We can't be 100% certain unless he confirms it himself, but several items fit very well (unusual last name, his approximate age, his involvement with music and plays, high school in Santa Monica). I'd say it's very likely to be him.
The public listing for Bill Minderhout in Southern Cal. gives a DOB in January 1931 which fits with the Santa Monica High grad who says he was in the class of '49. As far as the alumni site posting, he says he's 74 and June of '05 is in the future, so it would appear to be from early '05.
Post by mickeygubitosifan on May 31, 2011 23:42:22 GMT -5
Another minor Our Gang actor whose current vital status I've been wondering about lately is Jackie Hanes. He's credited for having appeared with The Gang in at least three of the silent shorts: Official Officers, Better Movies and One Wild Ride. IMDb assigns a birthdate of January 13, 1924 to Jackie Hanes, though I wonder if the year, at least, might not be accurate; I guess that it could be, but Official Officers was filmed in February of 1925, and to me Jackie Hanes looks older in it than barely one year of age.
Anyway, I've never seen any indication anywhere that he has died. That's no guarantee that he's still alive, of course, but to believe that he could still be around at age eighty-seven isn't an extreme stretch. I thought I would ask here to find out if anyone knows more about Jackie Hanes, now or then.
Post by mickeygubitosifan on Aug 8, 2011 17:09:19 GMT -5
Is it possible that Jo-Jo La Savio (of Time Out for Lessons, Duel Personalities and All About Hash) is still alive? Some of his online mini-bios seem to think so. I've heard definite reports of him still being alive and in pretty good health as recently as 2004, and nowhere have I found any indication that he has since passed away. According to IMDb he would have only just recently turned seventy-nine, so he would be one of the youngest surviving members of the Our Gang films if he is, indeed, still alive.
Does anyone have any further information that would indicate Jo-Jo La Savio's current status one way or the other?
Post by bigshotjones on Aug 8, 2011 17:45:28 GMT -5
I don't have any personal knowledge,but a little poking around reveals: a) no indication of a death notice or SSDI entry, b) his imdb bio was apparently written by his granddaughter, c) no phone number, but an home address. Maybe someone could drop him a line, maybe he'll respond or someone might respond for him, if he is deceased. Vincent Graeff did, when I found an address for him the same way.
Post by mickeygubitosifan on Aug 12, 2011 0:23:51 GMT -5
If I can find the address that you speak of online, then I think that I may try to write to Jo-Jo La Savio and see if an inquiry will elicit a response. The hard part, of course, is finding a way to ask the question, "Are you still alive?" without actually asking the question...
Someone posted on the Our Gang Wiki that Billy Naylor passed away on October 5, at age 95. A web search confirms this, and the articles say he was believed to be the last surviving Gang member from the silent era.
Post by mickeygubitosifan on Oct 15, 2011 0:37:55 GMT -5
So it appears that Billy Naylor was still alive; in fact, it seems that he was the oldest former Our Gang player still among us. Of course, there are still several Gangsters from the silent era who are known (or at least considered) to be alive today, including Lassie Lou Ahern, Jean Darling and Donnie Smith.
Speaking of Donnie Smith, does anybody here happen to have his birthdate?
IMDb lists it as September 17, 1924. I think I recall having heard somewhere that Donnie Smith's IMDb information may have been provided by his son (or daughter), the one who posted here on the boards in 2005.
Post by mickeygubitosifan on Nov 16, 2011 3:22:39 GMT -5
I figured that now would be a good time to update this list. To the best of my knowledge, the thirty-six Our Gang actors considered to still be alive are as follows:
Peggy Ahern: March 9, 1917 Jerry Marenghi: January 24, 1920 Lassie Lou Ahern: June 25, 1920 Douglas Greer: May 21, 1921 Jean Darling: August 23, 1922 Donnie Smith: September 17, 1924 Mildred Kornman: July 10, 1925 Dickie Jackson: August 2, 1925 Dickie Moore: September 12, 1925 Jerry Tucker: November 1, 1925 Jackie Lynn Taylor: June 29, 1926 Dickie Jones: February 25, 1927 Joy Wurgaft: September 19, 1927 Philip Hurlic: December 20, 1927 Sidney Kibrick: July 2, 1928 Betsy Gay: February 2, 1929 Peggy Lynch: May 11, 1929 Payne Johnson: June 2, 1930 Annie Ross: July 25, 1930 Marianne Edwards: December 4, 1930 Billy Mindy: February 26, 1931 Laura June Kenny: June 8, 1931 Darryl Hickman: July 28, 1931 Patsy Barry: June 30, 1932 Jo-Jo La Savio: July 2, 1932 Leonard Landy: July 2, 1933 Mickey Gubitosi: September 18, 1933 Dwayne Hickman: May 18, 1934 Clyde Willson: May 7, 1935
I've still been unable to find birth date information for Jack Hanlon, Valerie Lee, Hugh Chapman, or Patsy Britten, but indications are that they're all still living. Priscilla Montgomery's birth year is estimated as possibly being 1928, Leon Tyler seems to have been born in 1932, and Jackie Horner was probably born in 1933. That group of four Our Gang players is also still living, judging by all available indicators. And, as always, we remain unsure about Scooter Lowry.
Post by kevcoforkney on Nov 25, 2011 19:44:55 GMT -5
Shouldn't you also list Betsy Gay here? She appeared in several shorts -- Arbor Day, Our Gang Follies of 1938, etc. Not really a gang "member", I guess, but also more than an extra in several shorts. She appeared in other films and her later career was as a pop and country singer -- she recorded for Capitol, among other labels, and worked with such names as Stuart Hamblen, Spade Cooley and Texas Jim Lewis. Unless something has happened to her very recently, she is alive and well. I don't know her birth date, but assume about 1929-30. A fine singer and a very nice person -- I corresponded with her, mostly about her music career, a few years ago.
Post by mickeygubitosifan on Nov 26, 2011 2:12:09 GMT -5
Are we sure that Betsy Gay is still living? If so, then I'll certainly edit the list to include her. That would bring the number of surviving Our Gang actors back up to at least thirty-five, pending the discovery of any solid information about the current status of Scooter Lowry that could potentially increase that number to thirty-six.