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Karolyn Grimes is mourning the loss of her co-star Jeanine Ann Roose.
The former child actress, best known for playing Little Violet Bick in 1946’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” passed away at her Los Angeles home after battling an infection, TMZ first reported on New Year’s Day. She was 84.
“She was a delightful woman,” Grimes, who famously played Zuzu Bailey in the holiday classic, told Fox News. “She was very intelligent. She grew up and only did one movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ She went on to do radio and was on ‘The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show’ for years.”
“She then eventually decided that it wasn’t really the way she wanted to live her life,” the 81-year-old shared. “So, she got an education and became a psychologist… She wanted to help humanity. She wanted to help people feel good about themselves… She really was a lovely lady.”
The movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, produced and directed by Frank Capra. Seen here from left, Jeanine Ann Roose as Little Violet Bick and Jean Gale as Little Mary Hatch.
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
Roose worked as a child actor in the ‘40s and ‘50s, landing her first acting job at age eight on “The Jack Benny Program,” Deadline reported. According to the outlet, she also appeared on “The Fitch Bandwagon.” The role of Little Violet was her only film credit.
The outlet noted that some of her radio appearances included “I Remember Mama” and “Mr. President.” She also starred in the unaired television pilot “Arabella’s Tall Tales.” However, her acting career officially came to an end when she enrolled in UCLA and became a Jungian psychoanalyst.
Grimes said that for years, Roose kept busy with her new career. Still, they later reconnected at a Missouri convention. Roose also served as a board member for Zuzu’s House, an organization that began in 2018 which aims to help homeless and vulnerable teens in Marshfield, Missouri.
“She helped so many people over the years,” said Grimes. “She became a dear friend of mine. She was simply wonderful.”
Karolyn Grimes starred as Zuzu Bailey in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
(Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Roose once reflected on her role in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and her decision to leave Hollywood.
“’It’s A Wonderful Life’ was the only movie that I was in, and it has been an amazing lifetime experience to have been in such a collectively meaningful picture,” said Roose, as quoted by Deadline. “[However], it became clear that my desire was specifically to help others who were struggling with finding meaning in their life — not unlike Clarence in the movie who helps George see the meaning of his life.”
Roose married Eugene Richard Auger in 1964, TMZ reported. The outlet noted she was surrounded by loved ones, including her son Joe, when she passed.
Clockwise from top: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Carol Coombs, Jimmy Hawkins, Larry Simms and Karolyn Grimes.
(Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)
“It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Frank Capra-directed film featuring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, has become a beloved holiday tradition across the globe.
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