I was at Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles and in 1941, Shirley joined as a freshman. It was her first school experience with other students because up until that time she’d been tutored on the set at Fox. Her contract had run out, so she had the opportunity to go to a real school and interact with the girls. We wore uniforms at Westlake and she integrated very easily into the student body once she learned about uniform compliance. It turned out that I being a junior at the time was one of the people on the committee that had to watch them all go into morning assembly and I had to make sure that the skirts weren’t too short, and that there was absolutely no lipstick and no rouge. So once Shirley got the hang of having to take off her lipstick and rouge every morning, she was fine. But of course, this is something she’d been so used to all her life. She was very charming about it though.
I joined the military drill team at Westlake and was a captain, so she joined too and we both agreed it was really great fun because the drill team—we’re talking early war here, 1941. We agreed that it was really rhythmic movement, with dance steps, to a military tempo. So she had no problem getting the hang of that. The next year, we made a movie together, Miss Andy Rooney. I played the snotty girl and she was, of course, the leading lady. And Dickey Moore was in it, and he gave her her first on-screen kiss—a most chaste kiss.
We were the only two Guild Members at school and to have a chance to work together that way was really nice. But she was a good student, I remember the principal telling me about her—she was working when we were taking our chemistry tests, so she had to do them later, and she graduated with her class but my memory of it is that she had to come in alone and take her chemistry test in the lab—which she passed with flying colors.
Lockhart is an two-time Emmy Award-winning actress best known for her roles in television shows Lost in Space and Lassie.
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