" Oh, I've had such a curious dream! " said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember, all those Strange Adventures of hers ... And when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, " It was a curious dream, dear, certainly; but now run in to your tea; it's getting late." So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.-- Alice's Adventure in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

NEW YORK, Monday - By Leonard Coulter (July 3, 1951)

It has certainly been a wonderful dream for Kathryn Beaumont up to now.  In her 13 years  this silver-tongued English girl with the fair hair,  freckled complexion and blue-grey eyes has had more Strange Adventures than befall most people in a lifetime.

Now, as the voice of Alice in Walt Disney's film version of Carroll's classic fairy tale, shortly to have its world premiere in London, Kathryn has both fame and fortune (a seven-year film contract running up to 350 a week). She arrives in England in the Queen Mary on Thursday.

The fictional Alice started her dream by falling down a rabbit-hole. Little Miss Beaumont began hers by bumping into two strange men while on her way home from school in Richmond, Surrey.

She didn't know them, nor they her, but they were M-G-M talent scouts.


That afternoon, when Kathryn got to her home in Old Oak-road, Acton, her mother scolded her for talking to strangers.

A few weeks later, her eight-year-old daughter, thanks to those two men, had a successful audition for films.

The Beaumonts had never seriously considered such a thing. Kathryn's father was a vocalist and musician, now leader of the B.B.C.'s Ken Beaumont Sextet. Her mother, Evelyn, had for a short time been a professional dancer.

Kathryn was born on June 27, 1938. When the blitz began and a section of the B.B.C. moved to North Wales, Ken and Evelyn Beaumont took their daughter out of Sheen Gate School and went there, too.

Kathryn, who is now a slender 4 ft.10 in. and weighs just 5st. 10lb., can't remember much about London. She has only a dim recollection of bombs and sirens.

She laughs merrily when she talks about her schooldays in North Wales. "They sent me to a Welsh school, and I couldn't understand a word they said. So I didn't learn  much." Later the Sheen Gate School evacuated to Wales and Kathryn rejoined her old class.

Her performances in school plays were exceptional, and  friends of the Beaumonts suggested she ought to be trained as an actress. But the idea was ignored. Then, after the war, when they returned to London, Kathy met the M-G-M men. She was signed to a contract, sent to Hollywood with her mother, coached for dramatic juvenile roles and given a minor part in "On An Island With You."

More than two years ago, when Mrs. Beaumont heard that Disney was hunting for a suitable voice for Alice -" not too English, not American " she had a recording made by Kathryn. From thousands of such recordings Disney's experts chose hers.

He put her under contract for two years and has since extended that to seven years. For many months she has been working in the Disney studios as Wendy in "Peter Pan," her next picture.

No Lipstick

Vivacious, alert. and not at all spoilt by her early success, 13-year-old Kathy spends every morning from nine to twelve at school in the studio. She earns good marks, but is worried because she knows so  little about English history.

"First thing I'm going to buy in London," she told me in New York before boarding the Queen Mary, " Is a really good history book. I love America, but I'm awfully proud of being British."

There is not the slightest trace of Americanism in her accent; although Kathryn has lived in the United States for the past five years without a visit to England, she seems typically English.

She has absorbed none of the teen-age habits of American girls, doesn't wear lipstick ("of course, I have to in the studio, but don't you think I'm too young to use it outside? ") is an ardent stamp collector ("I'm awfully short of Indian stamps") and wants more than anything else to learn to play the piano.

Her Hope

A self-possessed young lady, with nice manners and a ready smile, Kathryn Beaumont would never have been allowed to become a film star had she stayed in England. Her mother frankly admits that the British law against employment of children is highly desirable, but claims her daughter has not suffered because of her film work.

She does not allow Kathy to work after five o'clock in the afternoon, tries to keep her interested in normal things, and gave her a typewriter as a Christmas present last year. Kathy uses it to write short stories of her own. She can do 55 words a minute, and can drive a car.

Kathryn has one big hope for 1951: that her Daddy will give up working in England, and settle down with the family in California. Mrs. Beaumont, too, has that idea strongly in mind.