by Fred T. Beeman
We are deeply saddened to report that we have recently been informed of the passing of former child actress Lori Martin, who was born Dawn Catherine Menzer on April 18, 1947 in Glendale CA, the firstborn with her fraternal twin (and surviving) sister Doree arriving into the world, 4 minutes later. She was 62 when she died on April 4, 2010.
Her acting career began when she was 6 (1953), when her mother took her to an agent, and subsequent auditions. She conducted herself so well at the auditions, that her mother eventually felt that she didn’t need to accompany young Dawn to them, so she was allowed to attend them on her own, while her mother would sit in the car in the studio parking lots. (Naturally, A Minor Consideration would certainly not recommend that kind of action, in today’s entertainment climate.)
In 1963, she pursued a singing career with release of the single, “The Home of the Boy I Love.” Although it didn’t make it to the top of the Billboard charts, it is today considered to be a very valuable collector’s item, because of its rarity. You can hear her singing it, here: www.youtube.com. On the flip side of that same record was a tune called, “Mine ‘til Monday,” which can be heard, here:
When she was 12 (1959), she was the 975th girl to be auditioned (11 times) for her most famous role in the TV series, “National Velvet.” She had previously won supporting roles in the films “Machine Gun Kelly” (1958), “The FBI Story” (1959), and “Cash McCall” (1959). Later on, she’d portray the terrorized daughter in “Cape Fear” (1962).
She also appeared in guest-starring and supporting roles on countless TV series during the 1960s.
For those who are interested, more detailed information about Lori’s life and career can be found, here: http://en.wikipedia.org.
We join thousands of others in mourning the loss of Dawn Breitenbucher, who is survived by her son Brett Breitenbucher; twin sister Doree Thompson Kelly, her husband Kevin; sister Jean Marek and her husband Raymond; brother Stephen Menzer and his wife Anne; along with several nieces and nephews.