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Spanky McFarland

Spanky McFarland

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Peck's Bad Boy With The Circus... The irrepressible mischief-maker of George W. Peck's classic American stories... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: George Robert Phillips Mcfarland, George Mcfarland, "Spanky" Mcfarland Died: June 30, 1993
Born: October 2, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Fort Worth, Texas, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he joined Hal Roach's "Our Gang" comedies 10 years into the series' two-decade run, three-year-old Spanky McFarland grew up to become the face of The Little Rascals, a gaggle of New Deal tearaways chasing fun and dredging up trouble in an idealized American hometown. Pudgy-cheeked and precocious in such early outings as "Free Eats" (1932) and "Spanky" (1932), McFarland matured into a stocky, authoritative youth, making him the born leader of co-stars George "Alfalfa" Switzer, Darla Hood, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. Though he branched out to features - most memorably as an irksome Boy Scout who plagues passion killer Edward G. Robinson in Fritz Lang's "Woman in the Window" (1944) - McFarland was washed up by age 20. After a stint in the military and a failed bid to host a TV variety show for kids, he worked as a salesman for the Ford-Philco Corporation and eventually found his way to the fan convention circuit. Avoiding the late-life problems that plagued his pint-sized co-stars in their adult years, McFarland remained a cheerful public presence up until his death in 1993 at age 64. Immortalized in nearly 100 Hal Roach and MGM two-reelers that helped Americans laugh...

Though he joined Hal Roach's "Our Gang" comedies 10 years into the series' two-decade run, three-year-old Spanky McFarland grew up to become the face of The Little Rascals, a gaggle of New Deal tearaways chasing fun and dredging up trouble in an idealized American hometown. Pudgy-cheeked and precocious in such early outings as "Free Eats" (1932) and "Spanky" (1932), McFarland matured into a stocky, authoritative youth, making him the born leader of co-stars George "Alfalfa" Switzer, Darla Hood, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. Though he branched out to features - most memorably as an irksome Boy Scout who plagues passion killer Edward G. Robinson in Fritz Lang's "Woman in the Window" (1944) - McFarland was washed up by age 20. After a stint in the military and a failed bid to host a TV variety show for kids, he worked as a salesman for the Ford-Philco Corporation and eventually found his way to the fan convention circuit. Avoiding the late-life problems that plagued his pint-sized co-stars in their adult years, McFarland remained a cheerful public presence up until his death in 1993 at age 64. Immortalized in nearly 100 Hal Roach and MGM two-reelers that helped Americans laugh their way out of the Great Depression, Spanky McFarland carved for himself a unique niche in Hollywood, where he stood toe to toe if not quite eye to eye with such beloved movie funnymen as Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 The Woman in the Window (1944) Boy Scout
3.
 The Cowboy and the Senorita (1944) Fat boy
4.
5.
 Johnny Doughboy (1942) "Spanky"
6.
7.
 General Spanky (1936) Spanky
8.
 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936) Buddie Tolliver
9.
 O'Shaughnessy's Boy (1935) "Stubby" as a child
10.
 Here Comes the Band (1935) Spanky
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Milestones close milestones

1931:
Began career at age three when he modeled baby clothes
1932:
Was discovered by producer Hal Roach when he appeared in a "Wonder Bread" commercial; selected to replace Joe Cobb as the resident "fat boy" in the "Our Gang" shorts; earliest appearances with the group include "Spanky" and "Free Eats"
1933:
Played first notable feature film role in "Day of Reckoning"
:
Left "Our Gang" in the early 1940s
:
Left acting after appearing in small roles in the features "I Escaped from the Gestapo" (1943) and "The Woman in the Window" (1944)
:
Ventured into sales; worked for a car dealership and a wine company
:
Opened a barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma City OK
:
Became a spokesman for the Justin Boot Company
1975:
One-shot return to acting after a thirty-year absence in the action comedy, "Moonrunners"
1986:
Returned again to features to appear in his last film, "The Aurora Encounter"
1989:
Appeared on the PBS documentary special, "When We Were Young...Growing Up on the Silver Screen"
1993:
Final TV appearance (as himself), in an episode of "Cheers"
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Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Doris McFarland.

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