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‘To Kill A Mockingbird’s’ Scout addresses Kansas City audiences

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A most endearing figure from the 1962 classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, Mary Badham, a.k.a. Scout from the movie, comes to Kansas City’s Jewish Community Center and the White Theatre to appear in conjunction with the theatre’s upcoming production of "To Kill a Mockingbird," weekends, April 5-13, a JCC spokesman said.

The Jewish Community Center presents two special post-show talkbacks with Badham, Academy Award nominee as Scout, who will discuss the novel and its messages. She then answers questions from the audiences. The talkbacks will follow both the 7:30 p.m. performance on April 5 and the 2 p.m. performance on April 6, the spokesman said.

In 1962, the Academy Awards featured two young thespians, both vying for Best Supporting Actress honors, Mary Badham and Patty Duke. Both received accolades for being the youngest actresses to receive major nominations, and both appeared in black and white movies that remain classics, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Miracle Worker. Duke went on to win and continued as an actress for severla decades. Badham, on the other hand, competed a few more movies and occasionally accompanied Gregory Peck at speaking engagements after To Kill a Mockingbird.

At 10, Badham was chosen for the role of Scout in the movie starring Gregory Peck with no prior acting experience. But that lack of experience did not hold her back, as she won a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in the film. At the time, she was the youngest ever to receive such a nomination.

According to a bio provided to JCC, following To Kill a Mockingbird, Badham appeared in two other films, This Property Is Condemned with Robert Redford and Natalie Wood, and Let’s Kill Uncle. She also had TV appearances on Dr. Kildare and The Twilight Zone. She gave up show business as a teenager to concentrate on her education, but remained in close contact with Gregory Peck and sometimes accompanied him on his one-man show lecture tours and award ceremonies.

Badham said she remains busy lecturing to audiences internationally about the book and film. Her mission is to expand the knowledge of the film’s message of social injustice and to ensure each generation of students is able to experience the film’s impact. Recently, she was brought out of retirement to appear in the film Our Very Own with Allison Janney, Keith Carradine and Jason Ritter.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" takes to the White Theatre stage on April 5,10,12 at 7:30p and April 6 and 13 at 2p.m. Talkbacks are for ticket holders only to the performance that precedes it. Tickets are available at or 913-327-8054.