He was a native of Los Angeles. After Stymie's departure from the series later in 1935, the Buckwheat character slowly morphed into a boy, first referred to definitively as a "he" in 1936's The Pinch Singer. Il décède trois mois plus tard d’une crise cardiaque le 10 octobre 1980, A l’occasion du premier anniversaire de sa … 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. 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. [1] In his Classic Movie Guide write-up for the film, Leonard Maltin surmises that "Buckwheat's role as slave in search of a master may displease contemporary audiences. originally uttered by Porky, but soon used by both characters.[1]. Billie Thomas first appeared in the 1934 Our Gang shorts For Pete's Sake!, The First Round-Up, and Washee Ironee as a background player. For Pete's Sake! [5] Later, during the 1950s and 1960s, the NAACP fought against the tired and demeaning racial stereotypes and moved to have the television series ended.[5][6]. 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. Bear Facts. 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 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. By 1940, Thomas had grown out of his speech impediment, and with Lee having been replaced by Robert Blake, Thomas's Buckwheat character was written as an archetypal black youth. Buckwheat eventually became a more masculine character, and was first credited as male … He was one of the most popular of "The Little Rascals". 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. Billie Thomas is best remembered as “Buckwheat” in the TV series, “The Little Rascals” and “Our Gang”. [11] But Thomas's co-star George McFarland, who played "Spanky" in Little Rascals, made it clear that he hated Murphy's imitations. 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. “After the Army, I wasn't really interested in the hassle of performing," he explained shortly before his death in 1980. Take a look at the film and television career of the late Chadwick Boseman. Let’s start to read as below. He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! [5] According to Julia Lee, author of Our Gang: A Racial History of The Little Rascals, Thomas and the others were "considered saviors in many ways" by the black community as the most popular black stars in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. Character: Buckwheat Thomas Birthday: March 12, 1931 Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California Date of Death: October 10, 1980 Place of Death: Los Angeles, California First Short: For Pete's Sake Last Short: Tale Of A Dog Number of Shorts: 92 History: William Thomas Jr. was the only son of William Thomas Sr., a janitor at the Wilton Apartment Building in Hollywood, California. Prime Video has you covered this holiday season with movies for the family. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). "I didn't care for them a bit. He was an actor, known for General Spanky (1936), Colorado Pioneers (1945) and Pay As You Exit (1936). 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. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. Billy's heritage grew to be more than the ninety-three comedies in which he appeared as Buckwheat. Although the character he played was often … Continue reading "Biography" American child actor Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas in a promotional portrait for the Hal Roach 'Our Gang' comedy film series, circa, 1938. [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. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas is a member of Actor Net worth: $500,000 . Known For. 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. 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. Thomas began appearing as "Buckwheat" with 1935's Mama's Little Pirate. Up for sale is an 8 x 10 full color photo reprint of a hand oil tinted photograph featuring Billie Thomas as Buckwheat from the 1930s film & television series, The Little Rascals Our Gang . Teacher's Beau. He was in the show for ten years, from 1934 to its ending in 1944. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit. '20/20' Producer Resigns Over Buckwheat Interview. 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 Actor. Washee Ironee . He was a husband, father, and soldier. [1] Thomas is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood.[9]. "Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security. The "Buckwheat" character was a female at this time, portrayed by Our Gang kid Matthew "Stymie" Beard's younger sister Carlena in For Pete's Sake!, and by Willie Mae Walton in three other shorts. 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. This new print is made from the original hand oil tinted photograph that was professionally digitized to Several days were spent touring famous Hollywood attractions, and then the highlight of the gathering took place in the hotel ballroom. "[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. Billie Thomas Girlfriend Boyfriend, Married, Spouse Wife Husband, Instagram Pics, Twitter New Post, Facebook Update, Youtube Video. He was 49. Thomas was born in Los Angeles. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. 1934. Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas Wiki: Salary, Married, Wedding, Spouse, Family Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! He took his experience in film work as a spark to learn the trade of film editing and cutting. Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas Active - 1934 - 1945 | Born - Mar 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, United States | Died - Oct 10, 1980 | Genres - Comedy. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas is a member of Actor He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles. Some Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas images. But the real question is whether he was a boy or a girl. 