Waif (1915)

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Child actor Matty Roubert played the title role in Aurora Films' The Waif, while Matty's father William L. Roubert handled the direction. A rags-to-riches yarn in the Horatio Alger vein, the film casts its young star as a humble bootblack-turned-newspaper vendor. In this capacity, he is "discovered" by a Broadway producer, who transforms Master Roubert into a stage star. As luck would have it, the producer is the boy's long-lost father, though nobody finds this out until the last reel. Critics carped that Matty Roubert was a tad too slick and professional for his street-urchin characterization.