Samuel Hodges (born March 5, 1947), professionally known as Eddie Hodges, is an American former child actor and recording artist (his 1961 cover of the Isley Brothers’ “I’m Gonna Knock on Your Door” reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100), who left show business as an adult.
|Occupation||Actor, singer, mental-health counselor|
Hodges was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States, and traveled to New York City with his family in 1952. This began a long career in show business for Hodges in films, on stage and popular recordings.
Hodges made his professional acting debut on stage in Meredith Willson's 1957 Broadway musical The Music Man, in which he originated the character of Winthrop Paroo, and introduced the song "Gary, Indiana", with Robert Preston and Pert Kelton.
When Sinatra recorded the song for Capitol Records, Hodges was not included as Decca Records would not grant him permission to record the duet with Sinatra. Hodges made eight feature films and numerous TV guest appearances. He is probably best remembered for playing the title role in Michael Curtiz's 1960 film The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He also appeared in the 1962 film Advise and Consent in a minor role as well as the Disney films Summer Magic (1963) and The Happiest Millionaire (1967).
On October 4, 1957, the day the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik 1 satellite, Hodges made a memorable appearance on the game show Name That Tune in which he partnered with then Major John Glenn (future astronaut and United States senator).
In 1959 at age 12, Hodges became Mississippi's first Grammy Award winner for his contribution to the original Broadway cast soundtrack album of The Music Man for which he sang a solo and was credited as the lead singer on another song. It was the first year that the Grammys were awarded.
At the age of 14, Hodges recorded for Cadence Records and his biggest hit was "I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door" in 1961. He also scored a minor hit with "(Girls, Girls, Girls) Made to Love," a song written by Phil Everly and originally recorded by the Everly Brothers.
He recorded for several other record labels. Before he left Hollywood, he was a union musician, record producer, songwriter and music publisher. He collaborated with Tandyn Almer ("Along Comes Mary") with whom he wrote and published several songs and owned his own music publishing business. Hodges continues to write songs today, but is no longer involved professionally in the music industry.
Hodges was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, but remained in the U.S. in a non-combat assignment. After he was discharged, he returned to Hollywood and became disillusioned with show business. He decided to return to his native Mississippi and entered the University of Southern Mississippi where he received his B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Counseling. He became a mental health counselor and retired from practice after a long career in the field. He converted to Catholicism in 1998.
He is divorced and has two grown children and six grandchildren. He occasionally gets in touch with his old show business friends and still writes songs, though he is unable to play guitar due to spinal nerve injuries. Hodges rode out Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and informed his fans that he was fine after being without water, electricity and telephone/internet contact for 19 days when the utilities were restored.
|1959||A Hole in the Head||Ally Manetta|
|1960||The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||Huckleberry Finn|
|1962||Advise and Consent||Johnny Leffingwell|
|1963||Summer Magic||Gilly Carey|
|1967||C'mon, Let's Live a Little||Eddie Stewart|
|1967||The Happiest Millionaire||Livingston|
|1968||Live a Little, Love a Little||Delivery Boy|
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- Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 264.