birth name: Dorothy Jean LaVake
soon changed to: Dorothy Jean Darling
professional name: Jean Darling
born Aug. 23, 1922, in Santa Monica, CA
died Sep. 4, 2015, in Rödermark, Germany, of cancer
Special note: Jean's name was legally changed shortly after her parents' separation, which happened when she was five months old. Her mother was
originally Dorothy Darling Hamilton, and changed her own name to Dorothy Hamilton Darling.
Also of note: In her memoirs, Jean briefly mentions being broke at some point in her life, and making ends meet by getting a 9-to-5 job at a
florist's shop. She also mentions going blind for two years, during which she gave singing lessons, along with her accompanist, John Code. Exactly when
either of these things happened is currently a mystery.
- According to her memoirs, Jean was registered with Central Casting, and then did her first film work at the age of six months, placing it in February or
March of this year. Her mother was given a small role in a Sam Harris production on Broadway, which also afforded Jean with a "carry-on" part.
This would have been shortly before she learned to walk. Apparently, there was also a second play that followed this with Jean in it.
- Shortly before her second birthday (placing it midway through this year), "Baby Jean" danced at Lions and Kiwanis Club meetings as one of
her dance instructor's Tapping Troubadours. "My specialty was a Dutch dance performed in full costume, including heavy wooden shoes."
- Jean describes her mother being offered a part in a Broadway show by Sam Harris, after having done two previously "with me in tow." She turned this
down in favor of Hollywood, feeling that Jean was "getting nowhere by being carried on stage or freelancing in movies."
- In the latter part of this year, Jean was spotted by the wife of Roach assistant general manager L.A. French. Jean reports that this happened in a candy store,
while Maltin & Bann state that she was spotted "on the street." Mrs. French recommended that Jean try out for the Our Gang series, for which tests
were being conducted that very day to find a new cast member.
- Jean started with the series as a day player on October 6th of this year.
- The Motion Picture News of March 11th of this year reported that Jean had been selected to be the new "leading lady" of Our Gang.
- The Motion Picture News of April 8th reported the following: "Jean Darling, the new leading lady of the 'Gang,' who bears the screen
name of 'Bossie,' is said by Directors Anthony Mack and Charles Oelze to be a real find."
- Jean was put under long-term contract on April 18th at $35 a week.
- From late May into early June, the Our Gang kids worked in "The Smile Wins," a film that doesn't seem to include Jean. However, a photo was taken of
the kids while in costume for this film. Jean is included and wearing the type of outfit she would typically wear onscreen. It's possible that she worked in the
film, but didn't wind up in the finished product.
- On June 27th, Jean's salary was raised to $45 a week.
- The Motion Picture News of July 1st reported that Jean had returned to the studio after a one-month illness. This is described in Jean's
memoirs as scarlet fever, which she came down with during "Olympic Games." This would presumably explain why she's missing from available prints
of that film, as well as the follow-up, "The Glorious Fourth," although she claims that her absence was for six weeks. However, she also states
that Farina was afflicted with the same illness and that production on the series was shut down for the duration. This, however, doesn't jibe with the
shooting dates of the films, both of which very strongly feature Farina.
- In October, the Our Gang unit filmed "Spook Spoofing," which didn't include Jean in the cast. However, she does appear in at least one photo taken on
location for this film.
- In December, filming began on "Barnum & Ringling, Inc." It was at this time that Jean's hair was refashioned into the familiar curls that
we usually see in the publicity photos.
- On December 19th, Jean's salary was raised to $50 a week.
- Around this time, the Our Gang kids, as well as Laurel & Hardy, were sent to the TeeVee studio to do an experimental broadcast.
- 57. Bring Home The Turkey (small part)
- Jan. 16, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-15 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Sep. 29 to Oct. 15, 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927.
- Are Brunettes Safe? (extra)
- Feb. 6, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. B-16 - Charley Chase series
- Filmed Oct. 25 to Nov. 4, 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927. Jean claimed to have been in two or three Chase comedies, but this is the only one I've been able to
verify with the payroll ledgers.
- 55. Seeing The World (extra)
- Feb. 13, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-13 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Oct. 29 to Nov. 15, 1926. European footage shot July and Aug. 1926. ©Jan. 14, 1927.
- 58. Ten Years Old (extra)
- Mar. 13, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-16 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Nov. 24 to Dec. 14, 1926. ©Feb. 14, 1927.
- 60. Tired Business Men (supporting role: Bossy)
- May 22, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-18 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for May 15, 1927, and May 21, 1927. Filmed Jan. 18 to Feb. 3, 1927. ©Apr. 11, 1927.
- 61. Baby Brother (small part)
- June 26, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-19 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Feb. 17 to Mar. 14, 1927. ©May 18, 1927.
- 63. Olympic Games (unconfirmed small part)
- Sep. 11, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-21 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for Sep. 10, 1927. Filmed Apr. 22 to May 6, 1927. ©July 8, 1927. Jean doesn't appear in the available version, but several publicity photos
reveal that she worked in the film.
- 67. Yale Vs. Harvard (small part)
- Sep. 24, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-1 - Our Gang series
- Filmed June 13 to 24, 1927. ©Aug. 17, 1927.
- 68. The Old Wallop (supporting role)
- Oct. 22, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-2 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Aug. 8 to 20, 1927. ©Oct. 22, 1927.
- 62. Chicken Feed (supporting role)
- Nov. 6, 1927 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-20 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Mar. 28 to Apr. 15, 1927. ©June 9, 1927.
- 69. Heebee Jeebees (supporting role)
- Nov. 19, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-3 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for Nov. 29, 1927. Filmed Aug. 29 to Sep. 13, and Sep. 30, 1927. ©Nov. 1, 1927.
- 70. Dog Heaven (supporting role)
- Dec. 17, 1927 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-4 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Sep. 15 to Oct. 13, 1927, with retakes Nov. 1, 1927. ©Nov. 26, 1929.
- From mid-July to early August, the Our Gang kids worked in "Election Day," a film in which Jean does not appear. However, she did appear in at least
two publicity photos taken at the ranch during filming.
- From August to October of this year, the Our Gang kids traveled throughout the country on a personal appearance tour.
- 65. Playin' Hookey (small part)
- Jan. 1, 1928 - Roach/Pathé - 2 reels - prod. K-24 - Our Gang series
- Filmed June 27 to 29, and Aug. 1 to 6, 1927. ©Feb. 6, 1928.
- 72. Rainy Days (supporting role)
- Feb. 11, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-6 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Nov. 4 to Dec. 28, 1927. ©Feb. 11, 1928, and Sep. 4, 1929.
- 74. Barnum & Ringling, Inc. (featured role: Jean)
- Apr. 7, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-8 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Dec. 21, 1927, to Jan. 9, 1928. ©Apr. 7, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- 75. Fair And Muddy (supporting role)
- May 5, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-9 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Jan. 16 to Feb. 8, 1928. ©May 5, 1928.
