Cast of Little Rascals Then and Now

The Little Rascals television show was based on an older television show called Our Gang. Just like The Little Rascals, the story followed a band of kids as they embarked on their comedic adventures. The show was such a hit that it’s still broadcasted today. What was remarkable about the show was that the young characters were able to translate their distinct personality very well to the big screen.

Being such a successful show with such a young cast, we can’t help but wonder what happened to these actors after the show was done. Also, how were these kids cast in it? How were they found? If you’ve ever wondered about these questions then wait no longer. Here you’ll find everything about The Little Rascals cast before and after the show was televised.

Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas


A child actor at the time, Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas is best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the show Our Gang (the original Little Rascal). He was a native of Los Angeles and was part of the show from the beginning until it ended. Even though he was a male, Thomas played the character Buckwheat as a female wearing bowed pigtails, a large hand-me-down sweater, and oversized boots. The character eventually morphed into a male, but the costume remained somewhat the same.

What Happened to Buckwheat?

Still, a young buck, only 23 years old, after Wiliam Thomas left the show business he enlisted in the army. Consequently, he was honorably discharged and received many accolades from the Army like a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. Thomas returned to the film industry, but off-screen instead. He worked as a film lab technician in Los Angeles. He passed in the 80s but is still remembered for his role as Buckwheat.

George ‘Spanky’ McFarland

George Robert Phillips McFarland started his career as a child model for a department start in Dallas. He could also be spotted on highway billboards and in print advertisements for the brand, Wonder Bread. He was surely a child star. Interestingly, his nickname “Spanky” came from his misbehaviors as a child actor during the auditions for Our Gang, which later on became his adopted name in the series.

What Happened to Spanky?

After leaving the entertainment industry at only 24 years old, George Robert Phillips McFarland joined the United States Air Force. He consequently got discharged but was never able to find the success he wanted. After the army, he worked odd jobs, flipping burgers, making popsicles, and others. He was never able to live up to the expectations that he had set from a young age. He passed away when he was only 64 years old due to cardiac arrest. McFarland was last seen on television in the opening episode of the show Cheers.

Matthew ‘Stymie’ Beard

Matthew Beard Jr. became an actor when he was just a baby. He was only 2 years old when he landed his first role and continued acting ever since. After his debut as a baby actor, he signed a 5-year contract to play Stymie in Our Gang. However, the character’s name was not always Stymie. In the series, Beard started it out by playing Hercules but got his name changed by the director, who wanted the character to be more aligned with the actor’s personality traits. Stymie’s trademark included being bald and using an oversized derby hat which many viewers adored.

What happened to Stymie?

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Matthew Beard Jr. was only 10 years old when his contract was up at Our Gang. He went on to act for several years. But later, in his adulthood, he developed a drug addiction that eventually took him to rehab. He was able to turn his life around and became a regular television guest star in different shows. As Beard maintained his sobriety, he also became an ambassador for sober living and gave lectures all around the country about drug-abuse awareness. After having a few serious health complications, he succumbed and passed away. Beard was 56 years old and he will forever be remembered for wearing his trademark bowler hat.

Billy ‘Froggy’ Laughlin

Like many members of the Our Gang cast, William Robert Laughlin’s, also known as Billy ‘Froggy’ Laughlin’s acting career skyrocketed after his role as Froggy in the series. Froggy was an iconic character known for his strange, frog-sounding voice (done purposely). When Our Gang stopped production, Laughlin continued acting for a bit but left show business to enjoy his teenage years.

What Happened to Froggy?


Unfortunately, William Robert Laughlin could not enjoy much of his teenage years. One day out on his friend’s scooter around his neighborhood in California, he was fatally struck by a speeding truck. He ended up not being able to resist the wounds from the accident. He was only 16 years old when he passed away, and that made him the youngest member of the Our Gang crew deceased. But Froggy left a legacy behind him. His weird antics will always be remembered by fans around the country. He’s gone but certainly not forgotten.

Eugene ‘Porky’ Lee


After realizing the uncanny resemblance to another Our Gang star, the director, Hal Roach decided to cast Eugene ‘Porky’ Lee in the show. Porky was a chubby little kid which helped originate his nickname. The 18-month-old toddler at the time looked like Spanky McFarland so he has cast to play his brother. He was one of the youngest members and appeared in more than 40 episodes. Interestingly, when he was 5 years old, Lee had a growth spurt that led him to outgrow his 10-year-old brother in the series. Because of that, Lee had to be replaced.

What Happened to Porky?

