Discussion:
Freckles from Our Gang
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h***@gmail.com
2013-01-14 00:07:22 UTC
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Freckles from the Our Gang shorts has died. His real name was George
Wendelken and he appeared in the very first Hal Roach
comedy films in the 1920s (later known as the Little Rascals).
take it easy everyone.....yes, George Wendelken did play Frecles in the silent Our gang movies and did other movies as well. To speak negatively about the dead you have have to be some sort of asshole. Im not related to George in any way, but he was kind man and has a great family.
MJ Emigh
2013-01-14 14:09:05 UTC
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I suppose that this guy could have appeared in a few films. There were often unbilled kids playing bits or serving as extras. More likely, George made up the story to make interesting conversation.

Mickey Daniels WAS called "Freckles" at times. He's long gone.

There was a guy named Jack Bothwell who had a story about his being "Freckles" about 50 years ago. It was much like the Buckwheat nonsense that we all remember. Fake "Our Gang" members have been around for a very long time.

To make up a story claiming to be one of the kids we know (like the fake Buckwheat, Darla, and even Spanky) is very wrong, obviously. To say you're a guy who no one ever heard of maybe isn't so bad.

I used to work with a guy who told everyone that he was in the Sons of the Pioneers. Without home video, the Internet, etc., who would know? Turns out, he sat in with them one afternoon for a few songs and built a fairly successful performing career based on that half-truth. Nobody got hurt.

I would like to think that our buddy George had the same story. Maybe he was in a couple of crowd scenes when the Gang put on a show, had a car race, or played a ball game.
Diner
2013-01-14 14:18:18 UTC
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Freckles from the Our Gang shorts has died. His real name was George
Wendelken and he appeared in the very first Hal Roach
comedy films in the 1920s (later known as the Little Rascals).
take it easy everyone.....yes, George Wendelken did play Frecles in the silent Our gang movies and did other movies as well. To speak negatively about the dead you have have to be some sort of asshole. Im not related to George in any way, but he was kind man and has a great family.
It appears you're wrong. Mr. Wendelken is not mentioned in either edition of the Leonard Maltin/Richard Bann "Our Gang" book (the definitive source on all matters related to the series), and he's not mentioned in the IMDB either. And while freckle-faced actors like Mickey Daniels and Jay R. Smith were a staple of the series, no character named "Freckles" is mentioned in either place, either.

Mr. Wendelken may have been a kind man, but if he claimed to have been in the Our Gang films, he appears to have been pulling a fast one.

Of course, if you have information proving me wrong, please provide it. All you have to do is name one "Our Gang" movie in which he played the part of Freckles, and state where you got your information from. I look forward to any information you can provide. And please refrain from further name-calling.

-Tim
Brad Ferguson
2013-01-14 15:06:09 UTC
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Post by Diner
Freckles from the Our Gang shorts has died. His real name was George
Wendelken and he appeared in the very first Hal Roach
comedy films in the 1920s (later known as the Little Rascals).
take it easy everyone.....yes, George Wendelken did play Frecles in the
silent Our gang movies and did other movies as well. To speak negatively
about the dead you have have to be some sort of asshole. Im not related to
George in any way, but he was kind man and has a great family.
It appears you're wrong. Mr. Wendelken is not mentioned in either edition of
the Leonard Maltin/Richard Bann "Our Gang" book (the definitive source on all
matters related to the series), and he's not mentioned in the IMDB either.
And while freckle-faced actors like Mickey Daniels and Jay R. Smith were a
staple of the series, no character named "Freckles" is mentioned in either
place, either.
Mr. Wendelken may have been a kind man, but if he claimed to have been in the
Our Gang films, he appears to have been pulling a fast one.
Of course, if you have information proving me wrong, please provide it. All
you have to do is name one "Our Gang" movie in which he played the part of
Freckles, and state where you got your information from. I look forward to
any information you can provide. And please refrain from further name-calling.
-Tim
The original post about Freckles will celebrate its 15th birthday in
two weeks. We've lately had a spate of strangers replying to ancient
posts.

It's barely possible that George Wendelken appeared as Freckles in some
knock-off film that he truly believed to have been an Our Gang. That
kind of thing happened all the time: Filmmakers would travel the
country and, for a fee, cast the kids of local bumpkins in a fake Our
Gang movie. Those guys cleaned up.

George could have been bullshitting everybody all along about having
been Freckles, of course. The first few days I was in this group, a
woman in San Diego who claimed to have been Sharon the Mouseketeer
died, and there was even a wire story posted here about her. I was new
here and I fell for it. The real Sharon the Mouseketeer is alive and
well, of course. We've had a few fake Medal of Honor recipients, too.

George Wendelken got brief obits in the New York Times and the Los
Angeles Times back in 1998. They read about the same, except that the
L.A. Times added a bit about George having sold $200 million of war
bonds via personal appearances and speeches on the radio. That seems
odd to me.

BTW, somebody who cruises in here and calls us assholes based on a
15-yr-old post probably wasn't worth responding to in the first place.
Bermuda999
2013-01-14 22:36:53 UTC
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Post by Brad Ferguson
George could have been bullshitting everybody all along about having
been Freckles, of course. The first few days I was in this group, a
woman in San Diego who claimed to have been Sharon the Mouseketeer
died, and there was even a wire story posted here about her. I was new
here and I fell for it. The real Sharon the Mouseketeer is alive and
well, of course. We've had a few fake Medal of Honor recipients, too.
I wonder if Brian Dennehy's obit is pre-written and whether it includes "5 years fighting in Vietnam"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Dennehy
R H Draney
2013-01-15 04:49:12 UTC
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Post by Bermuda999
Post by Brad Ferguson
George could have been bullshitting everybody all along about having
been Freckles, of course. The first few days I was in this group, a
woman in San Diego who claimed to have been Sharon the Mouseketeer
died, and there was even a wire story posted here about her. I was new
here and I fell for it. The real Sharon the Mouseketeer is alive and
well, of course. We've had a few fake Medal of Honor recipients, too.
I wonder if Brian Dennehy's obit is pre-written and whether it includes "5 years
fighting in Vietnam"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Dennehy
I'll bet it got dusted off good when Charles Durning died (along with Paul
Sorvino's)....r
--
Me? Sarcastic?
Yeah, right.
MJ Emigh
2013-01-15 13:58:41 UTC
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Jeez, sorry.....I didn't even notice that the modern-day post was in response to one made in '98. I know this stuff is archived, but I didn't think a conversation could pick up so seamlessly one-and-a-half decades later!

I probably read the original post back then and dismissed it. No doubt about it, people like Mr. Namecaller still get responsive action, even in this enlightened era.

He claims that he is not related to the phony Our Gang guy, but his last few words seem to dispute that. They are not angry words, but loving words. Perhaps it's a grandson (now an adult, 15 years later) who can't accept that the old boy made up a whopper of a story. I'm sure he had a reason. Girls always like famous guys, and Grandma was once a girl, right?

Anyway, sorry that I had anything to do with perpetuating this foolishness. Usenet is pretty much dead, but I can't help peeking in every once in a while. I'll pay closer attention to dates at the next peek.
m***@centurytel.net
2016-10-10 14:02:40 UTC
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freckles was actually played by Jack Howard of St.Louis and the version clip he was in was the one with the famous pie fight at Hyde Park in St.Louis
MJ Emigh
2016-10-11 02:49:50 UTC
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Post by m***@centurytel.net
freckles was actually played by Jack Howard of St.Louis and the version clip he was in was the one with the famous pie fight at Hyde Park in St.Louis
The Our Gang films were shot in Culver City, CA and surrounding area. There would be no reason for a Hal Roach unit to travel to St. Louis. Sorry.
MJ Emigh
2017-09-06 22:25:00 UTC
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Post by m***@centurytel.net
freckles was actually played by Jack Howard of St.Louis and the version clip he was in was the one with the famous pie fight at Hyde Park in St.Louis
Probably a Melton Barker film. A lot of people think they had grandparents in Our Gang, but it's usually a Barker film. It was an interesting idea, but it has led to a lot of confusion all these years later. St. Louis was very likely a town that he set up one of his "Kidnapper's Foil" films.
That Derek
2016-10-10 23:54:16 UTC
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A similar thread about whether "Hogan's Heroes" and "!776" (movie) actor Howard Caine had ever played "Wheezer" in the silent "Our Gang pictures."

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/alt.obituaries/howard$20caine%7Csort:relevance/alt.obituaries/My_p2PXKxpA/yoe2Z0U7wcUJ

Similar talking points arose for Mr. Caine as had previously been cited for Mr. Wendelken ... Maybe it was a rival/knock-off kiddie comedy troupe ... Maybe he was a background extra ... Maybe he appeared in a traveling publicity stunt within the guise of filming a local version under the official -- or unofficial -- "Our Gang" banner.

One day phony Little Rascals will have absolutely no cachet, and they, like all those Tuskegee Airmen and Navajo Code-Talkers will no longer be relevant.
i***@aol.com
2017-08-15 10:51:41 UTC
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I found this on YouTube on Jack Bothwell aka Freckles.


i***@aol.com
2017-08-15 11:13:37 UTC
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His stage name was George Warde and he was Freckles in the 1922 short Fire Fighters and other Our Gang shorts.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0911556/
i***@aol.com
2017-08-15 11:27:41 UTC
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NY Times Bio
https://mobile.nytimes.com/1998/01/26/arts/george-wendelken-our-gang-actor-81.html
i***@aol.com
2017-08-15 11:35:03 UTC
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So apparently there was a Freckles character in the original Our Gang shorts. George Warde was Freckles in the 1922 short Fire Fighters and he appears in other Our Gang shorts as well. He died in 1986.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0911556/
d***@gmail.com
2017-09-06 18:57:59 UTC
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Do your homework! There WAS a Freckles IN THE OUR GANG SILENT ERA!
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