George 'Spanky' McFarland Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Dallas, Texas, USA
Died in Grapevine, Texas, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameGeorge Robert Phillips McFarland

Mini Bio (1)

George 'Spanky' McFarland was born on October 2, 1928 in Dallas, Texas, USA. He was an actor, known for Bedtime Worries (1933), Beginner's Luck (1935) and Mush and Milk (1933). He was previously married to Paula Jeanne Wilkinson and Doris. He died on June 30, 1993 in Grapevine, Texas, USA.

Family (2)

Spouse Paula Jeanne Wilkinson (1 August 1949 - ?)
Doris (? - 30 June 1993)  (his death)  (3 children)
Children McFarland, George Gregory
McFarland, Verne Emmett
McFarland, Betsy

Trade Mark (1)

Catchphrases: "Okey-dokey!" and its variant, "Okey-doke!". He said "Okey-dokey", much more often than "Okey-doke".

Trivia (19)

Child actor, the chubby, not fat boy of the "Our Gang" short film comedies.
Spanky's famous double and triple-takes were taught to him by Stan Laurel, while a great deal of his mannerisms (rolling of eyes, hands on hips, and his trademark exasperated expression) were inspired by Oliver Hardy. He, Laurel and Hardy were working together, but in different shorts, that were produced and directed by Hal Roach.
Spanky's real-life nickname as a child was "Sonny".
Had two sons: George Gregory McFarland and Verne Emmett McFarland. Had one daughter: Betsy McFarland.
From 1955 to 1960, he created and hosted his own daily children's wraparound show, "The Spanky Show", which aired on KOTV (The Tulsa, Oklahoma affiliate of the CBS TV network). Set against the backdrop of a makeshift kids' clubhouse, Spanky entertained and informed his studio audiences and the viewers at home with games, stories, craftmaking, hobbies, comedy skits, informational segments, and interviews with guest performers, personalities, and the children in the studio audience in between the reruns of "The Little Rascals" film comedies.
Was an executive with Philco (later Philco Ford) for many years.
Was an ardent golfer who, in his later years, could be frequently seen on the pro-am circuit.
Was the only Our Ganger to ever receive on-screen and poster billing. He received on-screen billing in Choo-Choo! (1932) and The Pooch (1932), and most Our Gang posters during the mid-1930s were billed: "Our Gang, featuring 'Spanky' McFarland, in..."
So far he is one of the only two members of "Our Gang" and or "The Little Rascals" to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, (co-star Jackie Cooper being the other one among the two). His star is located in front of the Labrea Plaza strip mall, at 7095 Hollywood Blvd. on the North side of Hollywood Blvd., between the two closest cross streets of N. Labrea Avenue and El Cerrito Place and his star is near the stars belonging to actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and composer Irving Berlin.
Although his name has sometimes been misspelled in older credits as "McFarlane", George is not related to the creator of the television series Family Guy (1999), who uses that particular spelling of his last name.
Received his big break through a one minute Wonder Bread commercial, after which his aunt sent him for a screen test with Hal Roach.
After leaving the acting profession, he worked for a wine company, an appliance manufacturer and a boot company.
Michael Jackson was a huge fan of the Our Gang series, and visited the elderly McFarland at his Dallas-area home. As they looked over George's photo albums, a picture of Spanky sitting on the front steps of his home caught Michael's eye. Unbeknownst to any of them before that day, both the McFarlands and the Jacksons had resided in that home, several decades apart.
During final contract disputes between Hal Roach and Stan Laurel in the mid-1930s, a press release was issued that Oliver Hardy, Patsy Kelly and Spanky McFarland were to star together in 'The Hardy Family' series to be directed by James W. Horne with the first to be 'Their Night Out'.
Final onscreen appearance was as himself in the cold open of the "Cheers" (1982) episode "Woody Gets an Election" (1993, season 11, episode 21).
He was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7095 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 1, 1994.
1960 American pop group Spanky and Our Gang named themselves after McFarland's character because of the similarity of lead singer Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane's surname.
Served in the United States Air Force at age 24 (1952).
Among his jobs as an adult was working for the Philco-Ford company. He worked in the department that provided television sets to hotels and motels.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on his years with the Little Rascals] I wouldn't take a million dollars for the experience...and I wouldn't take a penny to do it again. As a kid I had everything I wanted, we had a good life but when it was over...it was over.
[During a 1988 recollection on a career than spanned 84 films in seven years] I was probably 5 or 6 years old before I realized that all kids weren't in movies.
[said often, when sure of his lines] Okay, Toots.

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