- 76. Crazy House (featured role: Jean)
- June 2, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-10 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Feb. 10 to 24, 1928. ©May 16, 1928.
- 77. Growing Pains (small part)
- Sep. 22, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-11 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Feb. 27 to Mar. 15, 1928. ©Sep. 22, 1928.
- 78. The Ol' Gray Hoss (supporting role)
- Oct. 20, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-12 - Our Gang series
- Filmed May 7 to 26, 1928, with retakes Aug. 16, 1928. ©Oct. 20, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- 79. School Begins (supporting role: Jean)
- Nov. 17, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-13 - Our Gang series
- Premiered Sep. 16, 1928. Filmed June 7 to 28, 1928. ©Nov. 17, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- 80. The Spanking Age (supporting role)
- Dec. 15, 1928 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-14 - Our Gang series
- Filmed July 2 to 14, 1928. ©Dec. 15, 1928. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- On January 28th, Jean's salary was raised to $60 a week.
- During this year, Jean and her fellow Gangsters were featured in a picture book called A Story Of Our Gang, written by Eleanor Lewis Packer.
- Jean's last week of work in the Our Gang series was the one ending on July 13th.
- Jean's contract came to an end the week ending July 27th.
- 82. Noisy Noises (small part)
- Feb. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-16 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Oct. 29 to Nov. 10, 1928. ©Mar. 5, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- 83. The Holy Terror (supporting role)
- Mar. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-17 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Nov. 19 to 28, 1928. ©July 11, 1929.
- 84. Wiggle Your Ears (featured role: Jean)
- Apr. 6, 1929 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-18 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Dec. 4 to 12, 1928. ©Mar. 5, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- 85. Fast Freight (supporting role)
- May 4, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-19 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Dec. 10 to 27, and Dec. 29, 1928. ©Apr. 1, 1929.
- 89. Small Talk (supporting role: Jean)
- May 18, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 3 reels - prod. G-23 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for Apr. 18, 1929. Filmed Mar. 25 to Apr. 6, 1929. ©July 30, 1929.
- 86. Little Mother (small part)
- June 1, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-20 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Feb. 4 to 13, 1929. ©June 3, 1929.
- 90. Railroadin' (supporting role)
- June 15, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-24 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Apr. 17 to 25, 1929. ©Dec. 9, 1929.
- 92. Lazy Days (small part: Jean)
- Aug. 24, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-26 - Our Gang series
- Also listed for Aug. 15, 1929, and Oct. 24, 1929. Filmed June 10 to 20, 1929. ©Aug. 26, 1929.
- 91. Boxing Gloves (supporting role: Jean)
- Sep. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-25 - Our Gang series
- Filmed May 13 to 25, 1929. ©Sep. 9, 1929.
- 87. Cat, Dog & Co. (supporting role)
- Sep. 14, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-21 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Feb. 20 to Mar. 2, 1929. ©Sep. 3, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- 93. Bouncing Babies (small part)
- Oct. 12, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-27 - Our Gang series
- Filmed July 5 to 15, 1929. ©Sep. 23, 1929.
- 88. Saturday's Lesson (supporting role)
- Nov. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - silent - 2 reels - prod. G-22 - Our Gang series
- Filmed Mar. 5 to 11, 1929. ©Sep. 9, 1929. Released with a synchronized soundtrack.
- According the Jean's memoirs, Harry Weber offered to put Jean in an act with Scooter Lowry, Peggy Eames and Harry Spear, which would tour the
RKO-Orpheum circuit, but her mother refused this and Jean ended up with a solo act. Maltin & Bann state that the four kids actually toured together,
but the closest I can find is Scooter and Peggy touring together throughout most of 1931.
- After suffering stage fright in her tryout performance in Elizabeth, NJ, Jean performed 36 (or was it 30?) one-nighters in various New Jersey
movie houses to get her used to being on stage alone. After this, she did another tryout and was given a 40-week contract with RKO Theaters.
- Jean's 12-minute solo act was on the road by December 12th of this year.
- A four-minute "trailer" was made of film clips of Jean in her Our Gang days, and used to open her stage act. The final clip was the
wedding scene from "Wiggle Your Ears." By use of a breakaway screen, Jean would then emerge in a wedding dress.
- Jean's vaudeville act was written by Irving Berlin, who provided her with a song called "If I'd Only Listened To You." She also sang
"The Little Things In Life" and "Bye Bye Blues," and did impressions of Mae West and James Cagney.
- During rehearsals for the act, Jean attended the Professional Children's School in New York. While on tour, her school work was assigned to her as a
correspondence course by the same school. After the tour, she went back to attending the actual school.
- Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 22 (appearance)
- July 1930 - Columbia - 1 reel - Screen Snapshots series
- unspecified title (archival)
- circa 1931 - Roach - Jean Darling trailer
- This was a 4-minute compilation of film clips from Jean's Our Gang days used for her vaudeville act.
- On February 28th of this year, while touring in vaudeville, Jean appeared on the Seckatary Hawkins radio hour, a local show that aired Saturday
afternoons in Davenport, IA.
- RKO's 40-week circuit was downsized to 31 weeks due to the number of theaters that were closing during the Depression. Jean was then booked on a tour
with the Independent Theater Circuit, which was located mostly in the middle of the country. In her first book, Jean mentions embarking on her second vaudeville
tour in late 1932, but it seems more likely that she's referring to this 1931 transition from one circuit to the other. I could be wrong, but she seemed to
have too many other things going on in late '32.
- During Jean's vaudeville tour, it was not unusual for local newpapers to print an entire page devoted to her, with her newstory center page and
surrounded by her endorsements of various local businesses.
- During a week's layoff in Chicago, Jean's mother hit on the idea of having Jean disappear for a whole day, so that the evening papers could report
the story of her apparent kidnapping, only to have Jean arrive back at the hotel, safe and sound, having spent the day shopping for a present to give to her
mother. The plan backfired when Jean arrived back too early. It was still reported in the local paper, but didn't become the national headline story
Jean's mother hoped it would be.
- On December 15th, Jean left Sioux City on an airplane to Washington, DC, after having been made a member of the Crow Creek tribe, and rechristened Winon Waste
(which means "Princess of the Prairie"). On December 23rd, while dressed in a tribal costume, complete with black wig, she met with President
Herbert Hoover to speak on behalf of the tribe and its needs. According to her memoirs, Jean later met with President Roosevelt for the same reason.
- On April 2nd of this year, Jean performed in the auditorium of Gimbel's in Philadelphia. Kids in attendance could purchase, for one dollar, a new toy
called "Jean Darling's Art Needlework Outfit," and get it autographed by Jean herself. This was a rare instance in which an Our Gang-related
piece of merchandise was brought about with no involvement from Hal Roach.
- Bookings were becoming fewer and further between, and after being given some offers, such as performing in a circus or touring the UK, Jean's mother opted
to turn these down and relocated herself and her famous daughter back to Culver City and the movie business.
- Upon returning to the West Coast, Jean was put into a series of six color "fairy tales" for Warner Brothers, playing supporting roles as queens,
witches and hags. Jean remembered being "around ten years old" at the time. There is a bit of confusion over this, though, as she also describes this
happening after the 1935/36 vaudeville tour.
- To live closer to the Warners studio, Jean and her mother moved to a court on Hollywood Boulevard, with a hedge that separated their bungalow from the one in
which Bobby "Bonedust" Young lived. She attended Miss Lawlor's Professional Children's School with various other child celebrities.
- On October 17th, CBS Radio debuted The H-Bar-O Rangers, a children's program which featured Jean as a character named "Polly
Armstrong." She spent about a year in this series, which was broadcast daily from 5:45 to 6:00 from the KHJ station in Los Angeles. In her memoirs,
she refers to it as H-Bar-O Bobby Benson. Other radio soaps she appeared in were The Three Musketeers, Hall Of Fame, Show Boat
and an early version of The Lanny Ross Show.
- Also at KHJ, Jean began plugging Woodbury Soap on Bing Crosby's 15-minute weekday radio series, which began airing on June 13th. Jean reportedly had
this gig for months.
- By this time, Jean was attending the Immaculate Heart of Mary Boarding School as a day student, in spite of being Protestant.
- Jean was originally chosen to play the title role in the Paramount production of "Alice In Wonderland," to the extent that she was featured in
publicity photos, but at the last minute, she was passed over in favor of Charlotte Henry.
- Around this time, Jean began appearing in plays put on by the Writer's Club, including The Father (in which she played Bertha),
Dear Brutus (in which she played Margaret), and Ah Wilderness. It was one of these plays that led her to being offered the role in
- Near the end of the year, Jean was contacted by Hal Roach to play the title role in his production of "Peg O' My Heart." After costuming and
publicity stills, this project was shelved in favor of "Babes In Toyland."
- Only Yesterday (unconfirmed role)
- Nov. 1, 1933 - Universal - 11 reels - feature
- ©Nov. 7, 1933. Starring Margaret Sullavan & John Boles.
- A news item from January 8th of this year mentions a 20th anniversary party for Hal Roach Studios, which was to include Jean on its guest list.
- During production of "Babes In Toyland," Jean posed for photographs with Johnny Downs to play up the mini-reunion of the former Our
- In the Los Angeles Evening Citizen from December 19th was an ad for the Jean Darling Sewing Outfit. Her sewing and embroidery kits
continued to be sold at least until 1953.
- Jane Eyre (supporting role: Jane Eyre as a child)
- Aug. 15, 1934 - Monogram - 7 reels - feature
- ©July 14, 1934. Starring Virginia Bruce & Colin Clive.
- Babes In Toyland (small part: Curly Locks)
- Nov. 30, 1934 - Roach/MGM - 9 reels - prod. F-5 - Laurel & Hardy feature
- Also listed for Dec. 14, 1934. Filmed Aug. 6 to 16, Aug. 27 and 28, and Sep. 24 to Oct. 17, 1934. ©Nov. 28, 1934. US reissue title: March Of The
Wooden Soldiers. Jean was among the cast members singing "Never Mind, Bo Peep." She also remembered singing a chorus of "I Can't Do The
Sum," a song that didn't wind up in the release print.
- Apparently during this year (as it preceded another vaudeville tour, and she was 13 at the time), Jean took and passed the high school exams, and after
spending two months at the Professional Children's School (where she had returned after leaving Immaculate Heart Of Mary), was able to receive her
diploma. This was to remove the burden of schoolwork while she was working in vaudeville. Two colleges offered her scholarships, but her mother wouldn't let
her go, since it would keep her from doing her next tour.
- During this year, probably during the latter half, Jean started a new vaudeville act. She was still singing "Bye Bye Blues" and imitating Mae West
and James Cagney. The trailer was still in use, but she would no longer emerge through a breakaway screen. Added to the act was "Bye Bye Blackbird" and
impressions of Alice Faye and Maurice Chevalier. The song "Marta" was utilized as an encore, and "Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair" was her
- Over the holidays of 1935-1936, Jean repeatedly watched "I Dream Too Much" to see Lily Pons singing "The Bell Song." This is what
inspired her to take singing lessons.
- Maltin & Bann credit Jean with playing a mermaid in "Bride Of Frankenstein," but Jean denied this.
- On May 27th of this year, Jean attended a joint breakfast of the Women's Breakfast Club and the Riverside Breakfast Club, which paid tribute to Will
Rogers and other screen stars who had passed away. Jackie Condon was also present. KFWB would broadcast these club meetings from Riverside on Sunday mornings
from 10:00 to noon in a program called The Breakfast Club (not to be confused with the national broadcast out of Chicago). Jean described
herself as a "semi-permanent guest" on the show.
- On June 21st, Jean won first prize (for best figure and best features) in a beauty contest in Santa Monica, becoming "Miss California
Co-ed." The article in The Los Angeles Times of June 22nd doesn't mention her age, but in at least two other newspapers, it was given as
16. She would have actually been a couple of months shy of her 14th birthday at this point.
- Gold Diggers Of 1937 (small part: one of the singing girls)
- prem. Dec. 26, 1936 - Warner Bros. - 12 reels - feature.
- Released Dec. 28, 1936. ©Dec. 31, 1936. Starring Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Victor Moore and Glenda Farrell.
- Jean stated in her memoirs that she did two of these Gold Diggers films, but she only goes into detail with this one.
- Around this time (or perhaps in late 1936), Jean was given a 2-week engagement in a San Diego nightclub to break in her new vaudeville act.
After this, she went back on tour. No longer doing impersonations, her act would strictly be a singing one from now on. Among the songs were "Gianina
Mia," "Estrellita" and "Bye Bye Blackbird."
- It was during this tour that Jean turned down a chance to go back to Hollywood and appear in an Andy Hardy film.
- In her memoirs, Jean mentions working in a radio soap called Tom Sawyer, presumably for KHJ. Such a program existed from March 1937 (at the
latest) to March 1938 (at the earliest).
- Around this time, Jean and her mother moved to New York, where she was photographed by Murray Korman. She wound up touring Saturdays and Sundays on the
Subway Circuit, which was a group of around 35 theaters that could all be reached on the subway. She was always booked on holidays, singing "Eili Eili"
for High Holy Days, "Ave Maria" on Easter, and "A Little Bit Of Heaven" on St. Patrick's Day. She also worked the Commerford Circuit in
Pennsylvania, and was booked by another agent for a week in Hershey.
- It was also around this time that Jean plugged Jergen's Lotion on Walter Winchell's radio program.
- Also around this time, she became a model with the John Robert Powers Model Agency. She posed for artists like Macclellan Barkley, Irving Nurick and
Montgomery Flagg. Jean posed for several of Flagg's Saturday Evening Post covers.
- Jean also resumed her singing lessons at this time. There is some confusion about the details, however. Did she take lessons from Caesar Sturani starting
around this time and continue for the next year, as described in her memoirs? Or did she start with Sturani after winning her scholarship in 1940 and continue
with him for two years, as The Troy Messenger of Aug. 21, 1942, reports?
