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Child Stars #2

Guest summersglow

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Sandy, Jay R. Smith did indeed appear in 36 of the Our Gang comedies, most of them silent, along with "Wheezer", "Farina", Joe Cobb (a chubby rascal), Jean Darling among many others. He was a skinny kid with freckles and wore glasses. He was hired to replace Mickey Daniels who also had freckles and was growing out of his role. Mr. Smith lived in Hawaii in the 1970's and last year participated in a documentary "The Hollywood Shorts Story" regarding the Our Gang comedies. This is the latest crime involving a member of the Our Gang comedies since I reported recently that the kid who played Waldo was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest aperlo, alan

Dear sir . I am an our gang fan. and i am with you on the cutting of the films.I am a 16mm film man and have tham in cans. Look at tham all the time uncut and seeing the thing that are going in film today.My god so thay call him a color kid. So what'That say more thing now in films that are bad. love alan aperlo

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Guest O'Hara, Brian Keith

I think the biggest mistake people make in looking at the lives and careers of childstars is that they forget that these are kids first, and childstars second. If you take good care of the kid, then the child star will turn out OK. If you don't then there is probably nothing you can do to stop a sad life of perpetual turmoil. http://www.geocities.com/bkohatl/AnissaJones.html

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  • 1 month later...

He was born in India on January 27, 1924 and he would have been 79 years old today.

His name was Sabu and he charmed us as "The Elephant Boy" in 1937. His name is rarely mentioned, if at all, on the boards and I would like to take this oppertunity to remember him today.

He also starred in "Drums" (1938), as Abu in "Thief of Bagdad" and as Mogli in "Jungle Book". He joined Jon Hall and Maria Montez in the lavish Technicolor adventures of

"Arabian Nights" (1942), "White Savage" (1943) and "Cobra Woman" (1944). Was also in the classic "Black Narcissus" (1947) with Deborah Kerr.

His last film was "A Tiger Walks" (1964) for Disney which did well at the boxoffice.

Sabu became an American citizen in 1944and served in the U.S. Airforce as a tail gunner.

He met his future wife while making "Song of India" (1949)and had two children Jasmine and Paul.

In 1963 a few days after getting a clean bill of health from his doctor he died of a heart attack at age 39.

In his short lifetime the little guy from India certainly accomplished a great deal and we were fortunate enough that he shared most of it with us.

Happy Birthday Sabu.

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I am going to get shot for this but, here goes...

a Margret O'Brian highlight video would be of her crying..that is all she could do well, she couldn't act as was with most child actors expecially those in the 30's, 40's and 50's.

They were "forced" on the public because someone thought they were cute and maybe they were but...that is as far as it goes.

The kids in Our Gang were at least somewhat real, until MGM took them over and made mini Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movies out of them.

"Hey gang, we can do the show here, in the barn..in the garage..somewhere"

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  • 1 month later...

I just received my latest copy of "Classic Images" magazine and was surprised to read of the death of former child star Jackie "Butch" Jenkins at age 63. He was the little freckled-faced kid who got into trouble with Margaret O'Brien in "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" and appeared with Mickey Rooney in "The Human Comedy" among other films.

Ironically he died on August 14, 2001 and his obit is just now appearing in the paper.



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  • 8 months later...

I know that this is probably stretching "children" to the limit--but to me, anyone under 18 years old is a child. Sorry.

But, I really thought that Gene Reynolds was a great teen actor. "The Penalty" was by far a great film and he gave one of the best kid performances I have ever seen. I also liked Bonita Granville in all those "Nancy Drew" films.

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  • 14 years later...

I  learned just a few weeks ago Donna Butterworth who starred in "The Family Jewels" (1965)

passed away this past March. She made only one other film with Elvis Presley.





RIP... February 23, 1956 – March 6, 2018

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