Sharyn Moffett, Child Star in ‘Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House’ and ‘The Body Snatcher,’ Dies at 85

by Samantha Whidden

Sharyn Moffett, the child star in films like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home and The Body Snatcher has reportedly passed away. She was 85-years-old at the time of her death.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sharyn Moffett died from natural causes in a Pittsburgh hospital on December 23rd. Her brother, Gregory Moffett, confirmed the news about the late star’s passing. Her full name was Patricia Sharyn Moffett. She was born on September 12, 1936, in Alameda, California. Her mother was Gladyce Robert and she danced in the Dolores de Rio-starring RKO musician Flying Down to Rio. Moffett’s father, Bob, sang in a traveling show fronted by Wizard of Oz’s Billie Burke. Bob was also honored by the Society of Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. 

Eventually, Sharyn Moffett’s parents moved to Beverly Hills when she was a toddler. She eventually appeared in the 1942 Three Stooges’ horse-racing short Even an IOU. She then signed with the RKO in 1944 and made her feature debut in My Pal Wolf. 

Sharyn Moffett notably made appearances in 12 features during her acting career from 1944 to 1951 (ages 8 to 15). She also appeared in A Boy, a Girl, and a Dog, and Rusty Leads the Way. Her last onscreen appearance was in NBC’s 1955 Fireside Theatre. She eventually marries her husband James Forrest. The couple spends more than 50 years as church ministers. She even earned her masters in Church History from the Trinity School for Ministry in Pittsburgh. 

Moffett survived with Gregory along with brother Robert and sisters Heidi and Annalisa; children Gillian, Jonathan, and Jennifer; grandchildren Kati, Becca, Dan, Melissa, Mike, Joshua, Lydia, Peter, Zach, and Jake; and great-grandchildren Bobby, Connor, Anneliese, and Nathan. Her husband passed away in 2011.

Sharyn Moffett’s Brother Opens Up About His Big Sister’s Acting Career 

During an interview with Social Writers Showcase, Sharyn Moffett’s brother, Gregory, opened up about his big sister’s acting career. “My older sister, Sharyn Moffett was in her first film before I was born,” he explained. “Our mom taught both of us to read pretty well by the time we were 4, and I would run lines with Sharyn when she was working to help her learn her lines.”

Like Sharyn Moffett, Gregory was also an actor. He shared that his first speaking part was in one of his sister’s films, The Judge Steps Out. “I was 4, and the scene was a children’s birthday party, my line was ‘Can I have a piece of cake?’ Do you know how many ways there are to ask that question?”

In regards to how he felt about old films and television shows having an appeal, Moffett added, “The first reason given is almost always that great films and performances deserve to be remembered. Another is that those movies and TV shows are a great link to our country’s history. They also serve as ‘life bookmarks’ for all of us.”