Harold Eugene Wertz Jr., who played the “little fat kid” in three of the “Our Gang” comedies during the early 1930s, died Nov. 21 in San Diego from complications of a stroke he suffered in October. He was 72.
Wertz, born in Denison, Texas, and reared in Long Beach, got the job of “Bouncy” after his mother sent in his photograph and took him for a screen test for the Hal Roach comedies. He appeared in only three of the 221 films: 1932’s “Choo Choo!,” “The Pooch” and “Hook and Ladder.”
He was subsequently replaced by George Robert Phillips “Spanky” McFarland, who appeared in 95 comedies.
Wertz did not continue in show business. Following high school, he joined the merchant marine, and later founded a pipe company in Long Beach that is still family-owned today. He retired to Murrieta, Calif.
His last public appearance was as a guest of the Sons of the Desert (the Laurel and Hardy fan club) in October.
He is survived by a daughter, Deborah; a son, Richard; a brother, David, and two granddaughters.