The Independent, Pasadena, CA: May 5, 1958
by Vernon Scott

 

Star of a new movie to be released soon is Tumble Weed.

Unlike other catchy monickers, weed comes by its name honestly. In the picture T Is For Tumbleweed, the lead role is played by a sincere member of the tumbleweed family.

Co-starred with the inanimate weed is fearfully animate Anne Lockhart, who also makes her debut in the film.

Sitting in a booth in the Brown Derby for lunch, Anne, a pretty blonde with upturned nose, maintained her composure until a waiter pinched her on the cheek. She giggled happily, stood on her chair and attempted to return the affectionate gesture.

Seated again, Anne was asked if she was excited about making her first picture. Without a word she slipped beneath the table and spent the better part of 15 minutes hiding there.

Anne is four years old.

She also is the daughter of actress June Lockhart and a fourth-generation performer.

 

 

James Lebenthal, producer of the picture, hastened to explain: "Anne hasn't been interviewed before. She's just a little bit jumpy." He then attempted to coax her topside with a lump of sugar.

Inasmuch as his star was incommunicado, Lebenthal explained his unusual movie.

"It is strictly a fantasy about the travels and adventures of a tumbleweed," he said. "Something on the order of the The Red Balloon - giving personality to an inanimate subject.

"The difference is our film is based on reality and treated as a documentary. Almost all of our footage was shot in Wagon Mound, New Mexico. Unfortunately the extraordinary rainfall there had wiped out all the tumbleweed, so we were forced to truck it in from California.

"Sometimes I wonder why I chose a tumbleweed for the central character. It is flora non-grata everywhere. Ranchers hate the pesky weed. It causes fires, floods and crop damage.

"But it is colorful. In our story it becomes involved in various situations with different people. The weed manages to steal Anne's hair ribbon in one sequence.

At the mention of her name Anne poked her pixie - face up to table top level to say, "that bad tumbleweed ran away from the boys and stole my red hair ribbon." Then she ducked under the table again.

"You must admit," Lebenthal said wearily, "I chose a pair of rather unusual stars."