A well-liked cast member of the old “Our Gang” comedy shorts going back to the silent era has died. The New York Times reports that Jean Darling, who was one of the last surviving cast members, died Friday in Rodermark, Germany. She was 93.
“Her death was confirmed by her friend Rene Riva, a Dutch actor and singer, who directed her in 2013 in ‘The Butler’s Tale,’ a short silent comedy film styled after the ones Ms. Darling starred in as a child,” The Times reports. “Ms. Darling had recently suffered from a lung infection.”
Darling most often played the character “Jean” in the “Our Gang” shorts, which are also commonly known as “The Little Rascals.” She was one of only a few surviving “Our Gang” actors who go all the way back to the silents.
“Known for her golden locks and a face like a kewpie doll, Ms. Darling was cast in the ‘Our Gang’ films when she was 4, and appeared in 46 silent films and six talkies between 1927 and 1929,” The Times reports. “She continued to appear in films after the leaving the series, including as the young Jane Eyre in the 1934 adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. In 1945, she originated the role of Carrie Pipperidge in ‘Carousel’ and appeared in more than 850 performances.:
Here’s an interview with Darling, conducted by Riva, that was posted in 2011: