JAY NORTH BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Jay North was born on August 3rd, 1951 in Hollywood, California with the birth name Jay Waverly North Jr. to parents Jay and Dorothy North. When he was only four years old his parents divorced and his mother found work with the organization, AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists).
He became interested in acting from a young age and since his mother had connections in the industry, when he was only six years old he appeared on television on a local kids show called, "Cartoon Express". A Hollywood talent agent by the name of, Hazel McMillian took notice of him and contacted his mother to offer representing him in the industry.
His first real job was on a television show called, "Queen for a Day" and he continued to work in a number of shows as well as several television commercial appearances. His big break came when he was offered the role of Dennis the Menace in, "Dennis the Menace Comic Strip". He was also seen on the show, "Wanted Dead or Alive", "77 Sunset Strip", "Rescue 8" and "The Boy Operator".
His popularity increased ten fold with the role of Dennis which aired on CBS and as a child actor he was making a salary of $500 per episode. he also appeared in a number of commercials as the character, Dennis for such products as Kellogg's and Skippy Peanut Butter. With the second season of the show things got tough for him as a child actor trying to keep up with all the hours spent on set and keeping up his school work. The show had become one of the top 20 television shows and soon appeared in a film playing Dennis called, "Pépé".
Things with his career were going very well, but he felt as though he was missing out on a true childhood. He was not given much chance to socialize with kids his own age and his free time was limited. As the show entered it's third season, North was now making $2,500 per episode and by the fourth season they raised his salary again to $3,500 per episode.
By the time he was eleven years old he was beginning to outgrow the Dennis the Menace look that audiences adored and the shows rating began to drop. After the fourth season, the show was canceled. He continued to audition for other roles and was also enrolled in a Preparatory school in which he had a difficult time keeping up intellectually and socially with the other children.
He appeared on such shows as, "Wagon Train" and the film, "Zebra in the Kitchen". However, as a teenage boy he was finding it very difficult to find more work as all casting agents type cast him as his Dennis the Menace character which he could not seem to get away from. He did make some more small appearances on such shows as, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." ,"The Lucy Show", "My Three Sons" and "Jericho".
He did manage to graduate from Rexford High School and still remained working in the entertainment industry doing some voice over work for a animated television series called, "Arabian Knights". Jay also did the voices on such shows as, "Here Comes the Grump" and "The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show".
Jay North then took a chance at a different side of entertaining and moved to Chicago briefly to work as a stage actor, however upon meeting his wife, the two soon returned to Los Angeles together and married in 1973. Sadly, only one year later, the couple ended their union.
North continued to work in entertainment, appearing a film called, "The Teacher", but with the critics reviews on the film and his performance he began to give up hope of continuing in the industry as an adult actor. He took a break from what he had known for so many years and enlisted in the United States Navy but did not fit in with the other men he was stationed with. Soon he received an honorable discharge and went right back to Hollywood, as that was all he had known his entire life.
Again he tried to make a Hollywood come back and appeared in the television movie, "Scout's Honor" (1980) and a short appearance on, "General Hospital" soap opera. He then was cast in a film called, "Dikiy Veter" (1986).
As his career progressed very slowly, North took a chance at a different side of the industry working as a screen writer, but this never took off for him either. Luckily, with the money he had earned as a child actor, his mother had been wise and made a number of real estate investments that he was able to remain financially stable. He did make a couple other appearances but nothing to ever bring the level of stardom back that he had once achieved.
He did make tabloid headlines when false news was published that his body had been found in a doctors office. He then received news that another former child star had committed suicide, Rusty Hamer from, "The Danny Thomas Show". North knew that he too was suffering from depression from the impact being a child actor had taken on his life and he decided to seek out help before it was too late. He later joined an organization called, "A Minor Consideration" that helped counsel other child stars who were dealing with the same issues he had growing up in the industry.
He married two other times throughout his lifetime, first very briefly to a lady by the name of Rositia but after only being married three months this ended he and soon married his third wife, Cindy Hackney. The couple relocated to her hometown of, Lake Butler, Florida and he took on the responsibility of her three biological children.
He found work as a correctional officer assisting troubled youth in Florida and on the odd occasion he would make appearances as himself on such shows as, "Vicki!" and "The Simpson's".
Jay will forever be remembered as the little blond hair trouble maker, Dennis the Menace" however, Jay North does not look back on his experience as a child actor as a good one and in 1999 is quoted from an interview saying, ""Goodbye, Hollywood. Thanks for Nothing."
2008 Born of Earth
1986 Dikiy veter
1980 Scout's Honor
1977 Fred Flintstone and Friends
1974 The Teacher
1972 The Flintstone Comedy Hour
1972 Lassie: Joyous Sound
1971 The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show
1969 Here Comes the Grump
1969 The Banana Splits Adventure Hour
1968 Arabian Knights
1966 My Three Sons
1966 The Lucy Show
1965 The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
1965 Zebra in the Kitchen
1964 Wagon Train
1959-1963 Dennis the Menace
1963 General Hospital
1960-1961 The Red Skelton Hour
1960 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
1960 The Donna Reed Show
1959 The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor
1959 The Big Operator
1959 The Miracle of the Hills
1959 Rescue 8
1959 77 Sunset Strip
1958 Wanted Dead or Alive