Donna Butterworth dead; former child star who worked with Elvis and Jerry Lewis was 62

Donna Butterworth, a Golden Globe-nominated child star who worked alongside Elvis Presley and Jerry Lewis, has died at age 62.

Butterworth died March 6 in a medical center in Hilo, Hawaii, due to an unspecified illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Her death was made public on Tuesday. 

Butterworth is well known for her role in the 1966 film “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.” Butterworth was 10 years old when she co-starred alongside the legendary Presley. She sang three songs in the movie, including a duet with “the King.”


Butterworth spoke to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 and gushed about working with Presley, whom she called a “fabulous human being.”

"Elvis was a fabulous professional, but he was also a fabulous human being, because he was so comfortable with everyone," Butterworth said. "He always tried to have a lot of fun on the set. So, the four months that we all were together in Hawaii and of course at Paramount studios in Hollywood, he was just a great guy to be around."

Donna Butterworth_you tube1

Donna Butterworth co-starred alongside Elvis Presley and Jerry Lewis.  (YouTube)

Butterworth was also known for her role in the 1965 film “The Family Jewels,” which was written and directed by Lewis, who also starred in it. Her role in the comedy led to a Golden Globe nomination for “Most Promising Newcomer.”

The actress learned to play the ukulele at a young age and performed with Hawaiian legend Don Ho. She also appeared in variety programs such as “The Andy Williams Show,” “The Dean Martin Show” and “The Danny Kay Show.”

Butterworth also performed alongside fellow child actor Ron Howard in a 1966 episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.”

Following her performance with Howard, Butterworth quit acting.

The actress said she regretted not talking to Presley after his highly publicized concert “Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite.” Butterworth was at the famous concert.


She recalled she was heartbroken after hearing the news of Presley’s death in 1977.

"My first instinct was to run to my closet and grab my scrapbook and open it to the page where he and I were together," she said. "Then I just cried."

Later in her life, Butterworth became a professional singer, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. She is survived by her mother and brother.