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 49. 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". He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles 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 Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story. 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. [11] But Thomas's co-star George McFarland, who played "Spanky" in Little Rascals, made it clear that he hated Murphy's imitations. Several days were spent touring famous Hollywood attractions, and then the highlight of the gathering took place in the hotel ballroom. He was picked out of several of kids to fill in the role o… Overview ↓ Filmography ↓ Other Appearances ↓ He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Washee Ironee . 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. American child actor Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas in a promotional portrait for the Hal Roach 'Our Gang' comedy film series, circa, 1938. He played Buckwheat in 93 "Our Gang" films, beginning in 1934. 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. Cast. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thomas auditioned for an "Our Gang" role when he was three years old. "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. 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. He was twelve years old when the final Our Gang film, Dancing Romeo, was completed in November 1943. Our Gang Follies of 1938. Take a look at the film and television career of the late Chadwick Boseman. originally uttered by Porky, but soon used by both characters.[1]. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas is a member of Actor This new print is made from the original hand oil tinted photograph that was professionally digitized to 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 … “After the Army, I wasn't really interested in the hassle of performing," he explained shortly before his death in 1980. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. Known For. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. 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. He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! 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. For Pete's Sake! Thomas was born in Los Angeles. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Mar 30, 2018 - This Pin was discovered by Johnnie Lewis. [10] In 2010, he wrote the book "Otay!" 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. Although the character he played was often … Continue reading "Biography" We don't have a biography for Billie Thomas. Biography/Timeline. After returning to civilian life, Thomas faced a dilemma shared by many of his co-stars from Our Gang. [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]. Acting. 1934. Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas's friend both on the set and off. The character of Buckwheat in later years became synonymous with the derogatory "pickaninny" stereotype. Teacher's Beau. On November 30, 2012, he died at the age of 62. 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. [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. "[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. He took his experience in film work as a spark to learn the trade of film editing and cutting. He made Buckwheat into a stereotype that he wasn't, at the expense of the people in his family who are still alive. [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. 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. Take a look at the film and television career of Sylvie's Love star Tessa Thompson. Born in Los Angeles, California, Billie Thomas auditioned at the Hal Roach Studios at the age of three. Bear Facts. 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. 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 'Buckwheat' Thomas | Black history facts, Black hollywood, African american history. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). '20/20' Producer Resigns Over Buckwheat Interview. 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. 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?". Prime Video has you covered this holiday season with movies for the family. Billie Thomas is best remembered as “Buckwheat” in the TV series, “The Little Rascals” and “Our Gang”. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit. 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. Thomas began appearing as "Buckwheat" with 1935's Mama's Little Pirate. Il décède trois mois plus tard d’une crise cardiaque le 10 octobre 1980, A l’occasion du premier anniversaire de sa … Eddie Murphy performed a series of Buckwheat sketches on Saturday Night Live during the 1980s when he was a cast member. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. 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. He was one of the most popular of "The Little Rascals". He was a native of Los Angeles. Actor. [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. Buckwheat eventually became a more masculine character, and was first credited as male … 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. 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. Billy's heritage grew to be more than the ninety-three comedies in which he appeared as Buckwheat. Though offered many film and stage roles, he had no desire to return to Hollywood as an actor. Discover (and save!) Beginner's Luck. Some Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas images. 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. 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. He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles. [12], The next week, 20/20 acknowledged, on-air, that English's claim had been false and apologized for the interview. Billie Thomas Girlfriend Boyfriend, Married, Spouse Wife Husband, Instagram Pics, Twitter New Post, Facebook Update, Youtube Video. ", "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 in the show for ten years, from 1934 to its ending in 1944. 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. This new costuming — overalls, striped shirt, oversized shoes, and a large unkempt Afro — was retained for the series until the end. 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. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). 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. Bored of Education. Lors d’une conférences sur les «Little Rascals» en 1980, Billie reçoit une ovation spontanée qui l’a émue aux larmes. 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. He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! The "Buckwheat" and "Porky" characters both became known for their collective garbled dialogue, in particular their catchphrase, "O-tay!" 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. 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 "Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). 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. 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. He was an actor, known for General Spanky (1936), Colorado Pioneers (1945) and Pay As You Exit (1936). "I didn't care for them a bit. He was a native of Los Angeles. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. 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