Paul Petersen: Lollipops and Roses
Paul Petersen began performing as an eight-year-old as one of the original "Mousketeers" on the "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1955. He was fired within two weeks for disorderly conduct. He was later quoted as saying, "I didn't know a kid actor shouldn't act like a kid."
He also appeared in such movies as The Monolith Monsters (1957) and Houseboat (1958) opposite the likes of Cary Grant and Sophia Loren.
However, he achieved stardom as a teenage heartthrob on The Donna Reed Show, an ABC family sitcom that ran from 1958 to 1966. He played son Jeff Stone from the time he was twelve until he was twenty.
Petersen's fame brought recording offers and although his singing voice was limited, he had hit record singles with songs "She Can't Find Her Keys", "Amy" and "Lollipops and Roses".
From the liner notes:
In addition to being one of the most popular, young performers on TV, sixteen year-old Paul Petersen is well on his way to becoming one of the nation's top recording stars. Paul, who plays Donna Reed's son on "The Donna Reed Show" made his first record for Colpix only a few months ago. "She Can't Find Her Keys" was an immediate smash, and a sparkling new facet was added to an already impressive career. Since then, Paul has followed his initial hit with "What Did They Do Before Rock 'N' Roll?" (done as a duet with his TV sister, Shelley Fabares) and his current hit, which is the title tune of his first album. Level-headed Paul Petersen is unaffected by his disk success and still plans to become an engineer. The only seeming flaw in his plans is the disapproval, sure to be registered by his legion of fans. Included in "Lollipops and Roses" are his current and past clicks, as well as a flock of attractive old and new tunes that add up to easy listening pleasure for all record buyers.
Difficult times followed his disappearance from the Hollywood spotlight. As a result, Petersen returned to the university and obtained a degree in literature that helped him to write sixteen adventure novels.
In 1977 Petersen's autobiography, Walt, Mickey and Me: Confessions of the First Ex-Mouseketeer, was published.
In 1990, he founded the child-actor support group called A Minor Consideration to improve working conditions for child actors and to assist in the transition between working as a child actor and adult life, whether in acting or in other professions.