Childhood Star Who Worked with Jerry Lewis & Elvis Presley Dead at Age 62


Hollywood has tragically lost quite a few stars in the past year.

From pop culture icon Mary Tyler Moore and heartthrob Roger Moore to comic Jerry Lewis and beloved Heather Menzies-Ulrich, many movie stars have passed on.

However, their memories will forever be ingrained in our minds as we travel back to the past through movies and television shows.

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Another actress has joined the ranks of passed on beloved actors after her death on March 6.

Golden Globe-nominated child star Donna Butterworth has died at the age of 62 in Hilo, Hawaii from an unspecified illness.

Butterworth starred alongside Elvis Presley in the 1966 film “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.”

At the age of 10, she played the character Jan Kohana and sang three songs in the movie, one of which was a duet with Presley.

Butterworth told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that Presley was a “fabulous human being.”

“He always tried to have a lot of fun on the set. So, the four months that we all were together in Hawaii and of course at Paramount studios in Hollywood, he was just a great guy to be around.”

She recalled being heartbroken after hearing of Presley’s death in 1977.

“My first instinct was to run to my closet and grab my scrapbook and open it to the page where he and I were together,” Butterworth said. “Then I just cried.”

She also acted with Jerry Lewis in the 1965 film “The Family Jewels.”
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The film was written and directed by Lewis, who also starred in it, and earned Butterworth a Golden Globe nomination for “Most Promising Newcomer.”

In addition to her most noteworthy roles, she also appeared on “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” “The Hollywood Palace with Bing Crosby,” “The Andy Williams Show,” The Dean Martin Show,” and “The Danny Kay Show.”

She also learned to play the ukulele at a very young age and performed with Hawaiian legend Don Ho.

Butterworth will be truly missed. Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith