First credit at age 4 as Jimmy Stewart’s son Tommy in It’s A Wonderful Life (1946);
Numerous TV roles including Shelley Fabares’ boyfriend on The Donna Reed Show (TV 1958-1966)
Transitioned from acting into producing and entertainment memorabilia after 1967.
SENECA FALLS — A new exhibit at the It’s A Wonderful Life Museum features the career of Jimmy Hawkins, the actor who played Tommy Bailey in the classic holiday movie.
Many believe Seneca Falls served as the basis for Bedford Falls in the 1946 movie after director Frank Capra reportedly stopped here en route to Auburn. Hawkins was chosen by Capra to play Tommy Bailey, the youngest of the Bailey children in the movie. He was 4 years old at the time.
In the 1960s, Hawkins had recurring roles in many family TV shows, including “The Donna Reed Show,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “My Three Sons,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Leave It To Beaver” and “Gidget.” He also co-starred with Elvis Presley in the films “Girl Happy” and “Spinout.”
In his late ’20s, Hawkins became a producer. He produced made-for-TV movies such as “Scout’s Honor” with Gary Coleman. He also produced the PBS Television special all-star radio version of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” featuring Sally Field, Bill Pullman and Nathan Lane. He has written five books about “It’s A Wonderful Life” and serves as an advisor to the Seneca Falls museum.