Actor Donnie Dunagan

Donald “Donnie” Roan Dunagan (born August 16, 1934) is an American former child actor and retired United States Marine Corps drill instructor. He is best known for portraying the young son of Baron Frankenstein in Son of Frankenstein and for providing the voice of young Bambi in Bambi (1942).


Dunagan was born in San Antonio, Texas, but his family soon moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where they struggled with poverty. There at the age of three-and-a-half he won a talent contest prize of $100. Spotted by a studio talent scout, the family moved to Hollywood, where Dunagan appeared in a series of films and soon became his family’s main breadwinner. His career ended after he provided the voice for the young fawn in Walt Disney’s Bambi.

By the age of 13, Dunagan was living in a boarding house and working as a lathe operator. In 1952, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He became the Marines’ youngest-ever drill instructor and served three tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded several times, before finally retiring in 1977 with the rank of Major.

For his service he received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Dunagan kept his acting career a secret while serving in the Marines but in 2004 he was located and exhaustively interviewed by horror film historian Tom Weaver in a special “Donnie Dunagan issue” of Video Watchdog magazine. Dunagan is retired and is currently living in San Angelo, Texas, with his wife.


  • Mother Carey’s Chickens (1938) as Peter Carey (film debut)
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939) as Peter von Frankenstein
  • The Forgotten Woman (1939) as Terry Kennedy Jr.
  • Tower of London (1939) as Baby Prince
  • Vigil in the Night (1940) as Tommy (uncredited)
  • Meet the Chump (1941) as Little Boy (uncredited)
  • Bambi (1942) as Young Bambi (voice, final film role)
  • External Links

    Actor Donnie Dunagan – Wikipedia

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