NOT the Our Gang kids

Over the years many people have falsely claimed to have been part of Our Gang. Here are some recent obituarites and letters I've received from people claiming to have been part of Our Gang, when their stories just can't be verified. As is common with most of the imposters, they can't remember their character's name, or any of the films they appeared in. Many of them also say the films were shot locally in New York, or Texas, or wherever they lived. All the Our Gang films were shot in the Culver City, California area.

Read on, because some of these stories are pretty funny!

1Baby LucilleObituarySAN DIEGO - Lucille Vore, 82, who starred as Baby Lucille in the Original "Our Gang" comedy films, died April 8, 1999. Ms. Vore was discovered at age 4 by a movie director as she daintly removed a pair of white gloves while riding on the San Diego trolley. In 1920, she was chosen over 400 little girls for the "Our Gang" role and became the youngest in the cast, known for its on-screen mischief. In the late 1920s, she appeared in three movies as a stand-in for Barbara Stanwyck, but left acting soon after to become a registered nurse. In 1970, she starred in a stage production of "Little Murders" at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

Richard Bann said he never heard of Lucille Vore, and she doesn't appear in any of the Our Gang shorts. Our Gang started in 1922, not 1920. She would have been 3 in 1920, yet she was discovered when she was 4. She would have been 5 in 1922, hardly a baby. By the late 1920's she would have been 12, yet she was a stand-in for Barbara Stanwyck?!

2FattyObituaryFebruary 1998 - The national news picked up the story of Fatty who had died. The picture they showed was of Harry Spear.

Leonard Maltin said this was another false claim of Our Gang membership, and laughed that the media published it at all.

3Unknowne-mailBecause you have done so much research regarding the Little rascals, I was wondering if you could give me some information on my husband's grandmother. She goes by the name of Florance xxxxxxx now, but I am sure she had a stage name. She played bit parts in two or three of the shows. Any help would be great. She is currently living in Florida with her second husband. She is in poor health and can't share this information with me.

There is no reference to anyone with the name I was provided as ever being in Our Gang.

4Unknowne-mailMy mother-in-law, Dorothy xxxxxxx, grew up in Texarkansas, Arkansas. She claims that she and her brother were in an "Our Gang" episode where she played a "little rich girl" who had been kidnapped, and the "Gang" had to rescue her. Have you heard of such an episode? Do you know how I could acquire it? I would LOVE to be able to acquire it to share with her and the family as a present!

There is no such episode in the 221 Our Gang shorts made, nor could they remember anything about the film. They also claimed it was filmed in Texarkansas, Arkansas, when in actuality no Our Gang films were made outside of the Culver City California area.

5Unknowne-mailMy teacher told me he was one of the cast. He was my saxophone private lesson teacher in high school. He also has a CD and it mentions Our Gang. Thanks.

Again, her teachers name was not recognizable as being an Our Gang member, and he had no proof other than his word.

6Darla HoodStory from a friendAs a customer was leaving my office, she noticed the photo of Shirley Jean (the one where she's sitting on Miss Crabtree's knee). She stopped and informed me: "You know, Darla's the sweetest lady! Did you know she runs the hot dog stand over at Costco?" I was laughing too hard to say anything to the poor lady as she left my office, but she sure was convinced that THE Darla is alive and well, and runs "Darla's Doggie Delights" over at a discount warehouse in a small burg in Northern California.

The one and only Darla Hood died in 1979.

7UnknownStory from a friendI was picking up a special Our Gang video order at a retailer in San Jose. The clerk proceeded to tell me how her grandmother was in "all" the early Gang talkies. I nicely pressed for details, and the clerk said she'd check with Gramma. A few days later I called the clerk and the clerk, rather sheepishly, said that apparently Gramma had forgotten which films she was in or which character she played, but she was called "Baby SomethingOrOther".

Could not remember what she had been in, nor what her name had been.

8Darla Hoode-mailMr. Picking, I'm writing to ask for your help in a story I'm writing for the Albuquerque Journal, a newspaper in New Mexico. A woman who is visiting her son here claims she played "Darla" in the Our Gang series. However I am unable to substantiate this. I was hoping to find something on the WWW to support her claims, but I'm coming up with a ZERO! Can you help? Her name is Marilyn xxxxxxx, and she said she went by Marilyn xxxxxxx when she did the series.

I replied stating that this woman was not Darla Jean Hood, and here's the response I got back:

I must say this woman is very convincing. She's been interviewed extensively, especially with the release a couple years ago of the new Little Rascals movie. When I asked her about Darla Jean Hood, she said that was the name that Hal Roach had given her. Her son is quite annoyed that I checked on the Web for some facts. He said he would like to talk to you and I gave him your web site address. Let's see if you get any e-mail from him. (I never did) He said his mom is the real thing. I think I touched off a family scandal. In any case, thank you for saving me from what could have been a very embarrassing situation. I just feel really badly for this 69-year-old woman and her 15 children (that's right, 15 kids) who all think she's the REAL Darla. I'm leaving work and heading to the nearest book store to pick up a copy of the Leonard Maltin/Richard Bann book! Thanks!

The one and only Darla Hood died in 1979.

9Darla Hoode-mailPatrick, How many Darla's were there?

One of my clients claims to be one of the three Darlas that were used in the series. I believe she was the youngest one. Her name is Norma and lives on the Peninsula-San Fransico Bay-Area. She says that she was a model as well in her teens but doesn't like to talk about either role. She is mid-70's I would guess. A wealthy widow with children and grand-children. She is also a very nice and refined woman whom I enjoy greatly. Since she wont speak of her past I must go elsewhere to hear of it. Can You help? What, if anything, can you add?

Let me know.

The one and only Darla Hood died in 1979.

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