- New York also served as a base as Jean toured the neighboring states.
- Probably directly after Christmas of this year, Jean started two weeks of training with Clemente DiMachi in his studio at Carnegie Hall.
- On January 9th of this year, Jean was awarded a scholarship by the New York Municipal Opera Association. And according to her memoirs, this led to singing
lessons with Clemente DiMachi, though newspaper reports indicate that he was the one who prepared her for the performance that got her the scholarship. According
to The Troy Messenger of August 21, 1942, Jean started her lessons with Caesar Sturani at this time (rather than in 1938 as Jean says) and these
lessons lasted for two years (rather than one year as Jean says).
- On February 7th, Jean appeared on WEAP's afternoon radio show Hollywood Newsgirl.
- On April 25th, Jean took part in an operatic revue put on by the Municipal Opera Association at the Town Hall in Brooklyn. The program consisted of
Mozart's "Bastien and Bastienne," as well as operatic arias from "Don Giovanni," "Lakme," "The Garden Of
Mystery," "I Pagliacci" and "Aida."
- During this year, Jean appeared on the July cover of True Story magazine.
- The Wilkes-Barre Record of August 9th reported that Jean was part of a variety program at the Irving Theater. Jean performed "Donkey
Serenade," "One Love" and "Will You Remember."
- Jean was touring vaudeville late in the year, as revealed in the October 12th issue of The Journal (Cincinnati) and the November 2nd issue of
the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton). In the November 6th issue of the latter newspaper, Jean gave an interview, revealing her support of Franklin D.
Roosevelt, and the fact that she had sung a number of songs at a Democratic rally the previous week.
- Around this time, Jean served as an atmosphere extra for several Soundies, including ones featuring Smith and Dale, Willie and Eugene Howard,
Olsen and Johnson, and Cab Calloway. Her memoirs state that she sang a duet with Lanny Ross on the song "Moonlight And Roses," but I haven't been
able to find any other reference to this.
- There's Nothing Like The Smile Of The Irish (supporting role)
- 1941 - Soundies - 3 min. - Soundie Musical Movie
- Starring Lanny Ross. Jean appears in the final shot.
- In August of this year, Jean wrote a letter to Lee Shubert requesting an audition. Shubert's company owned several theaters across the country. A couple
of days later, she sang "Lover, Come Back To Me" for him. The next day, she signed a longterm contract and was quickly cast as the ingenue lead in the
musical Count Me In, which became her Broadway debut. The Belleville Daily Advocate of August 27th states that the show was likely to debut on
September 21st. It made its Broadway debut on October 8th. It only ran for a short time, with the last performance taking place on November 21st. (The
signing of the Shubert contract is according to the same August 27th publication, but it contradicts Jean's memoirs, where she states that it happened in
1940. However, with Count Me In debuting in 1942, that leaves quite a gap between the signing of the contract and Jean's Broadway debut.)
- Also during this year, Jean joined the USO Camp Shows and set out on a tour of Army Camps along with Harlan Dixon, Broso the Great and his wife, and
Rex Ford. Perhaps in connection with these activities, she also worked at one of the Stage Door Canteens.
- After this, Jean returned to New York to rehearse "The Milky Way," the first show to tour the Service Commands. In order to do this, she had to drop
both her Shubert and Municipal Opera Company contracts.
- The February 5th issue of The Cincinnati Enquirer of this year followed up on a previous story regarding the whereabouts of former Our Gang kids, by
relating that Jean was currently working as an escort at the Wright Aeronautical Corporation in Cincinnati. The bogus nature of this story becomes abundantly
clear when we read that "Jean Darling" was merely her professional name, and that her real name was Eileen DePratt.
- The February 18th syndicated column "Star Dust" by Virginia Vale, reporting on the whereabouts of former Our Gang kids, states that Jean had become
a very popular nightclub singer.
- In mid-January of this year, the musical Marianne opening in Washington, DC, and closed by the end of the month, never making it to Broadway.
During its short run, the girl Jean was understudying walked out on the show and Jean got to take over the part.
- On February 14th, Jean departed New York by plane to do a 21-week tour. She was part of the USO-Camp Shows Unit No. 209 and initially stopped in
Casablanca, but also spent time in Algiers and Italy. The other stars in her unit were John Garfield, Eddie Foy, Olya Klem and Sheila Rodgers.
- In April or May, the rest of Jean's unit returned home, but Jean returned to Italy as part of a new special unit that would entertain troops that were in
the hospital. Since it was a new idea, it was called Hospital Unit 1.
- In her memoirs, Jean states that she remained in Italy until late September, but on August 4th, The Star Press (of Muncie) reported that she
was already home. It also says that she was gone for six months, though, which is a little too long.
- On September 13th, a letter of commendation was written by Col. Leon T. David to Jean for her service with the USO-Camp Shows Unit No. 209. The tour is
described in the letter as a "21-week tour of NATUOUSA", which means it would have ended in early-to-mid July. (NATOUSA, by the way,
stands for North African Theater of Operations, United States Army.) But perhaps John Garfield's wish to be sent home ended things prematurely, leading
Jean to become part of the hospital unit.
- The September 23rd issue of the Standard-Speaker of Hazelton, PA, reveals that Jean was currently touring vaudeville with the same selection of
songs that she had sung in her USO act.
- Near the end of this year, Jean auditioned for the Theatre Guild production of "Sing Out Sweet Land," which was already being performed
outside of New York. She got the part, but because the show wasn't much of a success, it was closed before it got to Broadway, and Jean never did perform
- After this, Jean began taking voice lessons with a Mrs. Munday.
- Jean auditioned for a revival of "Liliom." She didn't get the part, but it led directly to her successful audition for Carousel.
- Early this year, Jean won the role of Carrie Pipperidge in the Theater Guild production of Carousel. After a pre-Broadway run in New Haven and
Boston, the show had its Broadway premiere on April 19th.
- Not long after the show was up and running, Jean began taking voice lessons from William Herman. In addition to doing the show, she also visited
veteran's hospitals and took part in benefits organized by the Theater Guild.
- On June 6th, the first anniversary of D-Day, Jean, along with Carousel co-star Eric Mattson took part in the Seventh War Loan rally in New
York. Jean sang "When The Children Are Asleep."
- In July, Jean appeared on the Original New York Production 5-disc album of Carousel, singing "You're A Queer One, Julie Jordan" and
"Mister Snow," both with Jan Clayton. She also sings "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" with Christine Johnson, "When The Children
Are Asleep" with Eric Mattson, and "Blow High, Blow Low" and "This Was A Real Nice Clambake," both with Murvyn Vie and Eric
- On September 24th, Jean, along with Margo, Sono Osato, Luba Malina and David Brooks, attended a rally at Madison Square Garden that was interpreted as
pro-Communist and anti-Catholic. The general theme of the speeches given by these five was one of support for the Spanish refugees and an advocation of
the breaking of relations with the Franco government. Frank Fay, a member of Actors' Equity, of which the five were all members, tried to get the organization
to investigate them, but this resulted in a vote of censure against Fay and exoneration of the five.
