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Our Gang - Scotty Beckett Scotty Beckett joined the Our Gang troupe in 1934 as a five-year-old. Wearing an oversized sweater and a backward baseball cap, the photogenic Scotty was the stereotypical 'cute kid.' He stopped doing Our Gang comedies after just two years to do roles in feature films. He had a successful acting career as a teen. Most notably he played the youthful Al Jolson in The Jolson Story (1946). However, by 1954, Beckett's acting career was over. His adult life was a series of bad marriages, alcoholism, drug abuse, small-time crime, and violent incidents. Once he engaged in a prolonged gun battle with police. On May 8, 1968 Beckett checked himself into a nursing home after receiving a beating. He died two days later from what may have been a suicide or a drug overdose. Beckett was 38 years old.
Tags: Our  Gang  Scotty  Beckett 
Added: 24th November 2009
Views: 2495
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Marty6697 on 2009-11-24 
Another one with The Little Rascals Curse.
Posted by: Jedwgrn on 2009-11-24 
Were there any stories of happy endings for any of the Our Gang or Little Rascals stable of actors? I remember seeing George 'Spanky' McFarland on one of the local news channels in Dallas in the 60s, missing a front tooth or so, but with a coat and tie. I remember Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer story being run in a Dallas paper and the obit story about Darla.
Posted by: Electricland on 2009-11-24 
Lava, nobody has a happy ending from that memorable film series?

It is just so bizarre.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-11-24 
Despite the bad apples and bad endings among the Our Gang troupe, there were many who lived long lives. To name but a few...

Jackie Cooper is still alive and a had fine acting career. The same could be said of Dickie Moore.

Spanky McFarlane lived to be 65 (slightly less than life expectancy) and was a successful businessman.

Joe Cobb, the original 'fat boy' of the series, lived into his eighties.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-11-24 
Continuing the idea of the Our Gang curse..

The excellent website Find A Grave has 27 members of the Our Gang troupe listed as deceased. (One is the dog, so we can disregard that one.) A great many of the troupe lived into their seventies. Some lived into their eighties. Hal Roach, who created the series, lived to be 100. Some of the more prominent ones died young, which gives the impression that most of them died young--which really isn't true.
Posted by: Jedwgrn on 2009-11-24 
So the guy who founded and established the group lived to 100 and the prominent ones died young, what happened to the rest and why did the prominent ones die young? And did the ones who were prominent do something wrong?
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-11-24 
My research skills are being put to the test tonight! Below are 21 notable deceased Our Gang cast members. I've listed each one's age when he/she died and the cause of death (if known):

Stymie - age 56 - pneumonia
Scotty - age 38 - drug overdose/possible suicide
Butch - age 79 - heart attack
Chubby - age 22 - glandular condition
Joe Cobb - age 85
Mickey Daniels - age 55 - cirrhosis of the liver
Johnny Downs - age 80
Darla Hood - age 47 - hepatitis
Farina - age 59 - cancer
Wheezer - age 20 - aviation accident
Waldo - age 73 - killed by hit-and-run driver while out for a walk
Mary Kornman - age 58 - cancer
Froggy - age 16 - killed by bus while delivering newspapers on a scooter
Porky - age 71 - cancer
Miss Crabtree - age 80 - Parkinson's Disease
Spanky - age 64 - heart attack
Sunshine Sammy - age 76
Jay Smith - age 87 - stabbed to death by a homeless man he tried to befriend
Harry Spear - age 84
Alfalfa - age 31 - shot to death in a dispute over a $50 debt
Buckwheat - age 49 - heart attack
Posted by: Jedwgrn on 2009-11-24 
Wow Lava, this is really getting interesting. What narratives can you give us about the people above. The list seems to be an all inclusive and please don't lump it all together, give us a detailed list and explanation so we may understand. Namely, something on each one, who they were in the Our Gang/The Little Rascals so that we might understand their roles and can remember who they were.
Posted by: Jedwgrn on 2009-11-24 
Wait. I know you have done a few already and that is why it has become interesting. Please, a synopsis, and then the rest of the story.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-11-25 
Okay, due to popular demand, I'll write regular features on the Our Gang members--but not tonight. In the mean time I'll list another 15 of the Our Gang cast members, some prominent and some obscure, who mostly lived into old age. A few are still with us!

Jean Darling - alive (age 87)
Mary Ann Jackson - age 80 - heart attack
Peggy Cartwright - age 88
Eugene Jackson - age 84
Jackie Condon - age 59 - cancer
Shirley Jean Rickert - age 82
Dorothy DeBorba - alive (age 84)
Dickie Moore - alive (age 84)
Donald Haines - age 24 - kiiled in action in WWII
John Collum - age 36 - heart attack
Jackie Cooper - alive (age 87)
Buddy McDonald - age 85 - heart failure
Breezy - age 64 - suicide (was distraught at his impending forced retirement at age 65)
Wally Albright - age 73
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