Discover (and save!) He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! [14], CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Spanky" McFarland discusses Buckwheat in a 1987 appearance, "The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang", "Scholarship Keeps Controversial Image in the Spotlight : Education: Despite criticism, the son of the actor who played Buckwheat sees grant as a way to preserve his father's legacy", His gang Spanky McFarland remembers his long stint as a `Little Rascal'. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. The fallout from this incident included the resignation of a 20/20 producer[13] and a negligence lawsuit filed by the son of William Thomas. [10] In 2010, he wrote the book "Otay!" He was in the show for ten years, from 1934 to its ending in 1944. Take a look at the film and television career of Sylvie's Love star Tessa Thompson. He took his experience in film work as a spark to learn the trade of film editing and cutting. Despite Thomas being a male, the Buckwheat character remained a female—dressed as a Topsy-esque image of the African-American "pickaninny" stereotype with bowed pigtails, a large hand-me-down sweater and oversized boots. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit. During the first half of his Our Gang tenure, Thomas's Buckwheat character was often paired with Eugene "Porky" Lee as a tag-along team of "little kids" rallying against (and often outsmarting) the "big kids", George "Spanky" McFarland and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer. originally uttered by Porky, but soon used by both characters.[1]. By 1940, Thomas had grown out of his speech impediment, and with Lee having been replaced by Robert Blake, Thomas's Buckwheat character was written as an archetypal black youth. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Though offered many film and stage roles, he had no desire to return to Hollywood as an actor. Washee Ironee . William "Billie" Thomas Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. William Thomas Jr. (lahir 12 Maret 1931 – meninggal 10 Oktober 1980 pada umur 49 tahun), yang juga dikenal dengan sebutan Billie Thomas, adalah seorang pemeran cilik Amerika Serikat yang dikenal karena memerankan karakter Buckwheat dalam seri film pendek Our Gang ( Little Rascals) dari 1934 sampai akhir seri tersebut pada 1944. Thomas was born in Los Angeles. [3][4] However, the work of Thomas and the other black cast members as actors is credited with helping the cause of race relations by playing alongside white children as equals in a desegregated show during the height of the Jim Crow Era. ", "The First Round-Up", and "... SNL's 40th Anniversary: Catchphrases first 20 years, Most Exciting Movie Fictional Scout Troop, Cinecittà Babilonia: Sex, Drugs and Black Shirts. Teacher's Beau. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). Thomas enlisted in the United States Army in 1954 at the age of 23, and was released from active military service in 1956 decorated with a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. Eddie Murphy performed a series of Buckwheat sketches on Saturday Night Live during the 1980s when he was a cast member. "Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security. In 1950, Billy had a son whom he also named William Thomas Jr. William Thomas Jr. the younger, went on to graduate from California State Northridge University in 1975, then in 1992, created the Buckwheat Memorial Scholarship for students at Northridge in his honor. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas - IMDb Billie Thomas was an African-American child actor who was best-known for appearing in the "Our Gang" film series from 1934 to its end in 1944. “After the Army, I wasn't really interested in the hassle of performing," he explained shortly before his death in 1980. Mr. Murphy did a very poor imitation. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thomas auditioned for an "Our Gang" role when he was three years old. American child actor Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas in a promotional portrait for the Hal Roach 'Our Gang' comedy film series, circa, 1938. American child actors Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas , George 'Spanky' McFarland and Darla Hood , in a promotional still for 'Clown Princes' a film in the the MGM 'Our Gang' comedy series, directed by... Obtenez des photos d'actualité haute résolution de qualité sur Getty Images He was one of the most popular of "The Little Rascals". William “Billie” Thomas, Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series’ end in 1944. With the short film "Mama's Little Pirate" (1935), Thomas became the third actor to portray the character "Buckwheat", who had at first been depicted as a bowed-pigtailed female character at first, portrayed by Carlena Beard (1929-1972) and Willie Mae Walton (1918-2018); Thomas was effectively cross-dressing for the role. This is similar to the initial handling of another African-American Our Gang member, Allen "Farina" Hoskins, who worked in the series during the silent and early sound eras. Billie Thomas Girlfriend Boyfriend, Married, Spouse Wife Husband, Instagram Pics, Twitter New Post, Facebook Update, Youtube Video. [1], Despite the change in the Buckwheat character's gender, Billie Thomas's androgynous costuming was not changed until his appearance in the 1936 film Pay as You Exit. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas would remain the only holdover from the Hal Roach Our Gang era to stay with the series until its end in 1944. "[1] However, Thomas still enjoyed the film industry at large, and had a successful career as a film lab technician with the Technicolor corporation. Let’s start to read as below. Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas; Billy "Froggy" Laughlin; Bobby "Mickey" Blake; Janet Burston; Dessin anim é. Arrivé en même temps que Pac-Man, un feuilleton live de dessin animé du même titre, produit par Hanna-Barbera en 1982, apparaît dans la même année de la série originale après avoir réalisé The Little Rascals Christmas Special pour Noël en 1979. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas, Actor: Pay As You Exit. But the real question is whether he was a boy or a girl. He made Buckwheat into a stereotype that he wasn't, at the expense of the people in his family who are still alive. Thomas was the only cast member to appear in all 52 of the MGM-produced entries and was the only holdover from the Hal Roach era to remain in the series until its end in 1944. Despite being confronted by McFarland on the television newsmagazine A Current Affair, English, who died four years later at the age of 60, refused to retreat from his claim, maintaining that he had originated the role of Buckwheat, with other actors playing the character only after he had left it. [1], At "Hollywood 80", the second annual meeting of The Sons of the Desert, from July 30 to August 3, 1980, more than 500 fans gathered at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel. William Thomas Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980), known as Billie Thomas, was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. [1][7][8], On October 10, 1980, ten weeks after his July 31 appearance at the Hilton, Thomas died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment at the age of 49, forty-six years to the day after his mother brought him to audition at the Hal Roach Studios. Several days were spent touring famous Hollywood attractions, and then the highlight of the gathering took place in the hotel ballroom. His Buckwheat character was affectionately spoofed by Eddie Murphy during the comedian's stint on TV's "Saturday Night Live" in the early 1980s. "I didn't care for them a bit. Acting. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. This new print is made from the original hand oil tinted photograph that was professionally digitized to Some Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas images. English's appearance prompted public objections from McFarland, who contacted media outlets following the broadcast to inform them that the true Buckwheat had been dead for ten years. Billie Thomas was an African-American child actor who was best-known for appearing in the "Our Gang" film series from 1934 to its end in 1944. He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! Billie Thomas (originally William Thomas, Jr.) is best remembered as Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) shorts from 1934 until the series ended in 1943. Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas Active - 1934 - 1945 | Born - Mar 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, United States | Died - Oct 10, 1980 | Genres - Comedy. Bear Facts. Lors d’une conférences sur les «Little Rascals» en 1980, Billie reçoit une ovation spontanée qui l’a émue aux larmes. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas is a member of Actor He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles. 2012: The Best of The Little Rascals in 3D as Buckwheat: 1945: Colorado Pioneers as Smokey, Parish Boy (as Buckwheat Thomas) 1944: Dancing Romeo as Buckwheat: 1944: Tale of a Dog as Buckwheat … Buckwheat eventually became a more masculine character, and was first credited as male … Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas | Black history facts, Black hollywood, African american history. He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas's friend both on the set and off. "[2], Thomas remained in Our Gang for ten years, appearing in all but one of the shorts, Feed 'em and Weep (due to sickness when Philip Hurlic filled in for him), made from Washee Ironee in 1934 through the series' end in 1944. [1] Thomas is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood.[9]. 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