- On January 22nd of this year, Jean was the guest of honor in the March of Dimes Fashion Show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, presented for the benefit of
The National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis.
- The March 2nd Honolulu Star-Bulletin ran an ad for Model Smoking Tobacco, complete with a glamorous photo of Jean Darling. At the
bottom, the caption reads: "Men: If you want a pin-up of beautiful Jean Darling, shown above, send your name and address on a post card to
MODEL TOBACCO, care of AMERICAN FACTORS, Ltd., Honolulu. They's send you free a 7 3/8 x 9 7/8 full-color print."
- In March of this year, after her 850th performance as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel, Jean collapsed and wound up in the hospital with hepatitis.
She was discharged in May. (It should be noted that the 850 performances is according to Jean's memoirs. The New York Daily News of March
31st reported it as 806 performances.) The show, without Jean, finally closed on May 24th.
- After this, Jean took part a revival of Knickerbocker Hotel (as Tina).
- The Boston Globe of October 25th revealed that Jean was appearing in an "all-new stage show" with Alan Carney, Ray Dorey
and Hal Leroy.
- By the end of March of this year, Jean was appearing in the show Hold It!, which also featured Johnny Downs.
- On April 3rd, Jean appeared as a guest on Boston Globe-WCOP Quizdown, broadcast 7:00-7:30 by WCOP from Needham High School.
- From May 5th to June 12th, Hold It! was playing on Broadway.
- There was also, at some point, an NBC network show out of New York called Have A Date With Jean Darling (aka A Date With Jean Darling),
but the only reference I've found so far is a listing for a WNBT show called Jean Darling on July 3rd of this year.
- Fashions On Parade episode (guest appearance)
- May 7, 1948 - DuMont 30 min. - TV episode
- This episode was broadcast locally several months before the series started airing over the DuMont network.
- The Fourth Mrs. Phillips (lead role)
- Aug. 8, 1948 - WPTZ - TV program
- This was a stage comedy that was no doubt being broadcast on live television. WPTZ in Philadelphia was an NBC affiliate, so this may have been a network
- The March 15th issue of the Daily News (New York) revealed that Pal Joey had been revived and had gone over well a week earlier at the
Walton Community Center in the Bronx. Jean played the role of "Linda."
- On May 3rd of this year, the Mutual weekday radio series called The Lanny Ross Show began to also feature Jean Darling on its Tuesday and Thursday
- At some point around this time, Jean had an advice show on WNEW in Los Angeles, which she gradually took over as Agnes Ayres grew ill. Frank Sinatra guested
on this show.
- There was also an advice show that aired on WOR in the wee hours of the morning called Big Joe's Happiness Exchange. According to her memoirs, Jean
occasionally appeared on this show along with Frank Sinatra. This show was airing on WOR by June of this year at the latest, but the star, Big Joe Rosenfield,
left WOR in January of 1950.
- Jean briefly worked in a radio program for WOR with Frank Sinatra. I'm not sure about the beginning and end dates for this series, but listings from
December of this year include a WOR program called Frank Sinatra.
- The Chicago Tribune of December 18th carried a story about Communist infiltration into various areas of public life. Dragged into the conversation was
Jean Darling, who had been among those who gave speeches at an anti-Franco rally at Madison Square Garden in 1945.
- During this year, the Carousel 5-disc album was reissued using 7-inch records at 45 rpm.
- The Chicago Tribune of October 1st of this year reveals that Jean was on the NBC program Break The Bank. The photo caption seems to imply that
she was a regular on the show, but perhaps it was just for the one episode.
- During this year, Jean starred in a KHJ-TV (Los Angeles) series called The Jean Darling Show. So far, I've only found listings for
November 13th, 20th and 27th, so perhaps it was very short-lived. The program featured Jean singing and sewing. This may be the same program Jean refers to
in her memoirs as The Singing Knitwitch. Jean also mentions that she designed knitware for a yarn company at some point. Jean also mentions doing a TV
program with Ernie Kovacs sometime in the early 1950s, but the only thing I can find to corroborate this is the 1959 "Take A Good Look" appearance.
- Near the end of this year, Jean embarked on a long holiday tour to Alaska sponsored by the Hollywood Coordinating Committee. Also featured were Ray Milland
and Akim Tamiroff. Jean sang "Come Back To Sorrento."
- Early this year, Jean's tour to Alaska came to an end.
- Jean was featured on a CBS radio serial called Road Of Life, which Tampa Daily Times of December 30th of this year announced was returning
to CBS in its 16th year of broadcasting. The series continued for several years, but it isn't clear just when Jean was a part of it. One notable point,
though, is that during 1955, she was consistently reported to be in the serial "Hilltop House," with no mention of Road Of Life.
- All Star Summer Revue episode (appearance)
- Aug. 30, 1952 - NBC - 60 min. - TV episode
- Jean appears with Bert Wheeler and sings "Serenade To A Lemonade." A kinescope survives of this sketch, running 8 to 9 minutes.
- During this year the Carousel 5-disc album of 7-inch records was reissued.
- The I Don't Care Girl (small part: Lilyan Tashman)
- prem. Jan. 14, 1953 - 20th Century-Fox - 78 min. - feature
- ©Jan. 5, 1953. Released Jan. 20, 1931. Starring Mitzi Gaynor, David Wayne & Oscar Levant. Filmed in Technicolor.
- The Comeback Story episode (featured subject)
- Nov. 27, 1953 - ABC - 30 min. - TV episode
- This was a documentary series that focused each week on people who had overcome adversity. One source states that Jean's life was dramatized on this
series, which perhaps means that we shouldn't assume that she was in it.
- On June 14th of this year, Jean married Reuben Bowen, known professionally as Kajar the Magician. She assisted him in his act. At some point, the two of them
appeared in a Look magazine photo in which he's levitating her on the terrace of their apartment.
- The Republic (Columbus, IN) of April 23rd of this year reported that Jean was currently playing the lead in a CBS radio serial called
Hilltop House. This series had been in existence for a couple of decades, so it's pretty clear that Jean was in the cast for only a fraction of that
- On October 23rd of this year, Jean's son, Roy Hamilton Bowen, was born. Jean: "Until he was eight, I didn't do anything except two
commercials a year." This is in reference to her decision to be a part of her child's life during his formative years, though it seems that it's
not entirely accurate.
- American Inventory episode: The 13 Million (appearance)
- Jan. 2, 1955 - Sloan/NBC 30 min. - TV episode
- Clubhouse Gang (appearance)
- May 14, 1955 - WPIX 11 - TV episode
- This program featured Little Rascals films. The date of this episode is according to tvparty.com. This seems to contradict The Record (Hackensack,
NJ) of May 21st, which interviewed Jean, and she confided that, not having a TV, she had not seen Clubhouse Gang, but that she was scheduled to soon
guest on the show.