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. Biography/Timeline. "[1] However, Thomas still enjoyed the film industry at large, and had a successful career as a film lab technician with the Technicolor corporation. Though offered many film and stage roles, he had no desire to return to Hollywood as an actor. Our Gang Follies of 1938. 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. Acting. This new costuming — overalls, striped shirt, oversized shoes, and a large unkempt Afro — was retained for the series until the end. Born in Los Angeles, California, Billie Thomas auditioned at the Hal Roach Studios at the age of three. Thomas remained in Our Gang when the series changed production from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. Mar 12, 2014 - 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 a native of Los Angeles. When Thomas was brought out, he received a spontaneous standing ovation, and was moved to tears. We don't have a biography for Billie Thomas. ", "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. He was picked out of several of kids to fill in the role o… 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. Heavenly Music. Overview ↓ Filmography ↓ Other Appearances ↓ [12], The next week, 20/20 acknowledged, on-air, that English's claim had been false and apologized for the interview. [10] In 2010, he wrote the book "Otay!" He was twelve years old when the final Our Gang film, Dancing Romeo, was completed in November 1943. Among those honored, on July 31, were fellow Our Gangers George McFarland, Dorothy DeBorba, Tommy Bond, and Joe Cobb. 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 died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). Beginner's Luck. Mar 12, 2014 - 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. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas, Actor: Pay As You Exit. De retour à la vie civile, Billie Buckwheat Thomas reste dans le domaine cinématographique et travaille comme technicien de laboratoire de films pour Technicolor Corporation. Eddie Murphy performed a series of Buckwheat sketches on Saturday Night Live during the 1980s when he was a cast member. 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. 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. William Thomas, the man known as "Buckwheat," one of the most beloved characters in the history of the Our Gang and Little Rascals films, rose from obscurity to become an American icon. 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. "Buckwheat actor's son sues ABC over phony", The Sons of the Desert Convention/Our Gang Reunion, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Billie_%22Buckwheat%22_Thomas&oldid=992470132, Turner Classic Movies person ID same as Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 12:44. 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. your own Pins on Pinterest Having been 14 when WWII ended in 1945, +/-9 years before he actually joined the military, it is uncertain why his grave marker says "Reg US Army, World War II". 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. The character of Buckwheat in later years became synonymous with the derogatory "pickaninny" stereotype. Let’s start to read as below. Mar 30, 2018 - This Pin was discovered by Johnnie Lewis. The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. After returning to civilian life, Thomas faced a dilemma shared by many of his co-stars from Our Gang. Lors d’une conférences sur les «Little Rascals» en 1980, Billie reçoit une ovation spontanée qui l’a émue aux larmes. He played Buckwheat in 93 "Our Gang" films, beginning in 1934. 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. [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. 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. On November 30, 2012, he died at the age of 62. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. "[11], In 1990, the ABC newsmagazine 20/20 aired a segment featuring a man named Bill English, then a grocery bagger in Arizona, who claimed to be the adult Buckwheat. 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. Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas's friend both on the set and off. The "Buckwheat" and "Porky" characters both became known for their collective garbled dialogue, in particular their catchphrase, "O-tay!" His Buckwheat character was affectionately spoofed by Eddie Murphy during the comedian's stint on TV's "Saturday Night Live" in the early 1980s. 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. [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 made Buckwheat into a stereotype that he wasn't, at the expense of the people in his family who are still alive. Mr. Murphy did a very poor imitation. The reason for the change in appearance was so he could portray, in the 1936 Our Gang feature film General Spanky, a five-year-old slave asking men on a riverboat and, subsequently, shoeshine boy Spanky, "You be my master?". 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 … Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thomas auditioned for an "Our Gang" role when he was three years old. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thomas auditioned for an "Our Gang" role when he was three years old. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. [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'. [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. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas | Black history facts, Black hollywood, African american history. He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles Discover (and save!) 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