An extremely rare autograph on an Album Page of a Allen "Farina" Hoskins aka Farina from Our Gang. Item has been certified by JSA with certifcation number v06252 and will come with the JSA certification and matching JSA sticker on the back of the autograph. Nickname: Farina, Maple (in Saturday Morning).
(father), Mother (name unknown), Mrs. Jackson (aunt), Tom (uncle), Ernie Jr. (aka Sunshine Sammy), Booker T. (Bacon), Pineapple, Hector, Thermos, Trellis (brothers), Mango, Pleurisy (sisters). Clubs: Cluck Cluck Klams, 4th Ave.
Athalatick Club, Junior Police Squad, Junior Fire Squad 2, Royle Secret Order Of Lion-Harted Nights, Manhattan Club. Last Short: (official) Fly My Kite, (cameo) Fish Hooky. Bio: Farina is the little brother of Sunshine Sammy Morrison, although due to his unswept pigtails and ragamuffin clothes as a kid, many thought he was actually a girl, and at times, the gang would forget and refer to him as her. " Farina follows his brother along in delivering the laundry that their mother does and is sometimes called "Maple" in Saturday Morning as his brother is called "Sorghum. Working as a page at the City Dog Show in Pups Is Pups and getting the gang to pay two bits to watch a boxing match between Joe Cobb and Chubby Chaney in Boxing Gloves.Farina is first seen attending Adams Street Grammar School in Seeing The World with Mr. Finlayson as his teacher and later Miss MacGillicuddy and Miss Crabtree. Initially, Farina and the kids get so upset at losing Miss MacGillicuddy that they plan practical jokes to drive away Miss Crabtree in order to get their teacher back. Farina brings sneezing powder, but their schemes fail when Jackie unwittingly confesses their pranks to Miss Crabtree on the way to school. Despite this hazardous start, Farina and the rest of class get to appreciate their new teacher. Farina also appears for some reason at Mother Malone's Boarding School in Boys To Board and Happyland Home Orphanage in Bring Home The Turkey. In most accounts, they actually live on the West Coast near Los Angeles. He and the gang sometimes play baseball and football and ride Johnny's engine-less taxi in One Wild Ride, stopping only after running into a watermelon stand. Farina loves watermelon (The Cobbler), but he has weird dreams when he eats too much.
In Seein' Things, he has a nightmare that giant versions of his brother and friends are chasing him. At times, the gang pretends they have jobs.
Farina joins them in as junior police officers in Official Officers and becomes a part of Joe Cobb's fire department in The Fourth Alarm! After Ernie goes to high school, Farina basically tags along with the other kids, sometimes pairing up with a certain kid. For instance, Farina is frequently paired up with Joe.
Farina is also sometimes paired up with Jackie Condon. Beginning with the film Thundering Fleas, Farina is paired up with the new kid in town, Scooter Lowry. After Scooter moves to yet another town, Farina sometimes pairs up with Harry Spear. Farina loves animals and has several of them during his childhood. He has a dog named Magnolia in Thundering Fleas, a dog named Pansy who eats fireworks in The Glorious Fourth and later adopts a fighting monkey in Monkey Business.Thrice in his childhood, he confuses skunks as kittens in Dogs Of War! Big Business and Ten Years Old. His favorite pet is probably Pete The Pup. Farina is also highly superstitious, making him prone to practical jokes in Spook-Spoofing and getting scared by Chubby, Jean, and Harry (all of who are dressed up in spooky Halloween cosutmes) in Bouncing Babies. He thinks an automated house in Shootin' Injuns is haunted and when Jackie Cooper appears at his window in When The Wind Blows, he thinks he's a ghost. He's got a big heart and helps out Grandmother Mack at her market in Helping Grandma and watches over Stymie when he shows up in town in Little Daddy. Years later though, Farina and Joe Cobb are still fishing together in Fish Hooky. I wanna work in th' movies, an' earn fi' bucks. Farina in Dogs Of War!
Farina - Doesn't know what the lodge is all about - But is in favor of anything. Title Narration about Farina in Lodge Night. "Hey Mister - Yo' dropped somethin'" - Farina in a whisper in Seein' Things.
Ah eat mush from now on! - Farina in Seein' Things. "Yo' all time followin' us men--" Farina to Powder-Puff in The Sun Down Limited.
Now see - You almost got run over! Farina to Andy in The Sun Down Limited.
Y' didn't break my watch - It's still cluckin'! - Farina in Official Officers. Go an' stay in yo' own back ya'd! - - Farina in Your Own Back Yard. Whassa matter - Yo' horse get a punkture?
- Farina in One Wild Ride. Ah did own him - But Ah decided to go out o' the monkey business.
How I know they was yo'r pants - They was loose. Farina to Police Officer played by Oliver Hardy in Thundering Fleas. Who yo' is - An' where yo' from? -- - Farina in Thundering Fleas.
Why is ghosts allus white - Ain't they no colored ghosts? Colored people can't be ghosts; how could you see them in the dark?
- Mary to Farina in Shivering Spooks. - Farina on arriving in Paris in Seeing The World. "Pick'em small, brother -- Pick'em small --" - Farina in Seeing The World. "I'm gonna save my noze -" - Joe Cobb to Farina."Ah wanna save mah head - Ah need it -" - Farina to Joe Cobb in Telling Whoppers. "Uncle Tom, They gonna cut our heads off an eat us for breakfast, cum an get us Farina Mango Plurisy" - note written by Farina in Bring Home The Turkey. I think he's a Airdale - He's been livin' on air.
Farina in Love My Dog. He say he gonna whissle the whole police force after us! -- Farina in Tired Business Men.
"Ah've known babies to go fo' years an' years without washin' " - Farina in Baby Brother. Yo' done it fo' Daniel -- Do it fo' me! Run fo' your life, woman! - Farina to Mango in Olympic Games. You sure started a conflagration!Ah didn't start no congregation - Yo' done it! - Farina to Joe in The Glorious Fourth. Farina to his chauffeur in The Smile Wins. "Ah saw him tryin' to commit sideways - We better hurry -" - Farina in Dog Heaven. Ah'll rub this Mumbo-Jumbo charm on yo', an' yo'll wake up dead! Not me - I ain't pattin' no dead folks in the face with a spade! When you grow up, you can be my chauffeur. Yo' keep on stickin' me with pins, an' Ah won't never grow up! - Farina to Jean in Barnum & Ringling, Inc. Farina grumbles after getting egg on his face in Railroadin.
- Farina whining after getting egg on his face a second time in Railroadin. Now there's a couple of real fighting men!
- Farina in Boxing Gloves. Yeah, I guess I'll take it...Lay it on that box over yonder. Doggone, someone's always messin' me up! - Farina in Shivering Shakespeare. Boy, look at that man's face.
Boy, you sure don't smell like no violet! - Farina to Wheezer in Bear Shooters. Somebody going to get something they ain't expecting.Believe me, married life is tough! - Farina in School's Out. I'm never gonna get married, and I'm going to bring my children up the same way. You all's just love sick, that's all. That's a silly idea, to dress a chicken.
He's all right, Grandma! I got him by the hand! - Farina, chest deep in muddy water on the whereabouts of Stymie in Fly My Kite. Farina appeared in 107 Our Gang shorts (including Fish Hooky and The Stolen Jools), more than any other Little Rascal in the series. Both Farina and Buckwheat were named after types of cereal.
Farina's last name is never mentioned in the series, except for the inference that it is "Bacon" by means of his being Booker T. Bacon's little brother in Fire Fighters, if that toddler is the same character as in Allen Hoskins' other appearances. Our Gang Regular, Male Rascals, Deceased Rascals, and 4 more. Place of Birth: Boston, Masachusetts.Date of Death: July 26, 1980. Place of Death: Oakland, California. Last Short: Fly My Kite.
Number of Shorts: 105 (more than any other Little Rascal). History: Allen Clayton Hoskins Jr. Was one of the two most popular Rascals in the Silent Films along with Joseph Cobb. He was discovered at two years of age by Ernie Morrison and his father in the Watts District of Los Angeles, the two of them becoming partners in the Our Gang series.Hoskins was nick-named after a breakfast cereal. Hal Roach called him "one of the finest natural actors" in the series. Allen went on to work in all but two of the silent films and two seasons of talkies, lasting long after Ernie left the series, but before long, even Allen started showing signs of no longer being a child star. He had been the main star for much longer than any other character in Our Gang and his departure left a vacuum that would not be filled until Spanky came along to fill the void.
His last role as a Rascal would be in Fly My Kite, but reappeared out of the series in The Stolen Jools, a promotional stunt featuring brief appearances by over fifty stars including the current Our Gang members. His sister, Jannie Hoskins, appeared in more than twenty shorts with him. In 1932, Allen emceed a Voice of Hollywood short in 1932 and co-starred in "You Said a Mouthful" with Joe E. Brown and "The Mayor of Hell" with James Cagney.
Working in Vaudeville, Allen showed up for several Our Gang reunions, but it was not until he joined the Army that he finally grew his mustache. After the war, he tried to get a part in the Amos And Andy series and later majored in drama at Los Angeles City College.Feeling he had to eat regularly, Allen became a licensed psychological technician in San Francisco. He dropped out of sight for a semblance of a normal life, but in 1975, he became an inductee into The Black Filmmaker's Hall of Fame. In 1980, shortly before he was to appear in an Our Gang reunion in Hollywood, he quietly passed away from cancer. He was survived by his two children and his sister, Jannie Hoskins, who had starred in Our Gang with him and had since become a postal worker in Northern California. She passed away in 1996.
The Stolen Jools (1931) - with Matthew Beard, Norman Chaney, Dorothy DeBorba, Oliver Hardy, Robert Hutchins, Mary Ann Jackson, Stan Laurel, and Shirley Jean Rickert. You Said A Mouthful (1932). The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933). The Mayor of Hell (1933) - with Andrew Shuford.
The Gorgeous Hussy (1936) (uncredited). After The Thin Man (uncredited) (1936). Allen Hoskins, Played Farina in Our Gang.
From A Story of Our Gang by Eleanor Packer. These film shorts became better known as the Our Gang comedies. Because Hoskins was so young when he started, he outlasted many of the other players and provided stability to the films over the nine years he was in the cast.
After he became an adult, Allen Hoskins was realistic. When he saw that his career as an actor was drying up, he worked odd jobs until he put himself through school to become a psychiatric technician.
He had a very successful career in the San Francisco Bay area, working with adults and children with special needs. As he told a reporter who inquired whether he was disappointed to leave Hollywood: I preferred a job that allowed me to eat regularly.
Allen Hoskins was born in Boston in 1920. His parents moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter, because by 1922, Hoskins was playing Farina in Hal Roachs Our Gang films. The name Farina was taken from a breakfast cereal that became popular in the early part of the twentieth century.Hal Roach decided to costume baby Farina in gender neutral clothing. This heightened interest in the character, and it was convenient. If a baby boy was needed for the plot, Farina was a boy. If they really needed a girl, prestoFarina was a girl. As Farinas character settled in, his standard costume was a patchwork shirt and his hair tied with rags. Hoskins played what people of the day referred to as a pickaninny, a term for young black children. It was often used derogatorily, but in Hal Roachs comedies, stereotypes were used as shorthand. Two-reeler comedies were filmed and packaged in only four to five days. By using stock charactersthe fat boy, the pretty girl, the tom boy, the baby, etc.
Hal Roach and Our Gang. The story goes that Hal Roach was in his office in Culver City when he got the idea for Little Rascals. During an idle moment, he noticed a group of neighborhood kids playing in a vacant lot. The littlest child had the biggest stick, and the older children were trying to figure out how to get it away from him.Roach saw plot line possibilities. He also already had his first cast member. At Roachs request, the studio had signed a young black boy, Ernie Sunshine Sammy Morrison, to be in a movie. The movie flopped but Morrison was still under contract. If Roach build a film around kids and pets, this solved the issue of what to do with Morrison. He became the first of what were initially known as Hal Roachs Rascals.
Because the film premise was untested, Roach wanted to gather his cast simply and easily. He invited employees to bring in their kids to try out. Allen Hoskins was pulled in as a friend of a friend. By age two, he had won the hearts of audience and critics.
Allen Hoskins FarinaAs the comedies became popular, Roach and the gang needed to turn out more and more completed shows. As early as 1923, they were producing 14 short films per year. Studio employee Eleanor Lewis Packer wrote a storybook-like treatment of life on the set. A Day with Our Gang was published in 1929 and gives an excellent view of how the Our Gang series was put together.Packer relates the story of a day when the kids are filming a scene in a park. The childrens day begins in the studio school, run by teacher Fern Carter. A bus takes them all to the park.
Director Robert McGowan meets them at the bus, and they all gather around him on the grass to hear about the story they are to create. Now heres where we have a lot of fun, he promised. Were going to play Indian today. See, here are all the bright feathers I brought for Harry and Farina to wear.
The other children get to be settlers. Even Hal Roach probably had no idea there were black cowboys like Bill Pickett. McGowan explained the story he wants the children to play. Our Gang ad for Kelloggs cereal, 1929. Films them as they carry out their version of the plot.Pal the Pup is an important part of every story. When the film crew takes a break, Mrs. She gathers the kids to sit at a table she has set up so they can continue their class work. Many years later, she noted that Allen Hoskins was one of her best students. While this overall filming process seems simple enough, it took its toll on McGowan. After a few years of working with the kids, McGowan had to take extra vacation for nervous exhaustion.
For another story about an artist who worked with animals and required extra vacation, please read about animal photographer Harry Frees. The comedy series was a hit. Eventually 106 Our Gang film shorts were made. Roach saw that he needed a continuing supply of young kids, so he brought in younger versions of each character. Hoskins would grow into the part that Ernie Morrison, the older black boy, played.And as Hoskins grew up, a new cast member, Matthew Stymie Beard, joined Our Gang to absorb Farinas role. Roach considered Allen Hoskins to be a gifted natural actor, so it was fortunate for both Roach and Hoskins that Allen started early and grew slowly. In 1929, the comedies became talkies, but Hoskins was just as wonderful with sound as he had been in the silent films. A late growth spurt permitted him to remain in the role of Farina for nine full years.
Allen Hoskins as Farina provided stability to the cast, and he was well paid for it. It was substantially more than most people in the country were making at that time. Child actors almost inevitably hit a rocky period when they arent cute youngsters anymore, but arent ready for adult roles either. Allen Hoskins faced this reality. Initially, he and his sister, Jannie, toured in vaudeville.After vaudeville, Hoskins continued to audition for film work. From 1932-36, he appeared in seven movies, but nothing materialized from it. In 1940, he signed up for the Army.
His military record shows that he attended one year of college before enlisting. He was stationed in Monterey, California, as a private in Company D, 47th Quartermaster regiment. His permanent assignment was as an electrician, and when the war began, he and his unit he served in the Philippines. He also was targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee that was trying to root out communism. As a teenager, Hoskins attended dances sponsored by the Young Communist League and the Socialist Workers Party.
The committee took his passport, and like many others in Hollywood, he was blacklisted. Hoskins noted that it didnt matter anyway. Moved to San Francisco Area.In 1952, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area. He took odd jobs Allen Hoskins Farinawashing dishes and painting houses while he attended school to train as a psychiatric technician. There was no additional income for the actors who appeared in Our Gang. Residuals were not paid to actors during the era when Hoskins worked; no one foresaw television and the re-run value of the films they created.
In the Bay area, he also met his wife with whom he raised six children. From 1955 until his death from cancer in 1980, Allen Hoskins created for himself an admirable career in the rehabilitation field.
He began at Sonoma State Hospital. By 1963, he was director of the Sheltered Workshop, an employment program that provided work for people with special needs. Later on, he worked for the Association for Retarded Children of Southern Alameda and was a vocal advocate for the disabled. In the evenings, he devoted time to the Experimental Group Young Peoples Theatre Company, a group he formed. In 1975 he received the Oscar Micheaux Award given by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
Hoskins was particularly touched by this as the award had previously been given to luminaries such as Ruby Dee, Eddie Anderson, Eartha Kitt, and Quincy Jones. As early as the late 1950s, reporters pursued the black actors from Our Gang, asking if they were complicit in furthering stereotypes. Hoskins never went along with that line of thinking. When the atmosphere of the era is considered, it puts the comedies and the actors in a different light.
On February 10, 1927, The Hollywood Vagabond gave a great review to one of the Our Gang comedies and then wrote. The tremendous round of applause that greeted Farinas work in Save My Dog! When we saw it at a local theater the other evening was ample proof that the public is always ready to recognize exceptional work on the part of any player.
Two years later there is this from Photoplay (March 1929): Little Farina is a great argument for the development of the latent talent of the negro that has never been given adequate voice in the photoplay chorus. Allen Hoskins FarinaIn about 1930, a photo of the four black cast members who were currently playing in Our Gang, was captioned, Our Gangs present quartet of little blackberries. Clearly, bigotry was part of the day. Our Gang Racism Addressed in Current Day.In December, 2011, the academic publication, The Journal of American Culture, ran an extensive article, Together but Unequal: Race and Education in Our Gang, written by Heather A. Our Gang presented a consistent image of interracial childhood friendships, but in order to maintain its appeal with largely white audiences, it did so by demeaning the black characters. Thus did it reveal a mirror-image truth of the Plessy era referring to Plessy v. Ferguson, or separate but equal: that mass culture only portrayed blacks and whites as together if the one was rendered as unequal to the other.
On some level, Weavers comments may be true, but I would add that the stereotypes and the treatment of the black characters grew largely out of the industry and the job at hand. Roach needed a quick way to tell a story and get a laugh. In one newspaper interview, Hoskins is clearly shaken by the fact that he has just filmed a segment where he was involved in a scene where he was tossed around in a washing machine. He had been told it was like a roller coaster, and he found it was nothing like that.In the scene I located that matches this description, the washing machine is open, and it does look a bit like a fun ride. However, this may not be the scene was initially filmed, or Farina may have been subject to motion sickness and felt ill afterward. While the pretty little blonde girl would never have been placed in that environment, the fat boy was certainly similarly abusedall in the name of making a comedy quickly.
Today the film industry abides by legal guidelines regarding employment of children and the use of animals. In the early days, no one at all ever thought about it. When Hoskins was confronted by reporters asking about the issue, his response was measured: The message, I think, was that were all just peoplesometimes good, sometimes bad.And this response was not because he didnt think about race: Had he lived two more weeks, he would have been feted at his 60th birthday party by a performance of the Experimental Group Young Peoples Theater. They were scheduled to perform a play Hoskins wrote about the about the epic struggle to integrate American schools. Hoskins was trapped in the time period, but he thought very deeply about where he stood. Allen Clayton Hoskins (August 9, 1920 July 26, 1980) was an American child actor, most famous for portraying the character of Farina in 105 Our Gang short films from 1922 to 1931. After Our Gang: Vaudeville and other work. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1975. Born in Boston in 1920, Allen Clayton Hoskins was just one year old when his tenure with Our Gang began. His character stayed in the series through the silent years and the transition to talking pictures, and he left the series in 1931 at the age of eleven. With his pigtailed hair and patchy outfits, Farina resembled a pickaninny in the tradition of the character Topsy from Uncle Tom's Cabin,  but as the character became more popular, and as Allen Hoskins got older, Farina developed his own personality separate from that of Topsy. The name "Farina", derived from a type of cereal, was chosen because its gender was ambiguous: As a toddler, Farina was portrayed as both a boy and a girl, sometimes both genders in the same film. He was born in Boston in 1920, but soon afterward his parents, Clayton H. Fortier Hoskins, moved the family to Los Angeles and in 1922 his acting career began.
Variety, the magazine devoted to entertainment, reported that his parents divorced in 1926. The Our Gang comedies were created by Hal Roach Studios, located in Culver City, California.
School was required for child actors. Hoskins and the other Roach studio children attended school on the lot at the "Little Red School House". The children were taught by Fern Carter.
In 1959, a retrospective article about Fern Carter and her career as a teacher in Hollywood's "Little Red School House" was published.  The article explained that she was teaching there when the series began in 1921 and taught over 300 students in a career that lasted 23 years. She often said that Farina was the brightest student she ever had.
The Studio was a family affair and often relatives, staff and other Roach Studio stars appeared in cameo roles or as extras in many of the films including Harold Lloyd, Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Ernie Morrison's father, Ernie Morrison Sr. And Fern Carter's daughter, Wadell Carter.
In 1929 Hoskins' aunt and guardian on set, Edith Fortier, also appeared as an extra in two films: #82 "Noisy Noises" as a pedestrian and #89 "Small Talk" as a domestic. In addition to acting in the Our Gang short films, the children also made personal appearances.In 1927, the Oakland Tribune published an article about such an appearance. Countless millions of boys and girls have seen Our Gang comedies but this good luck doesn't befall orphans very often. East Bay orphans, however, are going to get their chance to see these popular screen stars in person...
During his time in the Gang, Farina became both the series' anchor and its most popular character. While he was not the first black child actor (or even the first black Our Gang kid), Farina became arguably the first black child star.
When he finally outgrew the series, he was replaced by Matthew Beard in 1931. A young Hoskins in Dogs of War. When his career in Our Gang comedies ended because of his age, several newspaper columnists took notice.
In 1931, Columnist Jack Lait wrote the following in his Highlights of Broadway, from the Circle to the Square column. Have you ever wondered what became of Farina, that little black dish that used to take all the punishment in the Our Gang comedies? Lemme spill: Eight years ago Allen Clayton Hoskins, dressed as a girl pickaninny started getting bumps and stopping pies. Millions all over the world knew and liked him.
Now he is 11 years old and is no longer cute so he can't scrabble a dime out of Hollywood. Recently, New York Vaudeville agents were sounded out on a proposed act to be played by Farina and his sister, Mango. Photoplay announces he is definitely through in the films. On the same date, a column, with no byline, was published in The Register of Sandusky, Ohio. A star known the country over at the age of three and now eleven years old, flung on the discard.That's the story of Farina, otherwise known as Allen Clayton Hoskins, the negro boy who suffered outrages in the "Our Gang" comedies not the least of those outrages being the necessity of dressing up as a girl even to kinky pigtails. Nine years ago there was practically nothing to this tot but huge rolling eyes and a mass of kinky woolen hair.
It was christened "Farina" dressed in rags and immediately hit in the face with a custard pie. Today a spindly colored boy of eleven, Master Hoskins is graduated from the Gang because he is no longer little and cute.Farina fascinated us because he is the perfect incarnation of poor witless man's struggles against inscrutable and very rough and dirty fate. What a sucker Farina's pictures made of the silly movie "plots". At least he was well paid for his bruises of body and soul.
True his mother hopes to send him into vaudeville with his sister, Mango. It may or may not come off. In movies we fear we may not look upon his like again.
Other child actors were let go at the same time, including Norman "Chubby" Chaney and Mary Ann Jackson. While working as actors, all the children attended parties and special events at the studio, including Christmas, when they received any gift they asked for.It may be difficult today to grasp just how famous the Our Gang child actors were in the 1920s and 1930s. When Joe Cobb aged out in 1928, 20,000 boys auditioned for his part in a contest sponsored by Roach. In 1926, several newspapers, including one in Lima, Ohio, carried a story about Farina simply because (it was reported) he wanted to quit playing a girl. "But of course you may not know that Allen Clayton Hoskins is the "sure-enough name of Little Farina who is having a birthday party out in Hollywood today... Now he's getting pretty big and he wants to wear trousers and be a boy on the screen as well as off it...
" Exactly one year later (again on his birthday) the same newspaper carried a new story about how Farina learned to act (from his "brother, who did not exist). Hoskins did not have a brother, but he did have a younger sister, Jannie.She rated her own story when she, too, began to appear in the comedies in 1926. The Oakland Tribune carried a "Movieland" column out of Hollywood, by Jack Wooldridge: Janie [sic] the little sister of Farina had been added to the cast of Our Gang at the Hal Roach Studios... Janie is two years, 4 months old, black as midnight and all animation... Many stories about the Gang appeared from time to time and these were carried in various newspapers throughout the country. Most of them were related to release of a new film. The films, called "shorts", were usually two reels in length and local trade papers, such as "Motion Picture News" and "Motion Picture World", wrote about the Our Gang shorts every time a new one appeared. In 1923 alone, fourteen were released. The children were stars to their fans, both children and adults. The early comedies were silent, but when talkies emerged the studio quickly made this transition and so did Farina. Maltin wrote in his book about the excitement when the first talkie by Our Gang was released. "Simplistic as it may seem, early sound films were advertised as "The marvel of the age! Pictures that talk like living people! For "Small Talk", [#89, released May 1929] the trade blurbs read A sensation wherever it is being shown! Until you See and Hear Our Gang in their first All-Talking Hit'Small Talk' you can't know the profit power of the Roach talkies. Many theaters are billing them above the feature. When Our Gang made a personal appearance tour they broke every record wherever they played- big cities and small... As an indication of Hoskins's popularity, the song "Lil' Farina (Ev'rybody Loves You), " words by Harrison G. Smith and music by Alvano Mier, was published in 1925. The cover included a photograph of Hoskins (with his screen and real names), and an approbation from Harold Lloyd.
In 1928, an unlikely trio of advertisements for a local theater appeared in a Rhinelander, Wisconsin newspaper. First up is an advertisement for a two-day showing of Les Miserables. Second is an advertisement for Underworld written by Ben Hecht and touted as The most intense thriller ever screened... " The final advertisement is listed simply as a "notice" : "All Children interested in making a one reel comedy similar to an Our Gang with Farina and'Joe' the Fat Boy - Come to the Majestic Theater Saturday. The fact that all of the children would eventually grow too old and their contracts would not be renewed was also considered newsworthy.An article that appeared in a 1937 Abilene, Texas, newspaper attempted to explain how this worked. Six children are always under contract and a child is kept until he out grows the part. There is a complete turnover every four years. Stayed with it for nine years. He and Joe Cobb, the original fat boy who lasted eight years are the exception to the four-year rule...
After Our Gang: Vaudeville and other work. He was given a cameo role in an unusual short film called The Stolen Jools.
Both "Our Gang" and Laurel & Hardy contributed their services to an amazing film called The Stolen Jools - a star-studded short featuring names like Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Buster Keaton, Maurice Chevalier and some fifty others. It was a fund raising two reeler for the National Variety Artist's tuberculosis sanatorium. Our Gang's contribution, like everyone else's, was incidental. The kids are shown slurping ice cream cones on Norma Shearer's front steps...
After his career with the Our Gang comedies ended in 1931, Farina and his sister Jannie toured in a vaudeville act accompanied by their mother, Florence Hoskins, in 1932. The exact dates that they toured are not known, but early 1932 found them on tour in Jefferson City, Missouri. Today you are to have the opportunity to see him in person at the Miller Theater. Accompanied by Mango, his sister, the star will do a comedy skit... The article also praises the other two acts.
Are all that their name suggests when it comes to juggling Indian Clubs... [and] "Diversion A La Carte" offered by Jack Fulton and Peggy Parker...Just good fun and songs and that's enough... In February 1932, they performed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2010, Toronto columnist and historicist Jamie Bradburn published a retrospective piece about the events surrounding Farina's vaudeville appearance in Toronto in February 1932: Like children elsewhere across the continent, young Toronto moviegoers in the 1920's and 1930's eagerly awaited the next installment of the Our Gang series of shorts... Having grown out of Our Gang after 1931's Fly My Kite, Hoskins' and his younger sister, (aka Mango) developed the vaudeville act that brought them to Toronto... On matinee day the STAR featured a front page interview with both children and their mother.
Reporter Archibald Lampman (not the nineteenth century poet) noted that Janey "didn't think we were so hot". Bradburn notes that the girl's instincts were on target as the printed interview with "the doggy pickanins of the movies" was a shambling sometimes condescending affair. The occasion was special and the newspaper set up "chairs all around" Bradburn goes on to say that... Lampman made lame attempts to act as if he was trying to keep up the façade of dignified reporter before giving in to a case of the cutes whenever Hoskins flashed a toothy grin...The engagement began on February 12, 1932 with a Friday night spot as a special attraction at the Imperial Theatre... The next morning they performed at a matinee at the Imperial, then made brief appearances for adoring fans at two Kresge stores... Many of the original advertisements and photographs are included in this article. The siblings are pictured together signing a copy of the "Just Kids Safety Club" card sponsored by The Globe (a copy of the card with his signature and his Los Angeles address are displayed in the column). There is also mention of an interview with Farina's mother. Hoskins hinted at the discrimination the family faced, noting that she seemed far more accepted on the west coast than the east. With a voice that Lampan described as "flowing like an old darky melody" she praised the efforts of Scopes Trial Lawyer Clarence Darrow to improve conditions for blacks in America (presumably a reference to the Ossian Sweet case) and believes that her children's generation would overcome prejudice... " Also of interest is an advertisement promoting Farina's singing ability: "... Appearing this week at the Imperial Theatre, [he] will entertain you... Singing the sensational hits Home (Where Shadows Fall), Fox Trot and Save the Last Dance for Me,, waltz. Copies of these songs, 25 cents at Kresge's stores... While Hoskins did find some work after Farina, it was short term. Soon after leaving Our Gang one of his first roles was as the "Host" of the 13th episode of the Voice of Hollywood (second series).
Among the guests were John Wayne, Gary Cooper and Jackie Coogan, but this was just a one-time event. Hoskins kept his relationship with the studio, though, and in 1936 he was part of an "Our Gang" tour and later appeared with the Gang on the You Asked for It show in the 1950s. When he appeared in his first full-length movie, You Said a Mouthful starring Joe E. Brown, various papers carried the "news" that Farina cut off his braids for the movie and placed them in the family Bible.
After this movie ended, Hoskins continued to audition for other movie roles. From 1932 to 1936 he made appearances in seven full-length films, but most were not credited and his career in movies did not flourish. In 1940 President Franklin D.Roosevelt signed the Selective Service Act. Hoskins actually joined the Army in August 1940, shortly before the first draft registration took place on September 16, 1940. In 1941 Hoskins was stationed at Monterey, California, where a reporter found him. "Remember Farina, the kinky haired little "girl" in "Our Gang comedies of the silent movie days? Farina is in the Army now. Farina is Pvt Allen Hoskins, Company D, 47th Quartermaster Regiment, stationed at the Presidio in Monterey. When Claudette Colbert, visiting the Presidio leaned from her automobile and called Say, don't I know you? Hoskins told the actress only his rank and detachment.
Why didn't you tell her you were Farina? I'd rather she remembered me as I used to be before the world lost its sense of humor. In one of her 1945 columns (published in various newspapers including the Lowell Sun) Louella Parsons wrote about Hoskins and other actors who served in World War II. No one at Fort Roach knew the drama back of Sgt. Allen Hoskins appearance there on his last day in the Air Corps.As a boy, twenty years ago Sergeant Hoskins was Farina, in the Hal Roach Comedies. Hoskins saw action in five major Pacific battles and received a presidential citation.
He expects to write and produce for the stage and has a musical he wrote in Australia. Parsons went on to write. Want to say it again and again and keep on saying it, our boys who gave up studio jobs to go into the service and who have done so much for Hollywood and for their country must get their jobs back. That's one thing Hollywood must not have on its conscience. I mean the bitterness and heartache of these kids.
Bob McGowan, who directed "Farina" as a child in Our Gang Comedies, wrote me:'Thank you for the plug for "Farina", now Sgt. He was a pretty blue little black boy when he failed to get his old job back... We can't have that and neither can any great industry in our country...
After serving in the South Pacific, it was back to Hal Roach Studios, auditioning for a featured part in Roach's Amos and Andy television series. He didn't get it.
At the close of World War II in 1945, Hoskins was now 25. After his tours of duty he sought to audition for parts outside of the Roach studios but was not selected, even by those studios he knew well. Hoskins started to drift away from performing and retired his stage name. In a 1950s televised reunion on the Our Gang cast, Hoskins explained why he abandoned acting: I preferred a job that allowed me to eat regular.House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Hoskins had survived the war but could not find work back in Los Angeles as an actor. To make matters worse, he was then called for questioning by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). HUAC was a committee of the U. House of Representatives created in 1938 to investigate possible communist activities in the United States. Many industries were investigated, but it was Hollywood that received the most publicity. A retrospective Associated Press article appeared in an Odessa, Texas newspaper in 1979. During the McCarthy era Hoskins was questioned by the House Unamerican Activities Committee which found that as a teenager, he had attended dances sponsored by the Young Communist League and the Socialist Workers Party.
The committee took his passport and Hoskins was blacklisted. But it didn't matter. I wasn't getting work anyway. But I didn't want to stick around and be another has-been.
I wanted to do something. Hoskins left Hollywood in 1952 and headed for the San Francisco Bay Area where he met his wife, Franzy. There he painted houses, washed dishes, "anything to make an honest buck", before entering a training program which led to a job as a Psychiatric Technician and eventually to his present position. Known to his friends as Al, he and his wife, Franzy, moved in the 1950s to Santa Rosa, where they raised their children and where he began his career in the field of rehabilitation.The exact date he began working at Sonoma State Hospital, located in Eldridge, California, is not known, but by 1963 he was the Sheltered Workshop Director. In addition to working full time, he became concerned about the problems of youth in the South Park area of Santa Rosa, where they lived. In his spare time he developed a proposal for "Weekend House - an Evening and Weekend Training and Counseling Center" for youth. In the Introduction he wrote, The beginnings of future problems if not met now, can and will develop into serious community problems that left to its own uncontrolled development, will lead to the type of area and social breakdown that have been experienced by other communities in the past... " Part of the problem, he stated, was that "... There are no parks or recreational facilities in the district... In his proposal, Hoskins identified these issues and offered solutions. A copy of this survives, but it is not known if he submitted it to the local government. In 1965 he left Sonoma State Hospital for a better position, and the family moved to Hayward, California.
He was now the Sheltered Workshop Director at the Walpert Center, part of the Association for Retarded Children of Southern Alameda County. His career was followed in the local papers, not because he had been a child star called "Farina", but because of his work as an advocate for the disabled. In 1966 he appeared in the local paper, The Argus, reporting on the Workshop's effort to seek funding to complete an expansion: We're using every inch of available space... We think we have a worthwhile program and we'd like the chance to do an even better job and serve more people... In 1968 an article appeared in the Oakland Tribune regarding his efforts to strengthen Sheltered Workshops in his area: A stripling of an organization, barely 3 years old, the Association of Workshops is making significant contributions to the employment of handicapped people in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties...There are 14 Workshops in the Association. They employ 500 working clients from ages 18 to 70. All types of handicaps - blind, mentally retarded, paraplegic, quadriplegic and others are employed in the shops.
Hoskins of Hayward, is President of the Association. What we need is work. "The hardest thing is to convince manufacturers that we can do a specific job" Hoskins declared. We believe a job is the glue that holds people together. In February 1969 Hoskins was chosen to be Director of the 10th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation Workshops.The problems of administrating and operating Rehabilitation Workshops for the Handicapped is the subject of the California Association of Rehabilitation Workshops' 10th annual conference... Allen Hoskins, director of the Hayward Retarded Children's Center, 1101 Walpert St. Is the program director for this year's convention. Apparently his hard work paid off as, under his guidance, the Oakland Tribune reported that the workshop was now employing 1,000 clients, double what it had the previous year. "Handicapped workers represent a vast economic resource which has been barely tapped, " according to Hoskins, who was also at that time President of the Bay Area Association of Rehabilitation Workshops, which represented 40 Workshops in the Bay Area. Hoskins spoke at a press conference marking the observance of Workshop Week, which was proclaimed by Mayor John H. Reading of Oakland and other mayors throughout the state. "I have yet to find a business operation in which there is not some item of work which could not be best handled by one of our shops", Hoskins said...
They're a sleeping giant... What we're looking for is work not a handout. While working full time, Hoskins also continued to develop creative projects and opened his own studio.
In 1976 the Oakland Tribune reported that he was volunteering to help young actors learn their craft at a local nonprofit group, the Experimental Group Young People's Theatre Co. Where he was an advisor to the group, ... Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1975.
Hoskins was still active in his professional rehabilitation career in 1975 when he was chosen, for his work as an actor, to be inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame at the second annual Oscar Micheaux Award ceremony held at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Also honored that year were Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee and Quincy Jones. He was interviewed about his career then and now. I want it on record that I never once traded on the name of Farina. I have built a pretty good name for myself in the rehabilitation field and I hate to sound like a braggart...
I think one thing that's been very important to me is that I try not to live in the past. The father of six children, Hoskins is involved in several projects including working on his autobiography, a radio series called Walkabout and is head of his own company for creative projects, ALFRAN.In his acceptance speech, Hoskins asked the question, What is success? ", and part of his answer was, "I didn't get to do what I wanted so I did something I could live with.
" He also thanked the audience: "... I want to thank each and every one of you.
I'm sure glad you didn't forget me. One year before his death, a retrospective article about his life was published and was printed in various newspapers. Allen Hoskins says he has fond memories of playing Farina in Our Gang about 50 years ago but he hasn't any residuals. Instead the 58-year-old Hoskins said he struggled through years of house painting and dishwashing before landing his present job as Public Information Officer for the Alameda County Chapter of the Association for Retarded Children. Hoskins died of cancer on July 26, 1980, in Oakland, California.
Many newspapers, including the Farmington Daily Times, carried the story of his death... He died Saturday after being admitted in a coma... His wife, Franzy, continued to reside in the Bay Area until her death in 2010, and his sister, Jannie ("Mango"), also resided in Northern California until her death in 1996. Hoskins was buried without a headstone in an unmarked grave in Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland. It was not until twenty years after his death that Hoskins received a proper headstone, through the efforts of Jan Turner and the Find A Grave website in 2000 (listed under Find A Grave Memorial #8483).
Hal Roach's favourite short. Last film as member of Our Gang.
Our Gang (also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach's Rascals) was a series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach, the series was produced from 1922 to 1944 and is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way, as Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular children rather than have them imitate adult acting styles.The series broke new ground by portraying white and black boys and girls interacting as equals. Roach changed distributors from Pathé to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1927, and the series entered its most popular period after converting to sound in 1929. In total, the Our Gang series includes 220 shorts and one feature film, General Spanky, and featured over 41 child actors.
Roach's The Little Rascals package (now owned by CBS Television Distribution) and MGM's Our Gang package now owned by Turner Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Television have since remained in syndication. New productions based on the shorts have been made over the years, including a 1994 feature film, Little Rascals, released by Universal Pictures.Finding and replacing the cast. 19261929: New faces and new distributors. 19291931: Entering the sound era. Later years and The Little Rascals revival. The Little Rascals television package. King World's acquisition and edits. Persons and entities named after Our Gang. Home video releases and rights to the films. 16 mm, VHS, and DVD releases.
Our Gang cast and personnel. Unlike many motion pictures featuring children and based in fantasy, producer/creator Hal Roach rooted Our Gang in real life: most of the children were poor, and the gang was often at odds with snobbish "rich kids, " officious adults, parents, and other such adversaries. McGowan helmed most of the Our Gang shorts until 1933, assisted by his nephew Anthony Mack. McGowan worked to develop a style that allowed the children to be as natural as possible, downplaying the importance of the filmmaking equipment. Scripts were written for the shorts by the Hal Roach comedy writing staff, which included at various times Leo McCarey, Frank Capra, Walter Lantz and Frank Tashlin, among others.
 The children, some too young to read, rarely saw the scripts; instead McGowan would explain the scene to be filmed to each child immediately before it was shot, directing the children using a megaphone and encouraging improvisation.  When sound came in at the end of the 1920s, McGowan modified his approach slightly, but scripts were not adhered to until McGowan left the series. Later Our Gang directors, such as Gus Meins and Gordon Douglas, streamlined the approach to McGowan's methods to meet the demands of the increasingly sophisticated movie industry of the mid-to-late 1930s.  Douglas in particular had to streamline his films, as he directed Our Gang after Roach halved the running times of the shorts from two reels (20 minutes) to one reel (10 minutes). Finding and replacing the cast.
As children became too old for the series, they were replaced by new children, usually from the Los Angeles area. Eventually Our Gang talent scouting employed large-scale national contests in which thousands of children tried out for an open role.
Norman "Chubby" Chaney (who replaced Joe Cobb), Matthew "Stymie" Beard (who replaced Allen "Farina" Hoskins) and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas (who replaced Stymie) all won contests to become members of the gang.  Even when there was no talent search, the studio was bombarded by requests from parents who were sure their children were perfect for the series. Among them were the future child stars Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple, neither of whom made it past the audition. Original theatrical poster for the Our Gang comedy Baby Brother, in which Allen "Farina" Hoskins (center) paints a black baby with white shoe polish so that he can sell him to a lonely rich boy, Joe Cobb (right), as a baby brother. The Our Gang series is notable for being one of the first in cinema history in which blacks and whites were portrayed as equals.
The four African-American child actors who held main roles in the series were Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison, Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Matthew "Stymie" Beard and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. Ernie Morrison was, in fact, the first African-American actor signed to a long-term contract in Hollywood history and the first major African-American star in Hollywood history. In their adult years, Morrison, Beard and Thomas became some of Our Gang's staunchest defenders, maintaining that its integrated cast and innocent story lines were far from racist. They explained that the white children's characters in the series were similarly stereotyped: the "freckle-faced kid", the "fat kid", the "neighborhood bully", the "pretty blond girl", and the "mischievous toddler". "We were just a group of kids who were having fun", Stymie Beard recalled.
 Ernie Morrison stated, When it came to race, Hal Roach was color-blind.  Other minorities, including the Asian Americans Sing Joy George Sonny Boy Warde, Allen Tong (also known as Alan Dong), and Edward Soo Hoo and the Italian American actor (Mickey Gubitosi), were depicted in the series with varying levels of stereotyping. Left to right: Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison, Andy Samuel, Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Mickey Daniels and Joe Cobb in a 1923 still from one of the earliest Our Gang comedies.
According to Roach, the idea for Our Gang came to him in 1921, when he was auditioning a child actress to appear in a film. The girl was, in his opinion, overly made up and overly rehearsed, and Roach waited for the audition to be over. After the girl and her mother left the office, Roach looked out of his window to a lumberyard across the street, where he saw some children having an argument. The children had all taken sticks from the lumberyard to play with, but the smallest child had the biggest stick, and the others were trying to force him to give it to the biggest child. After realizing that he had been watching the children bicker for 15 minutes, Roach thought a short film series about children just being themselves might be a success.
Our Gang also had its roots in an aborted Roach short-subject series revolving around the adventures of a black boy called "Sunshine Sammy", played by Ernie Morrison.  Theater owners then were wary of booking shorts focused on a black boy,  and the series ended after just one entry, The Pickaninny, was produced.  Morrison's "Sunshine Sammy" instead became one of the foci of the new Our Gang series.Under the supervision of Charley Chase, work began on the first two-reel shorts in the new "kids-and-pets" series, to be called Hal Roach's Rascals, later that year. Newmeyer helmed the first pilot film, entitled Our Gang, but Roach scrapped Newmeyer's work and had former fireman Robert F. Roach tested it at several theaters around Hollywood. The attendees were very receptive, and the press clamored for lots more of those'Our Gang' comedies. " The colloquial usage of the term Our Gang led to its becoming the series' second (yet more popular) official title, with the title cards reading "Our Gang Comedies: Hal Roach presents His Rascals in...  The series was officially called both Our Gang and Hal Roach's Rascals until 1932, when Our Gang became the sole title of the series. The first cast of Our Gang was recruited primarily of children recommended to Roach by studio employees, with the exception of Ernie Morrison, under contract to Roach. The other Our Gang recruits included Roach photographer Gene Kornman's daughter Mary Kornman, their friends' son Mickey Daniels, and family friends Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Jack Davis, Jackie Condon, and Joe Cobb. Most early shorts were filmed outdoors and on location and featured a menagerie of animal characters, such as Dinah the Mule. Roach's distributor Pathé released One Terrible Day, the fourth short produced for the series, as the first Our Gang short on September 10, 1922; the pilot Our Gang was not released until November 5. The Our Gang series was a success from the start, with the children's naturalism, the funny animal actors, and McGowan's direction making a successful combination. The shorts did well at the box office, and by the end of the decade the Our Gang children were pictured on numerous product endorsements.
The biggest Our Gang stars then were Sunshine Sammy, Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman, and little Farina, who eventually became the most popular member of the 1920s gang and the most popular black child star of the 1920s.  A reviewer wrote of his character in Photoplay: The honors go to a very young lady of color, billed as'Little Farina.
Scarcely two years old, she goes through each set like a wee, sombre shadow.  Daniels and Kornman were very popular and were often paired in Our Gang and a later teen version of the series called The Boy Friends, which Roach produced from 1930 to 1932.Other early Our Gang children were Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson, Scooter Lowry, Andy Samuel, Johnny Downs, Winston and Weston Doty, and Jay R. 19261929: New faces and new distributors. After Sammy, Mickey and Mary left the series in the mid 1920s, the Our Gang series entered a transitional period. The stress of directing child actors forced Robert McGowan to take doctor-mandated sabbaticals for exhaustion,  leaving his nephew Robert A. McGowan (credited as Anthony Mack) to direct many shorts in this period. The Mack-directed shorts are considered to be among the lesser entries in the series.  New faces included Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, Harry Spear, Jean Darling and Mary Ann Jackson, while stalwart Farina served as the series' anchor. Also at this time, the Our Gang cast acquired an American pit bull terrier with a ring around one eye, originally named Pansy but soon known as Pete the Pup, the most famous Our Gang pet. In 1927, Roach ended his distribution arrangement with the Pathé company. He signed on to release future products through the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which released its first Our Gang comedy in September 1927. The move to MGM offered Roach larger budgets and the chance to have his films packaged with MGM features to the Loews Theatres chain. Some shorts around this time, particularly Spook Spoofing (1928, one of only two three-reelers in the Our Gang canon), contained extended scenes of the gang tormenting and teasing Farina, scenes which helped spur the claims of racism, which many other shorts did not warrant. These shorts marked the departure of Jackie Condon, who had been with the group from the beginning of the series.
Jackie Cooper in the 1930 short School's Out. 19291931: Entering the sound era.
Starting in 1928, Our Gang comedies were distributed with phonographic discs that contained synchronized music-and-sound-effect tracks for the shorts. In spring 1929, the Roach sound stages were converted for sound recording, and Our Gang made its "all-talking" debut in April 1929 with the 25-minute Small Talk. It took a year for McGowan and the gang to fully adjust to talking pictures, during which time they lost Joe Cobb, Jean Darling and Harry Spear and added Norman "Chubby" Chaney, Dorothy DeBorba, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Donald Haines and Jackie Cooper.Cooper proved to be the personality the series had been missing since Mickey Daniels left and was featured prominently in three 1930/1931 Our Gang films: Teacher's Pet, School's Out, and Love Business. These three shorts explored Jackie Cooper's crush on the new schoolteacher Miss Crabtree, played by June Marlowe. Other Our Gang members appearing in the early sound shorts included Buddy McDonald, Bobby "Bonedust" Young, and Shirley Jean Rickert. Many also appeared in a group cameo appearance in the all-star comedy short The Stolen Jools (1931). Beginning with When the Wind Blows, background music scores were added to the soundtracks of most of the Our Gang films. Initially, the music consisted of orchestral versions of then popular tunes. Marvin Hatley had served as the music director of Hal Roach Studios since 1929, and RCA employee Leroy Shield joined the company as a part-time musical director in mid 1930.
Hatley and Shield's jazz-influenced scores, first featured in Our Gang with 1930s Pups is Pups, became recognizable trademarks of Our Gang, Laurel and Hardy, and the other Roach series and films. Another 1930 short, Teacher's Pet, marked the first use of the Our Gang theme song, "Good Old Days", composed by Leroy Shield and featuring a notable saxophone solo. Shield and Hatley's scores would support Our Gang's on-screen action regularly through 1934, after which series entries with background scores became less frequent. In 1930, Roach began production on The Boy Friends, a short-subject series which was essentially a teenaged version of Our Gang.
Featuring Our Gang alumni Mickey Daniels and Mary Kornman among its cast, The Boy Friends was produced for two years, with fifteen installments in total. The gang races rich-kid Jerry Tucker in their makeshift fire engine in the 1934 short Hi'-Neighbor!
Jackie Cooper left Our Gang in early 1931 at the cusp of another major shift in the lineup, as Farina Hoskins, Chubby Chaney, and Mary Ann Jackson all departed a few months afterward. Our Gang entered another transitional period, similar to that of the mid 1920s. Stymie Beard, Wheezer Hutchins, and Dorothy DeBorba carried the series during this period, aided by Sherwood Bailey and Kendall "Breezy Brisbane" McComas. Unlike the mid-1920s period, McGowan sustained the quality of the series with the help of the several regular cast members and the Roach writing staff. Many of these shorts include early appearances of Jerry Tucker and Wally Albright, who later became series regulars.New Roach discovery George "Spanky" McFarland joined the gang late in 1931 at the age of three and, excepting a brief hiatus during the summer of 1938, remained an Our Gang actor for eleven years. At first appearing as the tag-along toddler of the group, and later finding an accomplice in Scotty Beckett in 1934, Spanky quickly became Our Gang's biggest child star. He won parts in a number of outside features, appeared in many of the now-numerous Our Gang product endorsements and spin-off merchandise items, and popularized the expressions Okey-dokey! Dickie Moore, a veteran child actor, joined in the middle of 1932 and remained with the series for one year.
Other members in these years included Mary Ann Jackson's brother Dickie Jackson, John "Uh-huh" Collum, and Tommy Bond. Upon Dickie Moore's departure in mid 1933, long-term Our Gang members such as Wheezer (who had been with Our Gang since the late Pathé silents period) and Dorothy left the series as well. Robert McGowan, burned out from the stress of working with the child actors, had as early as 1931 attempted to resign from his position as Our Gang producer/director.  Lacking a replacement, Hal Roach persuaded him to stay on for another year. At the start of the 193334 season, the Our Gang series format was significantly altered to accommodate McGowan and persuade him to stay another year.  The first two entries of the season in fall 1933, Bedtime Worries and Wild Poses (which featured a cameo by Laurel and Hardy), focused on Spanky McFarland and his hapless parents, portrayed by Gay Seabrook and Emerson Treacy, in a family-oriented situation comedy format similar to the style later popular on television. A smaller cast of Our Gang kidsStymie Beard, Tommy Bond, Jerry Tucker, and Georgie Billingswere featured in supporting roles with reduced screen time. An unsatisfied McGowan abruptly left after Wild Poses. Coupled with a brief suspension in Spanky McFarland's work permit,  Our Gang went into a four-month hiatus, during which the series was revised to a format similar to its original style and German-born Gus Meins was hired as the new series director.
Released in March 1934, ended the hiatus and was the first series entry directed by Meins, a veteran of the once-competing Buster Brown short subject series. Meins's Our Gang shorts were less improvisational than McGowan's and featured a heavier reliance on dialogue. Retaining Spanky McFarland, Stymie Beard, Tommy Bond, and Jerry Tucker, the revised series added Scotty Beckett, Wally Albright, and Billie Thomas, who soon began playing the character of Stymie's sister "Buckwheat, " though Thomas was a male. Semi-regular actors, such as Jackie Lynn Taylor, Marianne Edwards, and Leonard Kibrick as the neighborhood bully, joined the series at this time. Tommy Bond and Wally Albright left in the middle of 1934; Jackie Lynn Taylor and Marianne Edwards would depart by 1935.
Early in 1935, Carl Switzer and his brother Harold joined the gang after impressing Roach with an impromptu performance at the studio commissary. While Harold would eventually be relegated to the role of a background player, Carl, nicknamed "Alfalfa, " eventually replaced Scotty Beckett as Spanky's sidekick.Stymie Beard left the cast soon after, and the Buckwheat character morphed subtly into a male. That same year, Darla Hood, Patsy May, and Eugene "Porky" Lee joined the gang, as Scotty Beckett departed for a career in features.
The final Roach years. Our Gang was very successful during the 1920s and the early 1930s. However, by 1934, many movie theater owners were increasingly dropping two-reel (20-minute) comedies like Our Gang and the Laurel & Hardy series from their bills and running double feature programs instead.
The Laurel & Hardy series went from film shorts to features exclusively in mid 1935. By 1936, Hal Roach began debating plans to discontinue Our Gang until Louis B. Mayer, head of Roach's distributor MGM, persuaded Roach to keep the popular series in production.  Roach agreed, producing shorter, one-reel Our Gang comedies (ten minutes in length instead of twenty). The first one-reel Our Gang short, Bored of Education (1936), marked the Our Gang directorial debut of former assistant director Gordon Douglas and won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (One Reel) in 1937.
As part of the arrangement with MGM to continue Our Gang, Roach received the clearance to produce an Our Gang feature film, General Spanky, hoping that he might move the series to features as was done with Laurel & Hardy.  Directed by Gordon Douglas and Fred Newmeyer, General Spanky featured Spanky, Buckwheat, and Alfalfa in a sentimental, Shirley Temple-esque story set during the Civil War. The film focused more on the adult leads (Phillips Holmes and Rosina Lawrence) than the children and was a box office disappointment.  No further Our Gang features were made.
George "Spanky" McFarland, Darla Hood, and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer in the "Club Spanky" dream sequence from the 1937 short Our Gang Follies of 1938. After years of gradual cast changes, the troupe standardized in 1936 with the move to one-reel shorts.Most casual fans of Our Gang are particularly familiar with the 19361939 incarnation of the cast: Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat, and Porky, with recurring characters such as neighborhood bullies Butch and Woim and the bookworm Waldo. Sidney Kibrick, the younger brother of Leonard Kibrick, played Butch's crony, Woim.
Glove Taps also featured the first appearance of Darwood Kaye as the bespectacled, foppish Waldo. In later shorts, both Butch and Waldo were portrayed as Alfalfa's rivals in his pursuit of Darla's affections. Roach produced the final two-reel Our Gang short, a high-budget musical special entitled Our Gang Follies of 1938, in 1937 as a parody of MGM's Broadway Melody of 1938. In Follies of 1938, Alfalfa, who aspires to be an opera singer, falls asleep and dreams that his old pal Spanky has become the rich owner of a swanky Broadway nightclub where Darla and Buckwheat perform, making hundreds and thousands of dollars. As the profit margins continued to decline owing to double features,  Roach could no longer afford to continue producing Our Gang.However, MGM did not want the series discontinued and agreed to take over production.  After delivering the Laurel and Hardy feature Block-Heads, Roach also ended his distribution contract with MGM, moving to United Artists and leaving the short-subjects business. The final Roach-produced short in the Our Gang series, Hide and Shriek, was his final short-subject production. The Little Ranger was the first Our Gang short to be produced in-house at MGM.
Gordon Douglas was loaned out from Hal Roach Studios to direct The Little Ranger and another early MGM short, Aladdin's Lantern, while MGM hired newcomer George Sidney as the permanent series director. Our Gang would be used by MGM as a training ground for future feature directors: Sidney, Edward Cahn and Cy Endfield all worked on Our Gang before moving on to features.
Another director, Herbert Glazer, remained a second-unit director outside of his work on the series. Nearly all of the 52 MGM-produced Our Gangs were written by former Roach director Hal Law and former junior director Robert A. McGowan also known as Anthony Mack, nephew of former senior Our Gang director Robert F.McGowan was credited for these shorts as "Robert McGowan"; as a result, moviegoers have been confused for decades about whether this Robert McGowan and the senior director of the same name at Roach were two separate people or not. By 1938, Alfalfa had surpassed Spanky as Our Gang's lead character; Spanky McFarland had departed from the series just before its sale to MGM.  Casting his replacement was delayed until after the move to MGM, at which point it was arranged to re-hire McFarland. Porky was replaced in 1939 by Mickey Gubitosi, later known by the stage name of Robert Blake. Tommy Bond, Darwood Kaye, and Carl Switzer all left the series in 1940, and Billy "Froggy" Laughlin (with his Popeye-esque trick voice) and Janet Burston were added to the cast.
By the end of 1941, Darla Hood had departed from the series, and Spanky McFarland followed her within a year. Buckwheat remained in the cast until the end of the series as the sole holdover from the Roach era. Overall, the Our Gang films produced by MGM were not as well-received as the Roach-produced shorts had been, largely due to MGM's inexperience with the brand of slapstick comedy that Our Gang was famous for and to MGM's insistence on keeping Alfalfa, Spanky and Buckwheat in the series as they became teens.  The MGM entries are considered by many film historians, and the Our Gang children themselves, to be lesser films than the Roach entries.
 The children's performances were criticized as stilted and stiff, and adult situations often drove the action, with each film often incorporating a moral, a civics lesson, or a patriotic theme.  The series was given a permanent setting in the fictitious town of Greenpoint, and the mayhem caused by the Our Gang kids was toned down significantly. Exhibitors noticed the drop in quality, and often complained that the series was slipping.
When six of the 13 shorts released between 1942 and 1943 sustained losses rather than turning profits,  MGM discontinued Our Gang, releasing the final short, Dancing Romeo, on April 29, 1944. Since 1937, Our Gang had been featured as a licensed comic strip in the UK comic The Dandy, drawn by Dudley D. Starting in 1942, MGM licensed Our Gang to Dell Comics for the publication of Our Gang Comics, featuring the gang, Barney Bear, and Tom and Jerry. The strips in The Dandy ended three years after the demise of the Our Gang shorts, in 1947.Our Gang Comics outlasted the series by five years, changing its name to Tom and Jerry Comics in 1949. In 2006, Fantagraphics Books began issuing a series of volumes reprinting the Our Gang stories, mostly written and drawn by Pogo creator Walt Kelly. Later years and The Little Rascals revival. The Little Rascals television package. Neither film was critically or financially successful, and Roach turned to re-releasing the original Our Gang comedies.
Under the terms of the sale, Roach was required to remove the MGM Lion studio logo and all instances of the names or logos "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", "Loew's Incorporated", and Our Gang from the reissued film prints. Using a modified version of the series' original name, Roach repackaged 79 of the 80 sound Our Gang shorts as The Little Rascals. Monogram Pictures and its successor, Allied Artists, reissued the films to theaters beginning in 1951. Allied Artists' television department, Interstate Television, syndicated the films to TV in 1955. Under its new name, The Little Rascals enjoyed renewed popularity on television, and new Little Rascals comic books, toys, and other licensed merchandise were produced.
Seeing the potential of the property, MGM began distributing its own Our Gang shorts to television in September 1958, and the two separate packages of Our Gang films competed with each other in syndication for three decades. Some stations bought both packages and played them alongside each other under the Little Rascals show banner.
King World's acquisition and edits. In 1963, Hal Roach Studios, by then run by Roach's son Hal Jr, filed for bankruptcy. The success of The Little Rascals paved the way for King's new company, King World Productions, to grow into one of the largest television syndicators in the world.
Currently, CBS Television Distribution handles distribution rights. In 1971, because of controversy over some racial humor in the shorts and other content deemed to be in bad taste, King World made significant edits to Little Rascals TV prints. Many series entries were trimmed by two to four minutes, while others (among them Spanky, Bargain Day, The Pinch Singer and Mush and Milk) were cut to nearly half of their original length.
At the same time, eight Little Rascals shorts were pulled from the King World television package altogether. Lazy Days, Moan and Groan, Inc. The Stepin Fetchit-guest-starred A Tough Winter, Little Daddy, A Lad an' a Lamp, The Kid From Borneo, and Little Sinner were deleted from the syndication package because of perceived racism, while Big Ears was deleted for dealing with the subject of divorce.
The early talkie Railroadin' was never part of the television package because its soundtrack (recorded on phonographic records) was considered lost, although it was later found and restored to the film. In the early 2000s, the 71 films in the King World package were re-edited, reinstating many (though not all) edits made in 1971 and the original Our Gang title cards. These new television prints made their debut on the American Movie Classics cable network in 2001 and ran until 2003. New Little Rascals productions. Many producers, including Our Gang alumnus Jackie Cooper, made pilots for new Little Rascals television series, but none ever went into production.In 1977, Norman Lear tried to revive the Rascals franchise, taping three pilot episodes of The Little Rascals. The pilots were not bought, but were notable for including Gary Coleman. 1979 brought The Little Rascals Christmas Special, an animated holiday special produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, written by Romeo Muller and featuring the voice work of Darla Hood (who died before the special aired) and Matthew "Stymie" Beard. From 1982 to 1984, Hanna-Barbera Productions produced a Saturday morning cartoon version of The Little Rascals, which aired on ABC during The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show (later The Monchichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show).  It starred the voices of Patty Maloney as Darla; Peter Cullen as Petey and Officer Ed; Scott Menville as Spanky; Julie McWhirter Dees as Alfalfa, Porky and The Woim; Shavar Ross as Buckwheat, and B. Ward as Butch and Waldo. In 1994, Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures released The Little Rascals, a feature film based loosely on the series and featuring interpretations of classic Our Gang shorts, including Hearts are Thumps, Rushin' Ballet, and Hi'-Neighbor! The film, directed by Penelope Spheeris, starred Travis Tedford as Spanky, Bug Hall as Alfalfa, and Ross Bagley as Buckwheat; with cameos by the Olsen twins, Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Brooks, Reba McEntire, Daryl Hannah, Donald Trump and Raven-Symoné. In 2014, Universal Pictures released a direct-to-video film, The Little Rascals Save the Day. This was a second film loosely based on the series and featuring interpretations of classic Our Gang shorts, including Helping Grandma, Mike Fright, and Birthday Blues.
The film was directed by Alex Zamm, and starred Jet Jurgensmeyer as Spanky, Drew Justice as Alfalfa, Eden Wood as Darla, and Doris Roberts as the kids' adopted Grandma. The characters in this series are well-known cultural icons, and identified solely by their first names. The characters of Alfalfa, Spanky, Buckwheat, Darla, and Froggy were especially well known.
Like many child actors, the Our Gang children were typecast and had trouble outgrowing their Our Gang images. Several Our Gang alumni, among them Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Scotty Beckett, Norman "Chubby" Chaney, Billy "Froggy" Laughlin, Donald Haines, Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, Darla Hood, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas, and George "Spanky" McFarland, died before age 65, in most cases well earlier. This led to rumors of an Our Gang/Little Rascals "curse", rumors further popularized by a 2002 E! True Hollywood Story documentary entitled "The Curse of the Little Rascals". The children's work in the series was largely unrewarded in later years, although Spanky McFarland got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame posthumously in 1994.
Neither he nor any other Our Gang children received any residuals or royalties from reruns of the shorts or licensed products with their likenesses. One notable exception was Jackie Cooper, who was later nominated for an Academy Award and had a career as an adult actor. Cooper is known today for portraying Perry White in the 19781987 Superman movies, and for directing episodes of TV series such as MASH and Superboy.
Another was Robert Blake, who found great success in the 1960s and 1970s as an actor, with films like In Cold Blood and television shows like Baretta (which netted him an Emmy Award). The 1930 Our Gang short Pups is Pups was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2004. Imitators, followers, and frauds. Due to the popularity of Our Gang, many similar kid comedy short film series were created by competing studios.Among the most notable are The Kiddie Troupers, featuring future comedian Eddie Bracken; Baby Burlesks, featuring Shirley Temple; the Buster Brown comedies (from which Our Gang received Pete the Pup and director Gus Meins); and Our Gang's main competitor, the Toonerville Trolley-based Mickey McGuire series starring Mickey Rooney. Less notable imitations series include The McDougall Alley Gang (Bray Productions, 19271928), The Us Bunch and Our Kids. There is evidence that Our Gang-style productions were filmed in small towns and cities around the country using local children actors in the 1920s and 1930s. These productions did not appear to be affiliated with Hal Roach, but often used storylines from the shorts of the period, and sometimes went so far as to identify themselves as being Our Gang productions.
In later years, many adults falsely claimed to have been members of Our Gang. A long list of people, including persons famous in other capacities such as Nanette Fabray, Eddie Bracken, and gossip columnist Joyce Haber claimed to be or have been publicly called former Our Gang children.  Bracken's official biography was once altered to state that he appeared in Our Gang instead of The Kiddie Troupers, although he himself had no knowledge of the change. Among notable Our Gang impostors is Jack Bothwell, who claimed to have portrayed a character named "Freckles",  going so far as to appear on the game show To Tell The Truth in the fall of 1957, perpetuating this fraud. In 2008, a Darla Hood impostor, Mollie Barron, died claiming to have appeared as Darla in Our Gang.  Another is Bill English, a grocery store employee who appeared on the October 5, 1990, episode of the ABC investigative television newsmagazine 20/20 claiming to have been Buckwheat. Following the broadcast, Spanky McFarland informed the media of the truth,  and in December, William Thomas, Jr. (son of Billie Thomas, the person who played Buckwheat) filed a lawsuit against ABC for negligence. Persons and entities named after Our Gang. A number of groups, companies, and entities have been inspired by or named after Our Gang. The folk-rock group Spanky and Our Gang was named for the troupe because lead singer Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane's last name was similar to that of George "Spanky" McFarland. The band had no connection with the actual Our Gang series. Numerous unauthorized Little Rascals and Our Gang restaurants and day care centers also exist throughout the United States. Home video releases and rights to the films. For more details on this topic, see Our Gang filmography.
16 mm, VHS, and DVD releases. In the 1950s, home movie distributor Official Films released many of the Hal Roach talkies on 16 mm film. These were released as "Famous Kid Comedies".
As Official could not use "Our Gang". The company's licensing only lasted for a short period. For years afterward, Blackhawk Films released 79 of the 80 Roach talkies on 16 mm film.The sound discs for Railroading' had been lost since the 1940s, and a silent print was available for home movie release until 1982, when the film's sound discs were located in the MGM vault and the short was restored with sound. Like the television prints, Blackhawk's Little Rascals reissues featured custom title cards in place of the original Our Gang logos, per MGM's 1949 arrangement with Hal Roach not to distribute the series under its original title. Edits to the films were the replacements of the original Our Gang title cards with Little Rascals titles. In 1983, with the VHS home video market growing, Blackhawk began distributing Little Rascals VHS tapes through catalogue, with three shorts per tape. Blackhawk Films was acquired in 1983 by National Telefilm Associates, later being renamed Republic Pictures.
By then, all but 11 of the Roach-era sound films were available on home video. Cabin Fever acquired the rights to use the original Our Gang title cards and MGM logos, and for the first time in over 50 years, the Roach sound Our Gang comedies could be commercially exhibited in the original format. Twenty-one VHS volumes were released between 1994 and 1995, hosted by Leonard Maltin.
The Laserdiscs were released through 1995. The DVD Volumes were released through 2001. Cabin Fever began pressing DVD versions of their first 12 Little Rascals VHS volumes (with the contents of two VHS volumes included on each DVD), but went out of business in 1998 before their release.Cabin Fever Entertainment released a VHS tape of The Little Rascals 75th Anniversary: For Pete's Sake in 1997. Hallmark colorized a few Our Gang shorts and released them across 8 VHS tapes. Later that year, the first 10 Cabin Fever volumes were re-released on VHS with new packaging, and the first two volumes were released on DVD as The Little Rascals: Volumes 12.
Two further Hallmark DVD collections featured ten shorts apiece, and were released in 2003 and 2005, respectively. From 2006 to 2009, Legend Films produced colorized versions of twenty four Our Gang comedies (23 Roach entries, and the public domain MGM entry Waldo's Last Stand), which were released across five Little Rascals DVDs. In 2011, Legend Films released black and white versions of Little Rascals DVDs. RHI Entertainment and Genius Products released an eight-disc DVD set, The Little Rascals the Complete Collection, on October 28, 2008. This set includes all 80 Hal Roach-produced Our Gang sound short films. Most of the collection uses the 1994 restorations, while 16 shorts are presented with older Blackhawk Films transfers as their remastered copies were lost or misplaced during preparations. On June 14, 2011, Vivendi Entertainment re-released seven of the eight DVD's from RHI/Genius Products' The Little Rascals The Complete Collection as individual releases. This includes the 80 shorts replacing the Blackhawk transfers on the previous set with their respective 1994 restorations but excludes the disc featuring the extras. During the 1980s and 1990s, MGM released several non-comprehensive VHS tapes of its shorts, and a VHS of the feature General Spanky. After video rights for the classic MGM library reverted to their new owners, Turner Entertainment/Warner Bros. In the late 1990s, four of the MGM Our Gang shorts appeared as bonus features on Warner Bros.
Issued classic film DVD releases. On September 1, 2009, Warner Home Video released all 52 MGM Our Gang shorts in a compilation titled The Our Gang Collection: 19381942 (though it contains the 194344 shorts as well) for manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD and digital download. There are many unofficial Our Gang and Little Rascals home video collections available from several other distributors, comprising shorts (both silent and sound) which have fallen into the public domain. Currently, the rights to the Our Gang/Little Rascals shorts are scattered. Sonar Entertainment (formerly known as RHI Entertainment, Cabin Fever Entertainment and Hallmark Entertainment) owns the copyrights of and holds the theatrical and home video rights to the Roach-produced Our Gang shorts.Sonar acquired these after absorbing Hal Roach Studios in 1988, and both Roach's estate and Cabin Fever Entertainment in the late 1990s. CBS offers original black-and-white and colorized prints for syndication. The King World/CBS Little Rascals package was featured as exclusive programming (in the United States) for the American Movie Classics network from August 2001 to December 2003, with Frankie Muniz hosting. As part of a month-long tribute to Hal Roach Studios, Turner Classic Movies televised a 24-hour marathon of Roach Our Gang shorts - both sound films and silents on January 45, 2011.  Some of the silent Our Gangs (such as Mary, Queen of Tots and Thundering Fleas) resurfaced on TCM at this time with new music scores in stereo sound; these silent Pathé Our Gangs are now being syndicated by Mackinaw Media.
The MGM-produced Our Gang shorts, General Spanky, and the rights to the Our Gang name are owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment as part of the Turner Entertainment library.  The television rights for the MGM Our Gang shorts belong to Warner Bros.
Television Distribution, and the video rights to Warner Home Video. The MGM Our Gangs today appear periodically on the Turner Classic Movies cable network, and are available for streaming via the subscription-based Warner Archive Instant streaming video service. Time Warner itself is pending a merger with AT&T. Our Gang cast and personnel. For a detailed listing of the Our Gang child actors, recurring adult actors, directors, and writers, see Our Gang personnel.
The following is a listing of the primary child actors in the Our Gang comedies. They are grouped by the era during which they joined the series. The list is incomplete as Robert Blake was known to have been a member of the Little Rascals, & the Indian boy (silent era) in the European versions who was later replaced by the dog In 1924 so as not to offend American audiences is unlisted. Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison (19221924).
Tommy Bond (19321934 as "Tommy, " 19371940 as "Butch"). Jackie Lynn Taylor (1934 as "Jane").
Mickey Gubitosi (Robert Blake) (19391944). As of July 2017, living Our Gang actors included Lassie Lou Ahern, Mildred Kornman, Margaret Kerry, Robert Blake, Sidney Kibrick, and Juanita Quigley.
Notable Our Gang comedies. For a complete filmography, see Our Gang filmography.
The following is a listing of selected Our Gang comedies, considered by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann (in their book The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang) to be among the best and most important in the series. 1923: The Champeen, Derby Day. 1925: Your Own Back Yard, One Wild Ride.
1929: Small Talk, Lazy Days, Boxing Gloves, Cat, Dog & Co. 1930: The First Seven Years, Pups Is Pups, Bear Shooters, Teacher's Pet, School's Out.
1931: Helping Grandma, Love Business, Little Daddy, Fly My Kite, Big Ears, Dogs Is Dogs. 1932: Readin' and Writin', The Pooch, Hook And Ladder, Free Wheeling, Birthday Blues. 1933: Fish Hooky, Forgotten Babies, The Kid From Borneo, Mush and Milk, Bedtime Worries. The First Round-Up, Honky Donkey, Mama's Little Pirate. 1935: Anniversary Trouble, Shrimps for a Day, Beginner's Luck, Little Papa, Our Gang Follies of 1936.1936: Divot Diggers, Bored of Education, General Spanky. 1938: Three Men in a Tub, Hide and Shriek. 1939: Alfalfa's Aunt, Cousin Wilbur. 1940: Goin' Fishin', Waldo's Last Stand, Kiddie Kure. SUBSCRIBE LOG IN NEW BEDFORD 9° Clear. Marion Woman of the Year; unselfishness is hallmark of Deb Bush. Feds employ data-driven early warning system in opioid fight. For Robert Zora, it was about the people and the projects. Families from Florida, NY die in Costa Rica plane crash. Puppy found shivering in vehicle in Dartmouth; owner faces cruelty charge. California pot shops ring in 2018, ring up first legal sales.
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Let an angel watch over you. By Linda Rosenkrantz, Copley News Service. Whether you think of them as Our Gang comedies or The Little Rascals, you surely are familiar with Alfalfa, Spanky, Buckwheat and the others, whether from their original showings in movie theaters or their major TV revival -- or maybe even from Eddie Murphys diabolical lampoons on Saturday Night Live. The Gang still has its ardent fans, some of whom are zealous collectors of the Gangs memorabilia. The Our Gang series of short comedies was born in the Silent Era, the first one having been made in 1922.
It was produced, written and directed by Hal Roach, one of the chief creators of early gag comedies starring such luminaries as Harold Lloyd, Will Rogers, Harry Langdon and Laurel and Hardy, not to mention Rex, the Wonder Horse. There was a great demand for short features at the time, and Roachs idea of making a naturalistic series about a racially mixed group of kids just more or less being themselves was a big success. There were 96 of the silent two-reel Our Gang comedies made at the Hal Roach studios, featuring such precocious children as Allen Farina Hoskins, Fat Joe Cobb, and Eddie Sunshine Sammy Morrison.
With the coming of sound, the series picked up even more steam, with the addition of such gang members as mascot Pete the dog, Spanky McFarland (who became leader of the gang in the early 30s), Matthew Stymie Beard, future stars Jackie Cooper and Robert Blake (who would later win fame as Barretta), Darla Hood, Harold Alfalfa Switzer, William Buckwheat Thomas, Scotty Beckett and Dickie Moore, and many others, several of whom, like Buckwheat and Spanky, started at the tender age of 3. Most critics agree that the high point of the series was from 1930 to 1937, with one of the comedies of this period, Bored of Education, receiving an Oscar as the best short subject of 1936. There was an updated animated TV series in the early 80s, then Steven Spielberg tried to revive interest in the concept with a The Little Rascals feature in 1994. Hal Roach was extremely savvy in terms of merchandising and took advantage of the popularity of his ever-changing cast of Gang members by franchising their image to any number of manufacturers to produce everything from books to blotters. One desirable book, for example, is A Story of Our Gang, by Eleanor Lewis Parker, published by Whitman Publishing Co.In 1929, and featuring charming hand-colored photographs of Farina, Wheezer, Joe Cobb, Jean Darling, Mary Ann Jackson and Harry Spear moving through a typical day. An Our Gang blotter, used to advertise Majestic radios made by an Iowa firm, pictured the same group of kids. A slightly later group of cut-out dolls, produced by Whitman in 1933, showed Chubby, Stymie, Wheezer, Farina and others in their undies, ready for their paper wardrobes, the same year that The Saalfield Publishing Co. Put out an Our Gang coloring book, interspersing color pages with black-and-whites.
An Our Gang school box added Jackie Cooper to the mix of kids, and there were also boxed sets of puzzles depicting scenes from various shorts. Sometimes individual players were singled out for special attention pretty blonde Jean Darling was seen on a ceramic plate and on the cover of a writing tablet. In addition, collectors also seek out standard movie memorabilia, such as theater lobby cards and, of course, the original movies themselves. The item "FARINA VINTAGE OUR GANG Hand Signed Album Page Little Rascals with COA JSA" is in sale since Friday, January 11, 2019.
This item is in the category "Collectibles\Autographs\Celebrities". The seller is "collectiblecollectiblecollectible" and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Viet nam.