Jane Withers, a child movie star of the 1930s and '40s, made her name playing a very bad little girl opposite Shirley Temple.
Withers was already a veteran of radio and vaudeville in her hometown of Atlanta at the age of 5. Hollywood was the next logical step, and she moved to Los Angeles with her mother. Withers did radio pieces, voiced animated characters for Looney Tunes, and picked up bit parts in movies until her big break came with the 1934 Shirley Temple film “Bright Eyes.”
Withers played Joy Smythe, a young terror who asked for a machine gun for Christmas, yelled at her parents and decapitated dolls.
As her star rose, she played opposite stars such as the Ritz Brothers in the 1939 film “Pack Up Your Troubles” and Gene Autry in the 1940 western “Shooting High.”
Withers starred in more than 50 films, with a hiatus to raise her five children from two marriages. She returned to the spotlight in the 1960s and '70s as Comet advertising icon Josephine the Plumber.
Withers was instrumental in creating several Hollywood institutions, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she told The Times in 2004. She also amassed an extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia.
In more recent years, she has done voice work for movies such as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”