- On May 6th of this year, it was reported in several newspapers that Lenny Kent was dating former Our Gang kid "Baby Jean Darling," who was
currently a stripper named Gilda. This was a rather unfortunate mixup, since it was Shirley Jean Rickert who did that for a living and went by that name.
- Road Of Life seems to have been axed in January of this year.
- Tonight Starring Jack Paar episode (appearance)
- Apr. 22, 1959 - NBC - 105 min. - TV episode
- Take A Good Look episode (appearance)
- Oct. 22, 1959 - Mansfield-Arnell/ABC - 30 min. - TV episode
- Hosted by Ernie Kovacs. Jean appeared along with Farina Hoskins, Jay R. Smith, Jack Davis, Sherwood Bailey and Johnny Downs.
- Sometime around this period, a single was released on Gametime Records by Jeanne Darling with "Tell Me All About Yourself" on the A-side and
"Waltz Of Romance" on the B-side. So was this Jean with a label misspelling, or was it somebody else? Well, a demonstration disc was made by
Nola Recording Studios of "Waltz Of Romance," and Jean's name is spelled correctly on that. Another Jean Darling song that turned up on a Nola
disc was "Money, Money." I asked Jean about it at the Our Gang Follies site, and she wrote, "It very well could be me as I often recorded in that
studio to check on how I was progressing or just to listen to how I sounded in a new project. I used the studio until 62 or 63."
- In July of this year, Jean and her husband, Reuben Bowen aka Kajar the Magician, departed for South Africa to tour with a magic show called
Magicadabra. Jean sang some songs and served as her husband's assistant in his magic act. This led to several tours that would take them all
over the world over the next ten years.
- Early this year (prior to Easter), Jean and her family moved to Dublin. A few years earlier, they had left South Africa for La Palmas, Canary Islands
(where they lived for about a year and a half), and then moved to London and then Antwerp (for seven or eight or nine months). Basically, since
they were on the road so much, they didn't spend much time living in these places, but rather, used each as a base of operations. Somewhere along the line,
they toured the Caribbean, and at some other point in time, they played in Fiji.
- During this year, Jean and her family returned to South Africa to live for another three years.
- Jean states in her memoirs that she was with her husband Reuben for 18 years, which means they must have separated (or perhaps divorced) during this
year. She also says that the two of them were touring South Africa with their magic act during 1972 and 1973, though, so perhaps something needs a slight
adjustment in the timeline.
- During that 1972-1973 period, their son, Roy, bought Jean a gift of watercolors and paper, and she took up painting.
- During this year, Jean settled in Dublin again and embarked on a writing career. Her son was with her, but not her husband, who died on Aug. 22, 1980.
- In her memoirs, Jean lists several undated short stories which would have been written over the next twenty odd years. Stories published in Woman's
Way magazine included The Poteen Problem, Always An Excuse, Doeskin Gloves, To Kiss A Ghost,
The Ten Pence Drum, Bewitched, When The Kissing Began and The Last Job. She states that many more stories
were published in the Annuals. The Ten Pence Drum was also published in Women's Choice magazine. She also wrote 29 different
children's stories for Women's Way. Two other children's stories she wrote were Finny Finnegan, which included her own
illustrations, and How Perkie Came To Perk's Fun Fair. She wrote the radio plays The Barren Tree, The Carousel,
The Gambler, Comb My Hair and Love Buds for SABC and RTÉ Radio. Many of her short stories were adapted for radio
on BBC World Service and Radio Telefís Éireann. She also wrote over 150 celebrity profiles for It magazine and Woman's Way
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, Never To Be Lost Again, was published in the August issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, The Man Who Embezzled From Himself, was published in the March issue of Ellery Queen's
- Another of Jean's short stories, Sgt. Flanagan And The Conlon Brothers, was published in the September issue of Alfred Hitchcock's
- Another of Jean's short stories, The Seventh Son, was published in the October issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
- During this year, two of Jean's short stories, Private Ear and Little Girl Lost (the latter written under the name Cara
Sell), were published in the April issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, Angel Baby, was published in the May issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, All You Need Is Luck, was published in the December issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, Dying In Dublin, was published in the March issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, Farewell Performance, was published in the September issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, The Ten Thousandth Visitor, was published in the October issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, The Centaur And The Centerfold, was published in the December issue of Executive Magazine.
- In February of this year, Jean began writing stories for RTÉ radio and TV and reading them on the air in Aunty Poppy's Story Time, in which
she appeared as "Aunty Poppy." This was a regular segment contained within the TV series Anything Goes.
- One of Jean's short stories Where There's A Will, There's A Way was published in the April issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, Siege In Dublin, was published in the April issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, The Matchstick Hut, was published in the August issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. This
story was later reprinted in the book Distant Danger.
- Jean also visited New York City for ten days during this year. It was her first time back in the U.S. in 16 years.
- After the debut of Aunty Poppy's Story Time on Irish television, various Aunty Poppy titles were published between 1980 and 2002. These
included two separate items called Aunty Poppy's Story Time, one of which was available only on cassette, and the other of which was
available both as a book and a cassette. Jean wrote, read, composed, sang and illustrated. There was also a cassette called Aunty Poppy's Farley's
Fables. She also wrote (and told) over 450 Aunty Poppy stories on the RTÉ Radio 2 program Poparama.
- At some point, Jean also wrote 11 stories for the BBC program Listen With Mother.
- At some point, Jean also wrote Starsong for John Creedon's Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
- Jean's memoirs also list three more items produced for RTÉ Radio 1 at some point over the next several years. One of these is listed as Matins
- Just A Thought - Sunday Miscellany, but I can't tell if there's a story in that title written for a show that's also in the title,
or what. The other two items are Kevin Hough's Theater Nights and Late Date With Val Joyce, both of which may simply be appearances on talk
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, The Fifty Thousand Pound Joke, was published in the January issue of Alfred
Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, Tell Me True, was published in the March issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, Billionaires Die Too, was published in the June issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.
- Also during this year, Jean's 1975 short story Never To Be Lost Again was reprinted in Doors To Mystery.
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, Homer's Odyssey, was published in the May issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, Murder In Dublin, was published in the August issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.
- Also during this year, Jean's 1975 short story Never To Be Lost Again was reprinted in Ellery Queen's Book Of First
- Also during this year, one of Jean's short stories, Chrysalis, was published in Fantasy Book.
- Another of Jean's short stories, I Never Saw His Face, was published in the December issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
- Starting this year, Jean began publishing seasonal Aunty Poppy Stories in the RTÉ Guide. This lasted for over a decade.
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, Harry Houdini's Trousers, was published in the April issue of Ellery Queen's
- Another of Jean's short stories, The Tinker's Legs, was published in the May issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.
- Also during this year, one of Jean's short stories, Bite Of The Pie, was published in Ellery Queen's Prime Crimes.
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, Two Peas In A Pod, was published in the February issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, Two Of A Kind, was published in the May issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, Carousel, was published in the September issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine.