After his spell as a child actor, Eugene ‘Porky’ Lee gave up on acting as a whole. He then decided to venture elsewhere and became a schoolteacher in Colorado. Seeking to change his career and life, he even changed his name to Gordon Lee. After retiring as a school teacher, he retired and moved to Minnesota, closer to his only son. Lee deceased at 71 years old. Yet, it is said that a couple of years before passing away, Lee sold autographed photos of himself as Porky, which made him feel remembered by his fans.

Mickey ‘Mickey’ Gubitosi


Michael James Gubitosi, mostly known as Robert Blake began his career working as a movie extra for his parent’s song-and-dance act in 1936. His acting break happened when he was 9 years old when he began playing Mickey in Our Gang, after replacing Porky. In the show, he played the leader of the group, and his performance was noted by many people in the film industry.

What Happened to Mickey?

Brian To/FilmMagic

Robert Blake’s journey in the acting industry was a rollercoaster. After being drafted into the army, he began struggling with drug addiction. He then decided to crawl his way back into acting and only found work as a stuntman. However, like every rollercoaster, he also had some ups. Blake went on to be an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe winner. He played many iconic characters that remain timeless like Tony Baretta, the star of the show Baretta. However, at age 89, the actor could not resist a heart disease and consequently died in March 2023.

Mickey ‘Mickey/Algebra’ Daniels

One of the highest-paid child actors during the filming of Our Gang, Mickey ‘Mickey/Algebra’ Daniels was living large as a young star. Known for his red hair and freckle-faced, Mickey was a regular at the show. It is said that he made $2,500 a week in today’s dollars. Before debuting on the show, he already had plenty of on-screen experience in films like The Little Minister, My Wild Irish Rose, and others. They weren’t great, but surely put him in the spotlight.

What Happened to Algebra?

Mickey ‘Mickey/Algebra’ Daniels continued expanding his acting career by performing in more than 100 shows and films. Mickey eventually returned to Our Gang, making a couple of surprise guest appearances, but they were nothing more than walk-on parts. That is to say that his career never really took off the way he’d thought. He then quit his artistic endeavors and became a taxi driver. Away from the camera for a while, his spotlight dimmed. The actor lost his life at 55 years old, yet his distinctive laugh and comedic acting still resonate with his fans.

Petey the Pup

Beyond the human cast members of Our Gang, no one could resist the charm of Pete (or, as we prefer, Petey) the Pup. Petey was owned and trained by Lieutenant Harry Lucenay and he was the offspring of the famous Pal the Wonder Dog. Besides being one of the few dog actors at the time, Petey had another unique element to him, a circle around his eye which he was born with, but was accentuated by a makeup artist during the shooting of another film.

What Happened to Petey?


Initially rejected because of the ring around his eye, Petey the pup went on to conquer the hearts of not only the cast of Our Gang but also viewers countrywide. He eventually became one of the highest-paid actors in the show. However, two years after the show was over, at the age of 16, the American bulldog lost his life. There are numerous controversies surrounding that, but it was reported that it died of old age.

Mary Ann Jackson


Mary Ann Jackson was undoubtedly one of the most liked female characters in Our Gang. She played the older sister of Wheezer and was known for her bobbed haircut and tomboyish behaviors. She was part of the gang for about 4 years but left the show when she was 8 years old. Before her first appearance in the show, she already had been on professional film sets mostly working in short films.

What Happened to Mary Ann Jackson?

After her years working in Our Gang, Mary Ann Jackson continued acting up until her early 40s. Without much success throughout the rest of her acting career, she started spending her time working in department stores and partying with her sister. She passed away in 2003 and it’s said that she had fond memories of her days as part of the gang.

Darla Hood


Born in the small town of Leedey, Oklahoma, Darla Hood, at an early age already showed a love for performing. Her musical talents were noted as her mom prodded her to sing and dance. It was invertible that Hood would make her way into the entertainment world and so she did. She was the leading lady in the show Our Gang and was an object of affection amongst the male characters in the show. Her flirtatious banter and attitude were translated so perfectly on-camera that it became difficult for her co-stars to forget her.

What Happened to Darla?


When Darla Hood outgrew her role in Our Gang, she appeared in several other movies and attended school in Los Angeles. Later on, Hood began chasing a career in the musical world which ended up working out. She quickly found success performing musicals in New York City and Hollywood and went on to be a guest star in many television shows. Sadly, to many people’s surprise, she only lived until she was 47 years old which happened while she was undergoing a medical procedure.


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