Tag Archives: Jackie Cooper

Classic Hollywood #75 – Child Star Jackie Cooper

Young Jackie Cooper Signs A Big Contract With MGM – 1931

Jackie Cooper child star signs contract with MGM Louis B MayerYoungest Long-Termer

Hollywood, Calif – Jack Cooper, seven-year-old hero of “Skippy” and the most promising youngster in Hollywood is earning the distinction of being the youngest star to have a long term contract as he prepares to put his “John Hancock” on the important looking document being held by Luis B. Mayer, vice-president of a leading motion picture company. While the salary was not disclosed it is believed there was an unprecedented number of naughts after the first figure to make him the highest paid youngster in the United States. His first thought after walking around the movie lot following the signing was to organize a football team. – (credit: International Newsreel Photo,  June 9, 1931

Being a minor Jackie Cooper could not legally sign his contract, his parents were the real signers. Continue reading

Our Gang / Little Rascals Star Norman Chubby Chaney No Longer Has An Unmarked Grave

“Chubsy-Ubsy” Finally Gets A Headstone

Jackie Cooper, June Marlowe, Shirley Jean Rickert, Norman Chubby Chaney, Dorothy DeBorba

Jackie Cooper, June Marlowe, Shirley Jean Rickert, Norman Chubby Chaney, Dorothy DeBorba

Norman “Chubby” Chaney, a star for Hal Roach’s Our Gang comedies, (aka the Little Rascals) had been buried in an unmarked grave at Baltimore Cemetery since 1936. He was the first former cast member to pass away.

Chaney appeared in the early Our Gang sound films from 1929 – 1931, winning a lookalike contest to replace Our Gang heavyweight Joe Cobb.

One of the the most beloved short films of the series that Chaney starred in was where he was competing with Jackie Cooper for their teacher, Miss Crabtree’s (June Marlowe), affection and attention. In that film, Love Business (1931), Chubby said the immortal words, “Don’t call me Norman, call me Chubsy-ubsy.”

When Chaney died at the age of 21 in 1936 following an operation to correct a glandular disorder, the family had no money to put up a marker in the cemetery.

Finally last year through the efforts of Detroit musician Mikal C.G., money was raised through online donations to put up a headstone. The unveiling ceremony on November 10, 2012, was attended by less than a dozen observers. Whether or not Chaney attracts visitors to his grave, his performances preserved on film will be viewed and enjoyed by countless generations to come.

Jackie Cooper, Movie Star For Over 60 Years Is Dead

Jackie Cooper Dies At 88

Jackie Cooper passed away last week at the age of 88. Cooper who rose to prominence in the Hal Roach produced Our Gang (a.k.a. the Little Rascals) movie shorts, was one of the last remaining movie stars who worked during Hollywood’s golden era of the 1930’s.

Jackie Cooper (left) Love Business 1931

The Our Gang / Little Rascals remaining cast is now down to under a dozen stars.  The other living supporting players made brief appearances, many in the later films of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s after creator Hal Roach had sold the franchise to MGM. The most notable living star of those later Our Gang comedies is Robert Blake.  I grew up watching Cooper star in Our Gang and his passing is sad, as he was a gifted actor and it is a reminder of how few of the early Hollywood stars remain. Unlike his more popular and well known successors as leads in Our Gang, George “Spanky” McFarland and Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer, Cooper was cast in several big budget Hollywood productions and was almost always very good in whatever he was in.

Jackie Cooper was a rarity, in that very few Continue reading