McCallister, Herbert Alonzo “Bud,” “Buddy”

Herbert Alonzo McCallister, Jr. 1940
Herbert Alonzo McCallister, Jr. 1940

Herbert Alonzo McCallister, Jr. (“Bud,” “Buddy”)

Screen name: Lon McCallister

Born: 17 April 1923, Los Angeles, CA
Died: 11 June 2005, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Bud was a child actor who appeared in over forty movie roles, many with major stars. His stage name was Lon McCallister. Known as Buddy to his classmates, he attended Mar-Ken School in his high school years, graduating in 1940. In the midst of his success he was drafted into the Army during World War II, but returned to the silver screen upon his return to Hollywood. He was disappointed in not getting bigger roles, some attributing it to his short five foot, six inch height. He opted to take his earnings and change careers by the time he reached thirty. Reflecting on his movie career in the 1990s he said, “I never considered doing it for a lifetime. I wanted to be myself… I’ve succeeded in this, and I’m happy.” He was a successful investor in real estate, and he largely fulfilled his ambition as expressed in his senior year Mar-Ken Yearbook, “to be a success in the entertainment field and to retire at the age of 35 and live on a desert ranch …. in solitude!” He retired a little earlier from films, and the solitude was eventually found in the Lake Tahoe mountains, not the desert. Buddy died in his home there, of heart failure, on June 11, 2005 at the age of 82.

By Alan H. Simon for

From an April 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
Buddy McCallister is the Secretary/Treasurer of the school newspaper, The Mar-Ken Journal; he wrote a column in the student newspaper titled “Hollywood Radio Centre.”

From a May 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
STAGE, SCREEN, AND RADIO:  Buddy McCallister has been working also on “Lord Jeff” set. In the picture he plays Gregory Walton (a happy receiver of letters) while a student at a boy’s school).

From the September 30, 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
Buddy McCallister, Buddy and Florence Pepper, Peggy Stewart and Leonard Sues worked in Deanna Durbin’s latest picture “That Certain Age.”

From the October 28, 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
MOVIE NEWS: Hally Chester, David Gorcey, Buddy McCallister, Charles Duncan, Berger Harris, and Peggy Stewart are all working on “Tough Guys in Society” at Universal.

From the December 16, 1938 Mar-Ken Journal:
Whoops, shouts, and laughter mingled with the loud, hoarse cries of the barker greeted the students of our school indicating that the Carnival Game booths, food booths, and fun concessions met the eye on all sides. Here was Buddy McCallister, barking for the “Kiss Booth” – – the kisses being Betty Hainey and June Ross. Hal Belfer “barked” for the Carnival attracting visitors to Florence Halop’s “Raffle Surprise,” Kingston Deat’s “Raffle of a Xmas Tree,” Harvey Dack’s “Wheel of Fortune,” and Ray Sperry’s “Darts and Balloons” Marilyn Gates watched the finances, while the other girls and boys helped with the food booths and such. Throwing-of-Rings formed another popular booth.
The students of the 11th Grade worked hard to make their affair a success, and according to attendance and cooperation, it was!
•RADIO NEWS: Those working lately… Buddy McCallister is heard regularly on “Private School” at 4:30 on Tuesdays over K.H.J.
•WHAT THEY WANT FROM SANTA CLAUS – Bud McCallister: A good time

From the 1940 Mar-Ken Yearbook, as a Senior:
Vice-President of the Senior class would be a fitting title for Buddy McCallister, for that’s just what he is. The “Missouri Waltz” is his favorite tune, and “The Yearling” his favorite book. A native son, his ambition is to be a success in the entertainment field and to retire at the age of 35 and live on a desert ranch – – in solitude!

Bud McCallister was the Valedictorian and he received “Highest Scholastic Achievement” award, and the “Most Popular Boy” award, 1940.

From the September 27, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
ALUMNI:  Buddy McCallister is attending Junior College.

From the October 25, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
•Buddy McCallister wrote an article, “Radio Panorama” about the history of radio, in this issue of the school newspaper.
•ALUMNI: Buddy McCallister is writing for the radio.
•WHO’S WORKING: Buddy McCallister working on the Jack Benny show.

From the November 8, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
•Jack Sennett was voted President of the Student Body after a close race with Bud McCallister.
•Bud McCallister is a Rewrite Editor for this issue of the Mar-Ken Journal. He wrote an article, “Regarding Radio.”
•SNOOPER: Although it’s no secret, but still of interest to all is the fact that Betty Hainey and Buddy McCallister were on Lux recently.
•ALUMNI: Bud McCallister also appeared in Lux’s “Strike Up the Band.”

From the November 20, 1940 Mar-Ken Journal:
•Bud McCallister is a Rewrite Editor for this issue of the Mar-Ken Journal.
•THANKSGIVING PLANS: Bud McCallister – – Eating hash while his Great Dane eats a whole turkey.
•SNOOPER: Guess all you people been seeing all them purty pictures of Buddy McCallister in city newspapers last week.
•THANKSGIVING POEM by Bud McCallister:

Thanksgiving, Oh Thanksgiving
You come but once a year –
Unless the President changes his mind
But of that, I have no fear.

With your happy, joyous day
You bring us feasts galore –
Turkeys, pudding, cranberry sauce
But I’m not the one to ask for more.

After the banquet is finished
And I’ve eaten my last bite of cake –
I recline in my winger-back chair
And say – “I think I’ve got a stomach ache.”

But no matter what I am
Or no matter what I’ll be
I’m truly thankful for all that is mine
Especially my liberty –

Bud was also mentioned in the November 1941 issue of the Mar-Ken Journal.

Link to other resources about Bud McCallister:

Internet Movie Database listing: