Well, like they say, in Hollywood it's a crap shoot. Some Rascals went on to stardom: Jackie Cooper and Scotty Beckett are probably the best known, and Dickie Jones is debatable both as a Rascal (He was more often a background kid) and a star (He modeled for and did the voice for Disney's PINNOCHIO). Others worked steadily outside the series but never really became Names: Stymie Beard, Tommy Bond and Leonard Kibrick are the ones that pop into my head. Others turn up here and there --Spanky MacFarland in a couple things, Darwood 'Waldo' Kaye in GONE WITH THE WIND-- but that's pretty much it. Mickey became a major star in the Seventies as Robert Blake and Johnny Downs was likewise busier as a grown-up actor, mostly in B-movies, than as a kid.
I forgot Robert Blake, in part because Noo Yawk, where I grew up, did not show the post-Roach MGM talkies. I had a vague hint of their existence,l but I first saw one when visiting a friend outside of Philly. I used to *read* that Robert Blake was in the Rascals, but it was mystifying until Maltin's book came out.
Btw, Hal Roach is portrayed as a bit of a villain in the new(ish) movie "Stan & Ollie." It's not a fair portrayal. I have occasion to be in Elmira NY about once a year, andit makes an old Rascals fan proud to see signs advertising this as the birthplace of Roach. Mark Twain, who lived there, also gets some props; oddly, Jeanine Pirro doesn't.
I remember seeing Dickie Moore's Roach contract one time. He was signed for five years, but it seems Roach had to keep loaning him out to other studios. As myhomeo said, I guess he just eventually became too big for the Gang.
Sunshine Sammy's post-Gang work was mostly on stage. He had a very successful Vaudeville career, and was even briefly a member of The Four Step Brothers. In fact, during his stint as a Stepper, 20th Century Fox was ready to offer him a contract. But duty called! Like most young men during the Second World War, Ernie got drafted. That put his career on hold, and by the time he was out of the Army, his interests had pretty much changed.
Plenty of others sort of bounced around Hollywood - Farina had a few decent roles right after the 'Gang,' but those seemed to dry up rather quickly. Mary Kornman's bigger parts were usually in B-movies. Mickey Daniels got a smattering of bit parts, and Joe Cobb next to nothing.
myhomeo mentioned Johnny Downs. Not many people talk about his later work. He was quite busy both in films and on stage. He even got a few lead roles in Universal features, one of which featured a cameo appearance by Sunshine Sammy.
Pineapple Jackson, while never really a star, kept pretty busy into the early '90s. Bonedust had steady work as a character actor.
And then there's Jean Darling, who went on to play young Jane Eyre. She was offered a few good roles, including Alice in the 1933 adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland," as well as Mickey Rooney's girlfriend in one of the Andy Hardy movies. Like some of the others, her showbiz career primarily consisted of Vaudeville and Broadway, but those film offers are nice "what ifs?". We can only speculate how much we would have seen certain Rascals in movies had their lives gone in different directions. For instance, what if Scooter Lowry or Jackie Condon made a transition back into films?
I wish Stymie could have stayed about 8 years old for 5-6 decades. By my lights, he was the most appealing Rascal, evah, and the camera shamelessly loved him. Even as a much older man, on the odd "Sanford And Son" and such, he still had the old Stymie appeal, just add pot belly, and (sadly) a checkered past. His agent was interviewed after his death, and she broke down weeping when talking about it. To this day, I cannot eat even a PIECE of an artichoke without thinking of the late great Matthew Beard. *sniffle*
Post by shirleymurphy on Apr 1, 2019 17:12:45 GMT -5
I think Dorothy DeBorba could have had a good career as a film star as an adult. She could play up her Portuguese ancestry and looks to be "the exotic woman" with deep, soulful eyes and rosy tipped breasts. She might not quite rise to be a "sex symbol" but she'd have a lot of romantic and sexual interest from male filmgoers.