PASSINGS: Shirley Mills Hanson, Lorraine Chargin

Shirley Mills Hanson

Child actress in ‘Grapes of Wrath’

Shirley Mills Hanson, 83, a former child actress who played young Ruthie Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath,” director John Ford’s classic 1940 film based on the John Steinbeck novel, died March 31 of complications of pneumonia at a convalescent hospital in Arcadia, said stepdaughter Deniece Zwick.

Born April 8, 1926, in Tacoma, Wash., Hanson moved with her family to Southern California in 1937 to break into the movies. A crying scene with Gloria Jean in the 1939 musical “The Under-Pup” prompted Ford to test her for the role of Ruthie Joad.

Among other films in which she appeared as Shirley Mills are “Young People” and “Miss Annie Rooney,” both starring Shirley Temple. Hanson also was a teenage member of Universal’s jitterbug dance troupe the Jivin’ Jacks and Jills in the ‘40s and worked as a fashion and advertising model.


After later working as a nightclub performer and stage personality, Hanson became a female pioneer in selling data-processing services in the 1960s and became the first female president of the Data Processing Management Assn. in Los Angeles.

She then became vice president of marketing and public relations for Management Applied Programming, a major data processing center, for which she started a division for nonprofit organizations.

Hanson also launched her own wedding planning company, A Party for All Seasons.

She married Mel Hanson in 1977; he died in a car accident 18 years later.

Lorraine Chargin

Co-promoter of boxing shows

Lorraine Chargin, 79, who co-promoted hundreds of fights with her husband, former Olympic Auditorium boxing matchmaker Don Chargin, died of cancer Tuesday at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, Calif.

The Chargins, longtime residents of the San Fernando Valley who later moved to Cambria, Calif., promoted boxing shows in San Francisco, Sacramento, Reno and elsewhere.

They were fixtures at major fights, including the most lucrative card in history -- Oscar De La Hoya versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 -- which they co-promoted.

“They were synonymous,” veteran boxing publicist Bill Caplan said. “Don did the matchmaking; Lorraine did the detail work.”

Lorraine Chargin was strong-willed and feisty. She famously stood up to brash promoter Don King when he barged into Arco Arena in Sacramento without a credential in 1995 to watch future heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

“If you don’t start acting like a gentleman, I’ll throw you out of here,” she told King.

The Chargins presided over the careers of champion boxers Bobby Chacon, Tony Lopez, Willie Jorrin and Loreto Garza, along with respected heavyweights Henry Clark and Eddie Machen.

Recently, the Chargins advised Roberto Garcia, who landed a date against Antonio Margarito in his comeback fight May 8 in Mexico.

Lorraine Chargin was born Dec. 4, 1930, in New Haven, Conn.

-- times staff and wire reports