- Another of Jean's short stories, Comb My Hair, Please Comb My Hair, was published in the December issue of Whispers magazine, which
Jean described in her memoirs as No. III in an anthology series. This particular anthology won the World's Fantasy Award.
- Our Gang: Inside The Clubhouse (archival)
- May 8, 1984 - Lang/Camellia City Telecasters - 93 mins. - TV documentary
- Includes footage from "Boxing Gloves."
- During this year, one of Jean's short stories, Revenge In Dublin, was published in the August issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery
- Another of Jean's short stories, 1944 Diary, was published in the December issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
- During this year, Jean's 1977 short story The Seventh Son was reprinted in Alfred Hitchcock's Anthology.
- During the summer of this year, Jean's short story The Perfect Gift was published in Night Cry.
- Also during this year, her 1984 short story Comb My Hair, Please Comb My Hair was reprinted by Doubleday.
- During this year, Jean's short story The Right Thing was published in Whispers magazine.
- During this year, Jean's short story Cooking By Ouija Board was published in Plots And Plans.
- The Original Cast Recording of Carousel was released on CD during this year.
- During this year, Jean's 1982 short story I Never Saw His Face was reprinted in the February issue of Ellery Queen Mystery
- The last of the seasonal Aunty Poppy Stories for the RTÉ Guide was published during this year.
- Jean published her first book of memoirs during this year, A Peek At The Past.
- Hal Roach: The Lot Of Fun (archival)
- June 27, 1998 - Film Preservation Associates/Kino Lorber - 133 min. - video documentary
- Released on "Slapstick Encyclopedia Vol. 6."
- During this year, an interview with Jean was published in the book Silent Stars Speak by Tony Villecco.
- Jean was scheduled to appear at the 5th Annual Thelma Todd Celebration in Lawrence, MA, from July 24th to 29th, but I've yet to verify if this wound
- Jean attended the Sons of the Desert 19th International Convention from July 11th to 14th in Nashville this year, and was featured with Dorothy DeBorba,
Jay R. Smith and Jerry Tucker on the 12th.
- On June 8th of this year, a revised and expanded version of A Peek At The Past was published.
- Jean attended the Sons of the Desert convention in Columbus, OH, from July 15th to 18th this year, and was featured with Mildred Kornman on the 17th.
- Around this time, Jean began attending Italy's "Pordenone Silent Film Festival" each year, and continued to do so for about a decade. She
regularly sang at these festivals, accompanied by Donald Sosin.
- Die größten TV-Hits aller Zeiten - Die 25 beliebtesten Kinderserien (appearance)
- Feb. 26, 2005 - I&U/RTL - 120 min. - TV special
- Made in Germany.
- During this year, Jean took part in The Third Annual Silent Comedy Festival in Bristol, England, and hosted A Date With Jean Darling in which
she discussed her Our Gang past with David Wyatt.
- During this year, Jean published her second book of memoirs, Buttercakes And Banana Oil.
- Nova episode (appearance as guest of honor)
- July 12, 2008 - Nederlandse Omroepstichting - 30 min. - TV episode
- Made in the Netherlands.
- The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang (appearance)
- Jan. 2, 2009 - b1 Media-Genius - 29 min. - video documentary
- Included as a bonus feature on disc 8 of The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection.
- Presto! Sons Of The Desert 16th International Convention 2008 (appearance)
- Feb. 4, 2009 - McIntyre - 35 min. - video documentary
- Made in the UK.
- De rode loper episode (guest appearance)
- Aug. 13, 2009 - TV series
- Made in Belgium.
- Jean's Golden Memories: An Interview With Jean Darling (appearance)
- Sep. 1, 2009 - Riva - 37 min. - video interview
- Made in the Netherlands. Jean received a "special thanks" in the credits.
- Jane Eyre As A Child: An Interview With Jean Darling (appearance)
- Sep. 1, 2009 - Riva - 18 min. - video interview
- Made in the Netherlands. Jean received a "special thanks" in the credits.
- Dizzy Spells: Sons Of The Desert 9th European Convention 2009 (appearance)
- Mar. 1, 2011 - McIntyre - 13 min. - video documentary
- Made in the UK.
- Laurel & Hardy: Die komische Liebesgeschichte von 'Dick & Doof' (appearance)
- Dec. 28, 2011 - Exit - 92 min. - TV movie documetary
- Made in Germany. UK and US title: Laurel & Hardy: Their Lives And Magic. Jean was also credited under "additional crew"
for providing archival material.
- The Butler's Tale (featured role: Lady Cavendish - also contributing writer)
- Nov. 6, 2013 - Riva - 15 min. - short
- Hollywoods Spaßfabrik - Als die Bilder Lachen lernten (archival)
- May 29, 2014 - Exit Film-und Fernsehproduktion-ZDF/ARTE - 90 min. - TV documentary
- Also released in English as Hal Roach - The Lot Of Fun: Where The Movies Learned To Laugh. Includes footage from "Barnum & Ringling,
Inc.," "Fast Freight," "Cat, Dog & Co." and "Saturday's Lesson."
- At the time of Jean's death, she had been living in a nursing home in Rödermark, Germany, after previously living in nearby Rodgau, where she had
moved from Ireland to live near her son (some sources say she lived WITH him).
Jean Darling's payroll history
The following is a list of most of Jean's history at the Roach studio, with the amounts she was making from week to week. The dates given are
Saturdays, the last day of each week at the studio. The only exceptions would be Saturdays that were also holidays, in which case the Friday date is used
for those weeks.
- Oct. 9, 1926 - 30.00 charged to prod. K15 (Bring Home The Turkey)
Starting as a day worker, Jean was given checks for $7.50 on Oct. 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th.
- Oct. 16, 1926 - 37.50 charged to prod. K15
On Oct. 13th, Jean was given a check for $22.50, which covered $7.50 a day for Oct. 11th, 12th and 13th. On Oct. 15th, she was a given a check
for $15 to cover $7.50 a day for Oct. 14th and 15th.
After this, it would be about two weeks before Jean returned to the studio.
- Nov. 6, 1926 - 15.00 - 10.00 charged to prod. B16 (Are Brunettes Safe?), 5.00 charged to prod. K13 (Seeing The
Jean was given $5 checks on Nov. 2nd and 3rd for her work in B16, and another $5 check on Nov. 5th for her work in K13.
After this, it would be over a month before Jean worked at the studio again.
- Dec. 11, 1926 - 30.00 charged to prod. K16 (Ten Years Old)
Jean was given a $7.50 check on Dec. 8th, and then a $22.50 check on Dec. 11th, which covered $7.50 a day for Dec. 9th, 10th and 11th.
