Jimmy Boyd

Jimmy Boyd
Los Angeles Times

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Jimmy Boyd
Music: North side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Singer
Born Jan. 9, 1939 in McComb, MS
Died March 7, 2009 of cancer in Santa Monica, CA

Jimmy Boyd was a singer best known for recording the Christmas novelty hit "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" in 1952 when he was 13.

Three weeks after the yuletide kiss-and-tell was released, the song was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It sold 2 million records in less than 10 weeks.

Tens of millions of copies of the much-covered song written by Tommie Connors have been sold over the decades, according to the Allmusic online database. It has been interpreted by such artists as the Jackson 5, John Mellencamp and Amy Winehouse.

Although it came to be regarded as a holiday classic, the ditty about a child who can't understand why Mommy is cheating on Daddy with Santa Claus caused controversy in some quarters when the original featuring Boyd's childish treble was released.

The Catholic Church condemned the song for implying even a tenuous link between sex and the religious holiday, and radio stations in several markets banned it. The ban was lifted after the 13-year-old Boyd appeared before church leaders to talk about the lyrics.

On television, Boyd made several appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in the early 1950s and moved into acting. From 1958 to 1961, he portrayed Howard Meechim, the high school boyfriend on "Bachelor Father," a sitcom that starred John Forsythe and Noreen Corcoran. He also played the teenage nephew of Betty White's character on "Date With the Angels," a late-1950s sitcom.

In 1960, Boyd appeared as a biology student in "Inherit the Wind" with Spencer Tracy and the same year married Yvonne Craig, an actress he met while making the Bing Crosby film "High Time." Craig would go on to play Batgirl in the 1960s TV series "Batman." Their marriage ended after two years.

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