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Our Gang - Spanky McFarland George (Spanky) McFarland had the most prolific career of any member of the Our Gang troupe. He appeared in 95 Our Gang shorts from 1932 through 1942. Even by Our Gang standards, McFarland began at a young age. His cuteness as a baby got Spanky's picture widely circulated on bread billboards in his hometown of Dallas. When Hal Roach began a new talent search, Spanky's aunt submitted his photos. This got him a screen test that was hugely positive--thus Spanky became an Our Gang regular at the age of three. The origin of Spanky's nickname is unclear; McFarland believed a Los Angeles showbiz columnist came up with it. Spanky's early Our Gang roles were as a tagalong little kid. His abilities to steal scenes and deliver funny lines got him more prominent roles. By 1936, at the age of eight, he was clearly the star of the series and the Gang's leader. He was always the 'idea man' of the Gang, devising schemes and plots. After Hal Roach sold the rights to Our Gang to MGM in 1938, MGM intended to begin anew with an entirely fresh cast of child actors. However, MGM rehired Spanky when a suitable replacement could not be found. Along with Spanky's 95 appearances in Our Gang films, he was also the lead in General Spanky (1936)--the only feature-length Our Gang film ever made. He later served in the Air Force. Spanky was working menial jobs in the 1950s when the Little Rascals reruns began to air on television. He began hosting a local program of them. Spanky's renaissance fame got him a job at Philco-Ford where he eventually became the head of national sales. In his later years Spanky hosted charity golf events. He made a cameo appearance on the sitcom Cheers in 1993. Spanky died of a heart attack not long afterwards. He was 64 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang    Spanky  McFarland 
Added: 26th November 2009
Views: 3860
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Mickey Daniels Mickey Daniels was the original freckle-faced kid in the silent Our Gang comedies. He was among the first children hired for the troupe by Hal Roach in 1922. His roles often had Mickey vying for the attentions of pretty Mary Kornman. After his Our Gang stint ended, Daniels continued acting. He often got movie roles as a newsboy, delivery boy, vendor, or telegram boy. Daniels made two Our Gang appearances as a young adult: He played a truant officer in Fish Hooky (one of the best Our Gang flicks) in 1933. His old flame, Mary Kornman, played the school teacher. He was also one of the returning Our Gang almuni in Reunion in Rhythm (1937). After appearing at several Our Gang cast reunions in the 1950s and 1960s, Daniels seemingly vanished. In 1991 researchers discovered Daniels had died from cirrhosis of the liver in 1970. He succumbed at a fleabag hotel in San Diego frequented by chronic alcoholics. Daniels was 55 at the time of his death. He is buried in an unmarked grave.
Tags: Mickey  Daniels  Our  Gang 
Added: 26th November 2009
Views: 2571
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Buckwheat One of the most recognizable characters in the Our Gang comedies was William (Buckwheat) Thomas who was a troupe member from 1934 until the series concluded in 1944. Thomas recalled his mother taking him to a tryout at age three--where he was quickly added as a minor character. He was being groomed to replace Stymie as the Gang's black character. Like Farina before him, Buckwheat's gender was a bit of a mystery at first, but he eventually grew into a male role. His trademark 'Otay!' was part of his garbled-English shtick. His wardrobe usually consisted of a striped shirt, a floppy hat, and pants held up by just one suspender. Thomas made an easy transition out of showbiz. He worked as a film laboratory technician for years and also served in the Korean War. (His gravestone wrongly lists him as a WWII veteran.) In August 1980 he was moved to tears after he was given a standing ovation by fans at an Our Gang reunion. Two months later Thomas died suddenly of a heart attack at age 49. Remarkably, Buckwheat got plenty of posthumous fame. Comedian Eddie Murphy had an ongoing Buckwheat-impersonation routine on Saturday Night Live. In 1990, the ABC news program 20/20 aired a segment about a man working in a Tempe, Arizona grocery store who claimed to be Buckwheat. The network was flooded with calls from knowledgeable Our Gang fans who pointed out that the real Buckwheat had died a decade earlier. An angry Spanky McFarland appeared on television to denounce the fraudster, a man named Billie English who had been masquerading as Buckwheat for 30 years. The producer of the 20/20 segment was summarily fired for his shoddy research. Buckwheat's son sued ABC for negligence.
Tags: Our  Gang  Buckwheat  Thomas 
Added: 2nd December 2009
Views: 4422
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Posted By: Lava1964
Our Gang - Miss Crabtree June Marlowe played the charming blonde teacher, Miss Crabtree, in six Our Gang comedies from the early sound period. Marlowe was born Gisela Goetten in St. Cloud, MN in 1903. She was a prolific actress in silent films during the 1920s, appearing in films opposite John Barrymore and Rin Tin Tin. Her career faltered with the introduction of talking pictures, and by 1930 she was starting to drift away from acting. Marlowe had a chance meeting with Our Gang director Robert McGowan in a Los Angeles department store. McGowan was searching for an actress to portray the teacher in the Our Gang comedies. After producer Hal Roach suggested that the brunette Marlowe wear a blonde wig to match the hair of the lead kid in the series, Jackie Cooper, she was given the part. Marlowe and Cooper were paired together in three Our Gang films: Teacher's Pet (1930), School's Out (1930), and Love Business (1931). Our Gang devotees refer to them as the 'Miss Crabtree trilogy.' She also played a small role in Little Daddy (1931). In addition to her work in Our Gang, Marlowe appeared in Laurel and Hardy's first feature film, Pardon Us (1931). After Cooper left the Our Gang troupe in 1931 to appear in MGM features, the Miss Crabtree character was used only twice more, in Shiver My Timbers (1931) and Readin' and Writin' (1932). In 1933, Marlowe married Hollywood businessman Rodney Sprigg and retired from motion pictures to become a housewife. In her later years, she suffered from Parkinson's disease, dying at age 80 from its complications on March 10, 1984.
Tags: June  Marlowe  Our  Gang  Miss  Crabtree 
Added: 3rd December 2009
Views: 3348
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Posted By: Lava1964
Judy Garland Death 1969 In March of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans. They lived together in England in a tiny mews house in Chelsea. During the evening of Saturday, June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching television when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door into the street, screaming and waking the neighbors. A phone call for Judy woke Mickey at 10:40 the next morning; Judy was not sleeping in the bed. Mickey searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor mortis had already set in. Judy Garland was dead at the age of 47. The official cause of death, according to the death certificate shown here, was accidental barbituate poisoning (quinalbarbitone). The day Judy died, legend has it, there was a tornado in Kansas.
Tags: Judy  Garland  death 
Added: 5th December 2009
Views: 8164
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rappin Rodney I can't believe this isn't here, I couldn't find anything in the search function.
Tags: Rappin    Rodney    Dangerfield    No    Respect    Music    Video    Caddyshack    Back    To    School    Oingo    Boingo    Danny    Elfman    No  Respect 
Added: 15th January 2010
Views: 1328
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Posted By: Old Fart
Alex Haley Plagiarism Scandal 1978 In 1978, Alex Haley, the renowned author of Roots, came under fire in a plagiarism lawsuit launched by a white anthropologist and fellow author Harold Courlander. Haley claimed he had spent a decade researching his heritage for his historical novel, which in 1977 was adapted as a wildly successful TV miniseries. That same year he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the Spingarn Medal for the book. A year later his reputation was forever marred. Courlander went to the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York to charge that Roots was substantially plagiarized from Courlander's own book, The African. Courlander's witnesses included Michael Wood an English professor at Columbia University and an expert on plagiarism. Wood opined in a report that the evidence of plagiarism in Roots was 'clear and irrefutable' and that the copying of passages was 'significant and extensive.' After a five-week trial in federal district court, Courlander and Haley settled the case, with Haley making a financial settlement of $650,000 and a statement that 'Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book Roots.' Haley claimed the appropriation of Courlander's passages had been unintentional. Haley orginally maintained he had never heard of The African, much less read it. Shortly after the trial, however, Joseph Bruchac, an instructor of black literature at Skidmore College, came forward to swear in an affidavit that in 1970 or 1971--five or six years before the publication of Roots--he had discussed The African with Haley and had given his 'own personal copy of The African to Haley.' In a later interview with BBC Television, Judge Ward stated, 'Alex Haley perpetrated a hoax on the public.'
Tags: Roots  Alex  Haley  plagiarism  scandal 
Added: 4th February 2010
Views: 15918
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Posted By: Lava1964
Who Put The Bomp by Barry Mann A One Hit Wonder is usually classified as an artist or group who only had one song reach the charts in their careers. Sometimes tho, you find something interesting when researching them. ;-) (Only the predominant songs on the album covers apply here).
Tags: barry  mann  who  put  the  bomp  1961 
Added: 7th June 2010
Views: 1686
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Posted By: nbmike
Google Old School Not quite, but almost!
Tags: Google  Old  School  Joke  search  engine 
Added: 12th June 2010
Views: 2453
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Posted By: Cliffy
1912 British Olympic Womens Swim Team These four swimmers represented Great Britain at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. They won the gold medal in the 4 x 100 relay. My research says they are Belle Moore, Jennie Fletcher, Annie Speirs, and Irene Steer, although I don't know which one is which. (I don't know who the dour lady in the middle is. A chaperon or coach, perhaps? She looks like a million laughs.) Women's swimming made its debut in these 1912 Olympics. The British team's winning time was five minutes, 52.8 seconds. By comparison, the gold-medal-winning time of the Australian team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was three minutes, 52.69 seconds--more than two full minutes ahead of the 1912 pace. The entire 1912 Olympic swimming program was contested in just one day.
Tags: Olympics  swimming  British  women 
Added: 21st September 2010
Views: 4146
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Posted By: Lava1964

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