- Dec. 18, 1926 - 200.00 charged to prod. K16
- Dec. 25, 1926 - 200.00 charged to prod. K17 (Love My Dog)
- Jan. 1, 1927 - 200.00 charged to prod. K17
The payroll ledger for 1927 has gone missing, which makes some of the details for these dates unavailable. There are, however, datebooks and payroll
summaries that have survived, and these verify most of the information about Jean's salary that would be found in the ledger. The main exception is
that, during the interim between films, it isn't clear which production the player's salary is being charged to. A bigger problem, though, is
that Jean was still a day player in the early part of the year, so no information whatsoever is available prior to the week ending Apr. 23rd. However,
we do know that she was absent from the studio for the last three weeks of 1926, and that while still a day player, she appeared in Tired Business Men,
Baby Brother and Chicken Feed from late January to mid-April 1927.
- Apr. 23, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K21 (Olympic Games)
Jean was put under long-term contract starting this week. However, there's some doubt about her involvement in production K21.
- Apr. 30, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K21
- May 7, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K21
- May 14, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K22 (The Glorious Fourth)
Jean didn't appear in production K22.
- May 21, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K22
- May 28, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K23 (Playin' Hookey)
- June 4, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K23
- June 11, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. K23
- June 18, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. G1 (Yale Vs. Harvard)
- June 25, 1927 - 35.00 charged to prod. G1
- July 2, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. K24 (The Smile Wins)
It appears that Jean didn't work in production K24.
As distribution was shifting from Pathé to MGM, the Kid Co. transitioned into the Gang Co. During the weeks ending July 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th,
the studio was closed. The datebooks indicate that Jean wasn't paid during this stretch, but the payroll summaries indicate that she was.
- Aug. 6, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. K24
- Aug. 13, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G2 (The Old Wallop)
- Aug. 20, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G2
- Aug. 27, 1927 - 45.00
- Sep. 3, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G3 (Heebee Jeebees)
- Sep. 10, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G3
- Sep. 17, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G3 and G4 (Dog Heaven)
It isn't clear whether Jean's salary was split in half between the two productions, or perhaps 1/3 for G3 and 2/3 for G4.
- Sep. 24, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G4
- Oct. 1, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G3 and G4
It isn't clear whether Jean's salary was split 5/6 for G4 and 1/6 for G3, or 11/12 for G4 and 1/12 for G3.
- Oct. 8, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G4
- Oct. 15, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G4 and G5 (Spook-Spoofing)
It appears that Jean's salary was probably split 5/12 for G4 and 7/12 for G5. She also didn't appear in production G5.
- Oct. 22, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G5
- Oct. 29, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G5
- Nov. 5, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G4 and G6 (Rainy Days)
It appears that Jean's salary was probably split 1/3 for G4 and 2/3 for G6.
- Nov. 12, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G6
- Nov. 19, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G6
- Nov. 26, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G6
- Dec. 3, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G6
- Dec. 10, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G6
- Dec. 17, 1927 - 45.00 charged to prod. G6 and G7 (Edison, Marconi & Co.)
It appears that Jean's salary was probably split 5/6 for G6 and 1/6 for G7. It isn't clear whether or not Jean worked in production
- Dec. 24, 1927 - 50.00 charged to prod. G6, G7 and G8 Barnum & Ringling, Inc.)
It appears that Jean's salary was probably split 14/36 for G6, 11/36 for G7 and 11/36 for G8.
- Dec. 31, 1927 - 50.00 charged to prod. G6, G7 and G8
It appears that Jean's salary was probably split 1/6 for G6, 1/6 for G7 and 4/6 for G8.
With the start of 1928, we can return to the payroll ledgers for a more accurate picture of Jean's history.
- Jan. 7, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G8
- Jan. 14, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G8
- Jan. 21, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G9 (Fair And Muddy)
- Jan. 28, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G9
- Feb. 4, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G9
- Feb. 11, 1928 - 50.00 - 33.33 charged to prod. G9, 16.67 charged to prod. G10 (Crazy House)
- Feb. 18, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G10
- Feb. 25, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G10
- Mar. 3, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G11 (Growing Pains)
- Mar. 10, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G11
- Mar. 17, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G11
- Mar. 24, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G11
The studio was closed during the spring, resulting in Jean not being paid for five weeks.
- May 5, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G12 (The Ol' Gray Hoss)
- May 12, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G12
- May 19, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G12
- May 26, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G12
- June 2, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G12
- June 9, 1928 - 50.00 - 25.00 charged to prod. G12, 25.00 charged to prod. G13 (School Begins)
- June 16, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G13
- June 23, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G13
- June 30, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G13
- July 7, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G14 (The Spanking Age)
- July 14, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G14
- July 21, 1928 - 50.00 - 25.00 charged to prod. G14, 25.00 charged to prod. G15 (Election Day)
- July 28, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G15
- Aug. 4, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G15
- Aug. 11, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G15
- Aug. 18, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
Jean and her fellow Gangsters spent a couple of months on a personal appearance tour.
- Aug. 25, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Sep. 1, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
The payroll ledger doesn't list Jean for this week, but the payroll summary and the studio datebook indicate that she still got paid.
- Sep. 8, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Sep. 15, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Sep. 22, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Sep. 29, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Oct. 6, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Oct. 13, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Oct. 20, 1928 - 50.00 charged to Gang Tour
- Oct. 27, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G16 (Noisy Noises)
- Nov. 3, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G16
- Nov. 10, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G16
- Nov. 17, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G16
- Nov. 24, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G17 (The Holy Terror)
- Dec. 1, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G17
- Dec. 8, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G18 (Wiggle Your Ears)
- Dec. 15, 1928 - 50.00 - 12.50 charged to prod. G18, 37.50 charged to prod. G19 (Fast Freight)
- Dec. 22, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G19
- Dec. 29, 1928 - 50.00 charged to prod. G19
For the weeks ending Jan. 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th, the studio was closed and Jean didn't receive her salary. When she returned, she had received a
- Feb. 2, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G20 (Little Mother)
- Feb. 9, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G20
- Feb. 16, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G20
- Feb. 23, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G21 (Cat, Dog & Co.)
- Mar. 2, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G21
- Mar. 9, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G22 (Saturday's Lesson)
- Mar. 16, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G22
- Mar. 23, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G22
- Mar. 30, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G23 (Small Talk)
- Apr. 6, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G23
- Apr. 13, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G23
- Apr. 20, 1929 - 60.00 - 20.00 charged to prod. G23, 40.00 charged to prod. G24 (Railroadin')
- Apr. 27, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G24
- May 4, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G24
- May 11, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G24
- May 18, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G25 (Boxing Gloves)
- May 25, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G25
- June 1, 1929 - 25.00 charged to prod. G25
During this interim between films, Jean received a lower salary.
- June 8, 1929 - 25.00 charged to prod. G25
- June 15, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G26 (Lazy Days)
- June 22, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G26
- June 29, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G26
- July 6, 1929 - 25.00 - 16.67 charged to prod. G26, 8.33 charged to prod. G27 (Bouncing Babies)
It's apparent that Jean didn't work on production G27 for very long, considering her lowered salary in 3 out of 4 weeks.
- July 13, 1929 - 60.00 charged to prod. G27
- July 20, 1929 - 25.00 charged to prod. G27
- July 27, 1929 - 25.00 charged to prod. G27
See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.