Then: David Stollery (pictured on stage with Victor Moore, a few years before appearing on The Mickey Mouse Club) gained fame as rich-kid Marty in the Club‘s popular serial The Adventures of Spin and Marty. Along with on- and off-screen buddy Tim Considine, he became an instant pre-teen pinup in the dramatic segments about a group of kids at the Triple R Ranch summer camp. Groomed from birth for show business, he was introspective and obedient, the perfect balance to Tim’s devil-may-care approach. “My mother’s the one who got me into the business,” David explains. “I’ve had a job since I was 6. So that’s why I keep working, because that’s what I know how to do. If you start when you’re 6, you learn how to show up and be quiet and take direction.” He’d won accolades for his dramatic work in a 1953 Broadway revival of On Borrowed Time and costarred with Tim in the 1954 film Her Twelve Men. But he, along with Tim, was consistently shocked by the popularity of Spin and Marty. “Neither of us had been on a series, and we didn’t comprehend the power of the repeat viewer,” David says. “When we realized how popular it was, we went, ‘My God,’ because we knew that we weren’t in any great theatrical production. We understood that it was entertainment, kind-of this cheesy show geared to the lowest common denominator of the audience. And yet there was this tremendous reaction to it.”
Now: A skilled artist and avid car enthusiast dating back to his Spin and Marty days, David merged his two greatest passions and became a renowned automotive designer. (He’s pictured here with one of his recent works.) “Acting, for me, was a job,” he says, “something I had to do and didn’t have a choice. I just did it, as well as I could and correctly. But when I had the choice, I went, ‘Okay, this is what I want instead.’” He used his childhood earnings to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, then took a job with General Motors in Detroit in 1964. His only forays back into Hollywood were building the sets for sci-fi television series Seaquest DSV in 1993 and shooting a cameo with Tim for a TV movie update of Spin and Marty in 2000. He now runs his own company, Industrial Design Research, in Orange County, California.
For more on the Mouseketeers’ lives on The Mickey Mouse Club and beyond, check out my book Why? Because We Still Like You.