Jean Darling, ‘Our Gang’ Star, Dies at 93

Actress Jean Darling, one of the last surviving cast members of the “Our Gang” silent comedy shorts who also appeared in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s original production of “Carousel,” died Friday in Rodgau, Germany, reports the New York Times. She was 93.

Darling broke out onto the scene in the early ’20s, scoring the role in Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” after starting to act when she was only 4 years old.

Darling appeared in six “Our Gang” talkies and 46 silents. The series of shorts would become the inspiration for 1994 film “The Little Rascals.”

In addition to her work on “Our Gang,” Darling also moved into film, starring as young Jane in the 1934 adaptation “Jane Eyre.” She also appeared in an uncredited role in “Babes in Toyland.”

She later turned toward the stage, making her debut in 1942 in the musical “Count Me In.” She starred in “Carousel” in 1945, originating the role of Carrie Pipperidge and boasting 850 consecutive performances in the production.

Darling continued to work in adulthood, hosting TV show “A Date With Jean Darling” on NBC in the 1950s. She also hosted “The Singing Knit-Witch” on KHJ-TV in Hollywood.

As recently as 2013, Darling appeared in short silent film “The Butler’s Tale.” She moved to Dublin in the ’70s and wrote mystery and horror stories for magazines.

Darling is survived by her son, Roy, and grandsons Robert and Alec.

More TV


    Netflix Revises Controversial '13 Reasons Why' Suicide Scene

    Netflix has edited the controversial suicide scene from “Thirteen Reasons Why” two years after the show originally premiered. “We’ve heard from many young people that ’13 Reasons Why’ encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help—often for the first time,” Netflix said in a statement Monday. “As we [...]

  • Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and

    Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and Heroic' 'Years and Years' Character

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of “Years and Years.” Russell T. Davies’ limited series “Years and Years” began with a birth, but it did not wait until the finale to book-end the story with a death. In the fourth episode of the multi-year spanning family drama, [...]

  • Hugh GRant photographed by Shayan Asgharnia

    Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could

    Hugh Grant has been very active in U.K. press reform initiatives, but he knows the problem is even bigger than the media moguls who control the world’s major news outlets. That’s why Hacked Off, the campaign he’s involved with, is also expanding its scope to include the impact of online propaganda. “It’s particularly terrifying, the [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Heads You Lose"

    TV Review: 'Veronica Mars' Season 4

    “Veronica Mars” was a slap to the face of high school dramas when it premiered on UPN in 2004. Creator Rob Thomas took the well-worn “who killed the pretty teenager?” whodunnit and hard-boiled it, following a traumatized girl desperately trying to harden herself to the world’s harsh realities as she tried to solve the case. [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow

    Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow to Launch New Era at 'CBS Evening News'

    Though Norah O’Donnell had her first turn as anchor of “CBS Evening News” Monday night, she didn’t rely on any attention-grabbing tricks to carry the day. There was no flashy drawing board, no rattling off of unsettling, urgent headlines and no wrap-up of the day with a mawkish end segment calling up some element of [...]

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content