"Early to Die"
Episode 8.20 (Feb. 7, 1960)
Rod Taylor and Kim Hunter portrayed Fred and Edie Gauman,
parents coping with the knowledge that their of an 8-year-old son is
dying from leukemia.
The drama was based on a
Life magazine story about the
City of Hope
Hospital and tells of the unusual
therapy offered for the children and parents alike.
Newspaper reports leading up to the broadcast indicated that Shelley
Winters was scheduled to have the role of Edie Gauman, the child's
mother. Later, reports noted that Winters withdrew because she found
the story too depressing. Another report said that Winters "was
forced by illness to withdraw from the cast."
Kim Hunter was a
strong replacement. She was an Oscar winner, having received the Academy Award for Best
Supporting Actress for her performance as Stella Kowalski in 1951's
"A Streetcar Named Desire."
Rod played her husband, Fred Gauman. Donald Losby
portrayed their son, Scott Gauman.
In the story, Edie takes a long time to face up to the fact that her
8-year-old son, Scott, is not well. Her husband, Fred, insists that
they take the boy to a doctor. When they find out that Scott may
have leukemia, Edie's resistance to the facts is monumental.
is only after heart-breaking days at the famed City of Hope and the
hospital's unique therapy for parents and children that Edie begins
to accept the treasure of her child's brief life in full measure.