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Darla Hood

Darla Hood

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Also Known As: Dorla Jean Hood Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Darla Hood was one of Hollywood's most unlikely leading ladies. Plucked from obscurity at age three to test for Hal Roach in Hollywood, the Oklahoma native won a spot in Roach's "Our Gang" repertory, a troupe of kid performers whose comic two-reelers lifted the spirits of American moviegoers during the Great Depression. With her dimples and expressive Betty Boop eyes, Hood asserted herself as the darling of Our Gang, holding her own against established castmates George "Spanky" McFarland, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. Coquettishly batting her lashes as she sang and danced through many a production number, Hood was an object of affection for a generation of pre-adolescent boys, onscreen and off. Her appeal spread to features, where she partnered with Laurel and Hardy and Charley Chase. With the dissolution of Our Gang in 1942, the teenager transitioned to work as a singer, recording artist and nightclub headliner. Hood, who later gave voice to such popular advertising mascots as the Chicken of the Sea Mermaid and the Campbell Soup Kids, was active on the nostalgia circuit when hospitalization in 1979 for routine surgery resulted in unexpected death at age 49. Though she did...

Darla Hood was one of Hollywood's most unlikely leading ladies. Plucked from obscurity at age three to test for Hal Roach in Hollywood, the Oklahoma native won a spot in Roach's "Our Gang" repertory, a troupe of kid performers whose comic two-reelers lifted the spirits of American moviegoers during the Great Depression. With her dimples and expressive Betty Boop eyes, Hood asserted herself as the darling of Our Gang, holding her own against established castmates George "Spanky" McFarland, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. Coquettishly batting her lashes as she sang and danced through many a production number, Hood was an object of affection for a generation of pre-adolescent boys, onscreen and off. Her appeal spread to features, where she partnered with Laurel and Hardy and Charley Chase. With the dissolution of Our Gang in 1942, the teenager transitioned to work as a singer, recording artist and nightclub headliner. Hood, who later gave voice to such popular advertising mascots as the Chicken of the Sea Mermaid and the Campbell Soup Kids, was active on the nostalgia circuit when hospitalization in 1979 for routine surgery resulted in unexpected death at age 49. Though she did not live long enough to enjoy to its fullest the adoration of her growing fanbase, Hood's efforts to preserve the Our Gang legacy survived her and left her enshrined as one of Hollywood's most beloved child stars, a pop culture icon short in stature but long on accomplishment.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Bat (1959) Judy Hollender
2.
 Calypso Heat Wave (1957) Girl
3.
 Happy Land (1943) Lenore Prentiss, age 12
4.
 Born to Sing (1942) Quiz Kid
5.
 The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939) Sister
6.
7.
 Helping Hands (1941)
8.
9.
 Wedding Worries (1941)
10.
 Robot Wrecks (1941)
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Contributions

Tony Scott ( 2006-05-08 )

Source: The Stars of Hollywood Forever: 1901-2006

Born: November28, 1931 Leedey, OK
Died: March 16, 1979 North Hollywood, CA
The daughter of a banker and a music teacher, Darla was the ‘leading lady’ in a string of "Our Gang" films. She started four years of age taking singing and dancing lessons in Oklahoma City. At three years of age she was taken to New York and was spotted by a casting director for the Hal Roach Studios. After a successful screen test, she was sent to Culver City, California and appeared in "Our Gang" movies.

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