Actor. He made Buckwheat into a stereotype that he wasn't, at the expense of the people in his family who are still alive. originally uttered by Porky, but soon used by both characters.[1]. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. '20/20' Producer Resigns Over Buckwheat Interview. 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 … Cast. [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. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas Active - 1934 - 1945 | Born - Mar 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, United States | Died - Oct 10, 1980 | Genres - Comedy. Overview ↓ Filmography ↓ Other Appearances ↓ Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas, Actor: Pay As You Exit. 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. [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. When Thomas was brought out, he received a spontaneous standing ovation, and was moved to tears. But the real question is whether he was a boy or a girl. American child actor Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas in a promotional portrait for the Hal Roach 'Our Gang' comedy film series, circa, 1938. 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 . [10] In 2010, he wrote the book "Otay!" 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 died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles. He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles. Eddie Murphy performed a series of Buckwheat sketches on Saturday Night Live during the 1980s when he was a cast member. Mr. Murphy did a very poor imitation. "[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. 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. Let’s start to read as below. 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?". He was a native of Los Angeles, California. 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 [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. Lors d’une conférences sur les «Little Rascals» en 1980, Billie reçoit une ovation spontanée qui l’a émue aux larmes. 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. Let’s start to read as below. Billy's heritage grew to be more than the ninety-three comedies in which he appeared as Buckwheat. 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. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). 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". Acting. 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. 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. [11] But Thomas's co-star George McFarland, who played "Spanky" in Little Rascals, made it clear that he hated Murphy's imitations. 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. Buckwheat eventually became a more masculine character, and was first credited as male … After returning to civilian life, Thomas faced a dilemma shared by many of his co-stars from Our Gang. Thomas was born in Los Angeles. Thomas began appearing as "Buckwheat" with 1935's Mama's Little Pirate. your own Pins on Pinterest 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. 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 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. 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 was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. He was one of the most popular of "The Little Rascals". ", "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. 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. 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. Heavenly Music. "[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. On November 30, 2012, he died at the age of 62. Beginner's Luck. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas is a member of Actor 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. "Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security. [12], The next week, 20/20 acknowledged, on-air, that English's claim had been false and apologized for the interview. He was a native of 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. He was picked out of several of kids to fill in the role o… 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 "Buckwheat" and "Porky" characters both became known for their collective garbled dialogue, in particular their catchphrase, "O-tay!" He took his experience in film work as a spark to learn the trade of film editing and cutting. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas is a member of Actor Net worth: $500,000 . Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. This new costuming — overalls, striped shirt, oversized shoes, and a large unkempt Afro — was retained for the series until the end. He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! [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. Thomas remained in Our Gang when the series changed production from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. He died on October 10, 1980 in Los Angeles 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. 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. Though offered many film and stage roles, he had no desire to return to Hollywood as an actor. Biography/Timeline. He was an actor, known for Bored of Education (1936), General Spanky (1936) and Hearts Are Thumps (1937). 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. Among those honored, on July 31, were fellow Our Gangers George McFarland, Dorothy DeBorba, Tommy Bond, and Joe Cobb. The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story. He was in the show for ten years, from 1934 to its ending 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. Mar 30, 2018 - This Pin was discovered by Johnnie Lewis. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas | Black history facts, Black hollywood, African american history. 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. He was a husband, father, and soldier. 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. 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. Il décède trois mois plus tard d’une crise cardiaque le 10 octobre 1980, A l’occasion du premier anniversaire de sa … 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. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thomas auditioned for an "Our Gang" role when he was three years old. He was a native of Los Angeles. He was 49. Take a look at the film and television career of the late Chadwick Boseman. 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. 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. Washee Ironee . Some Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas images. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. 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. 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. Bored of Education. Several days were spent touring famous Hollywood attractions, and then the highlight of the gathering took place in the hotel ballroom. Bear Facts. "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. The character of Buckwheat in later years became synonymous with the derogatory "pickaninny" stereotype. He was twelve years old when the final Our Gang film, Dancing Romeo, was completed in November 1943. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Thomas auditioned for an "Our Gang" role when he was three years old. He was an actor, known for General Spanky (1936), Colorado Pioneers (1945) and Pay As You Exit (1936). [1] Thomas is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood.[9]. 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] However, Thomas still enjoyed the film industry at large, and had a successful career as a film lab technician with the Technicolor corporation. Our Gang Follies of 1938. Billie Thomas is best remembered as “Buckwheat” in the TV series, “The Little Rascals” and “Our Gang”. Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas's friend both on the set and off. Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas was born on March 12, 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Thomas Jr. 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. [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'. Born in Los Angeles, California, Billie Thomas auditioned at the Hal Roach Studios at the age of three. 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. He played Buckwheat in 93 "Our Gang" films, beginning in 1934. [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]. Discover (and save!) 1934. [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. Teacher's Beau. [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. For Pete's Sake! He was cast as a background player in the short films "For Pete's Sake! This new print is made from the original hand oil tinted photograph that was professionally digitized to 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. His Buckwheat character was affectionately spoofed by Eddie Murphy during the comedian's stint on TV's "Saturday Night Live" in the early 1980s. Although the character he played was often … Continue reading "Biography" “After the Army, I wasn't really interested in the hassle of performing," he explained shortly before his death in 1980. "I didn't care for them a bit. 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