Seese)
 1939Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Phronsie Pepper (as Dorothy Ann Seese)
Hide HideSoundtrack (1 credit)
 1939Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (performer: “Happy Birthday to You” (1893) – uncredited) - The Boston Globe
Boston, Massachusetts
14 Jul 1950, Fri  •  Page 4
 
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CLIPPED FROM
Arizona Republic
Phoenix, Arizona
12 Jul 1965, Mon  •  Page 9

In Memory– The Last of The Five Little Peppers –Part 1

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For over a year or maybe even two, a good friend in Arizona has been a caring friend for a woman named Dottie. Dottie has been in a senior’s hospice, and I have been following her health for a long time even though I didn’t know her. I had seen pictures of her and heard so much about her I felt like I knew her personally.

Sadly, Dottie died a few months ago, and I felt the same way as if my neighbour had died. Today, I asked my friend when her ashes were going to be scattered, and wondered if  there would be anyone there– as in reality she had no family left.

To my surprise this is what she told me:

“Dottie’s former neighbor, myself, her hospice nurse & pastor will be there. That will be it because Dottie had no family.  However, a woman discovered her on IMDB and would love to attend if she weren’t so ill.

“Dottie was actually Dorothy Ann Seese, a child star with the potential of Shirley Temple, but her parents yanked her movie career after she starred in the Five Little Peppers series of 4 or 5 movies in the late 30’s and early 40’s.  The woman that found her is a huge Peppers fan and owns all the movies.  Dottie was the last of the Peppers.  I have some pictures of her, thanks to her of Dottie when she was 5 & 6 playing Phronzie.  Too bad royalties weren’t available then. She died penniless”.

I stopped typing and almost fell out of my chair as I had watched those movies as a child and felt so bad. If had not been for the kindness of my very dedicated friend visiting her she would have died alone after giving so much joy to others.

In later years Dorothy Ann Seese obtained a liberal arts degree from UCLA in 1955 and became a business systems analyst for fifteen years. She then switched to the legal field and worked the next 25 years as a legal secretary, legal assistant and paralegal. In 1997 she became disabled from a spinal injury, retired, and lived in Sun City, Arizona.

In memory of Dottie-Dorothy Ann Seese– The last of The Five Little Peppers.

READ part 2–

In Memory– The Last of The Five Little Peppers Part 2 — Dorothy Ann “Dottie” Seese

comments

Penny Lane
Watching “Five Little Peppers” right now, for the first time ever. There is a marathon on TCM. That’s what brought me here. May Dottie rest in peace.
James
Thanks for posting that she had passed, I know it was a few years ago, but again I just started watching again.
You are doing a great, great service to this woman and her family that pass on or are still alive. THANK YOU.
Anne Siels
I was working at Ventana Winds in Youngtown, AZ., as a Certified Caregiver helping to take care of her in December 2015. Early Friday morning, Dec. 11, two other caregivers and I were with her when she took her last breathes. We were glad that someone could be with her in her last moments as we knew she had no family. The only picture she had in her room was of her at her desk as a paralegal in the 1970’s.
Louis Gonzales
The recent marathon on TCM led me here and I just wanted to say thank you for this beautifully written remembrance of her. I’m shocked that she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page given the level of talent that I just saw. Would you happen to know if she has a memorial marker of remembrance present near her ashes? If not, I would most definitely be willing to pay for one. Once again, thank you so much and may God bless you!
David
I watched that marathon as well. I am pretty sure she was the cutest little girl ever in the history of the world. I loved watching the adults interact with her – they just smiled. little moments where you can sense there isn’t very much acting going on, just big smiles of affection for a little tiny precocious girl.

COMPLETE FILMOGRAPHY WITH SYNOPSIS

CAST (feature film)

1.
The Long Gray Line (1955) as
An Irish immigrant becomes one of West Point””s most beloved officers.
2.
The Virginian (1946) as Jane Woods
Best friends become enemies when one signs on with a rustler.
3.
Let’s Have Fun (1943) as Toni Gilbert
4.
Blondie’s Blessed Event (1942) as Little girl
5.
Blondie in Society (1941) as Little girl
Dagwood brings home a pedigreed Great Dane which an important company client wants and which Blondie enters in the big dog show. A highlight of this film is the canine burping display.
6.
Out West with the Peppers (1940) as Phronsie Pepper
A working class family moves West in search of better fortune.
7.
Five Little Peppers in Trouble (1940) as Phronsie Pepper
Five siblings face boarding school when their working mother can””t hold a job and care for them.
8.
Five Little Peppers at Home (1940) as Phronsie Pepper
Five siblings enlist a crusty old businessman to help save their mother from bankruptcy.
9.
The Doctor Takes A Wife (1940) as Girl
A man-hating author and a woman-hating doctor have to pretend they’re married.
10.
Meet the Missus (1940) as Millie Lou
11.
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1939) as Phronsie Pepper
A case of measles gets a working class family mixed up with a blustering businessman””s clan.
Update: Dottie was laid rest January, 2015. It was a sparse attendance, and the church secretary, plus the pastor of course was in attendance.  It was a cold, overcast day and rather gloomy, but Pastor Blau gave Dottie a very good send-off.  Her ashes were placed and it was all over in 15 minutes. May she rest in peace!